I know this hiring manager who posted a job opening for an Admin. The reason this position was posted was because this hiring manager was overwhelmed. She had more work than she could handle and was in dire need of support.
This hiring manager works for a small company without a Human Resource department. She was shocked when she heard that the job was going to be posted on a job board with her name as the contact person. How was she going to field all the resumes and calls she was going to receive? Remember, she is already overloaded.
Then there is the daunting task of reviewing resumes and cover letters. About 1/4 of the submissions didn't contain the required cover letter. She discarded those because they didn't follow directions. (She had to have some way of paring down the candidates). Several of the submitted resumes were done in Word 2007, which she couldn't open. Guess who's resumes are going to be read?
The preferred temp agency had been contacted and they sent over 3 resumes. The hiring manager put those on top. They had been pre-screened already and prepped.
Now it was time to find 4-5 candidates to call. She was looking for people who could start immediately and just jump into the job. Oh, but wait, a couple of internal candidates come forward at the last minute. They MUST be interviewed.
Between all the other job related tasks going on, the hiring manager finds a few minutes to make calls. She is able to speak with 3 immediately. She schedules two for interviews.
Who were the 3 people she reached immediately? The ones sent over by the temp agency.
This hiring manager only received 77 resumes. She was lucky. Out of these 77 applicants, under 10 have followed up with and email or a phone call. It made her wonder about the interest of the others.
She shared with me some of her regrets:
- I would have liked to spend some time speaking with those candidates that were referred, but I didn't have the luxury of time.
- I would have liked to have responded immediately to all candidates that applied, but I didn't have the luxury of time.
- I had to stop looking at resumes after a couple of days. I couldn't keep up and I didn't have time.
She also shared her disappointment:
Most applicants did not tell me why they wanted to work in this job. Some resumes were so off-base, I thought they may have applied for a different job by mistake.
I share this story to help job seekers understand what is happening inside the hiring company and the mind of the hiring manager. So the take aways from this story are:
Be an inside candidate
Be an exact fit on paper
Be registered with temp agencies/contract houses
Be quick to respond
Be tech savvy and follow directions
Be persistent to show interest
The other important moral to this story is that no two hiring managers have the same preferences or tactics for screening and hiring. There is no rule book that everyone has to follow (besides EEOC). This is why applying for jobs online is such a crap shoot, you just never know.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.