In Career Development we talk quite a bit about the hiring process and how companies make decisions about their candidates’ applications. Different industries have different styles and norms with regard to hiring, but there are plenty of things that employers told me when I first started this job that have rung true through my own search processes for professional and student staff:
- Giving time to the search is critical
It is easy to get bogged down with all of the responsibilities in our day-to-day work. As a result, the candidate search often finds its way to the bottom of our To-Do list.
However, this is the future of our office or company, so a candidate search should take precedent over most things. Hiring the right person will make the rest of our work much more efficient and effective, so putting our day-to-day on hold for a few hours per step will pay off in the long run.
Take a few hours to evaluate applications, look people up on LinkedIn, and even talk to mutual connections. Speak with people who reach out to inquire about the position so you can do some pre-interviewing. The more they are pursuing the role, the more interested they will be in doing the job well.
- Resumes are what they are
Resumes are full of factual accomplishments, which can be helpful in making objective decisions. From a resume we can learn the candidate’s level of education, what type of work they have done, and anything that helps us to understand their commitment to the field.
- Ultimately, resumes don’t tell the whole story
Hiring managers are making subjective decisions about who to incorporate in their mission and vision, which is not usually addressed with a list of accomplishments. A recent article in Fast Company included quotes from an executive mentioning a person he had worked with who looked great on paper but who he would absolutely not hire due to his negativity and avoidance of hard work.
Cover letters can address a bit of this; networking even more. A personal contact, though, carries the most weight. If I’ve met you personally then I will have had the best chance to already evaluate your candidacy with our organization before you even apply.
- We are hiring people
Anyone who is hired into our office will be spending between 10 and 40 hours a week in close proximity to me, so it’s important to evaluate that fit when hiring. People with whom I get along are likely to be on the same page with regard to personal mission, work ethic, and priorities, so personality fit can tell a lot about how effective we will be when working together.
- Hire for fit; train for skills
I can teach someone to do their job, but I cannot teach them to care about it.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Jake Nelko at firstname.lastname@example.org.