When you go to the doctor, they have your charts, all your medical history, they know how much you claim you currently weigh, and you usually even fill out a new health form - Every. Single. Time. All that info is right at their fingertips but the nurse AND the doctor both have a discussion with you anyway. That’s because the answer doesn’t just lie in the data.
Sure, the database of health information helps doctors to gain insights into your health status, just like job descriptions help recruiters when they are seeking new talent. But the real key to finding the solution to your health or hiring issue is often what is between the lines and sometimes involves details that are not even written on a piece of paper or a web page. And when HR teams are involved in developing job descriptions, it’s possible that some key information might be lost that is critical to the hiring process.
For all of these reasons, one of the most important things you can do before jumping into the hiring process is to have a conversation with your recruiting partner. While a computer can do a lot of things, there is no replacement for having a discussion to talk about the details of the role, to include details about cultural fit and both short- and long-term goals for the position.
The next time your recruiting partner asks you to spend time on the front end talking about your job requisition, think of the doctor’s office and how strange it would be to for a doctor to invest zero time with his/her patients. A 20-minute discussion with a knowledgeable recruiter is proven to deliver more qualified candidates right out of the gate, and, based upon my own data at Eliassen Group, we are three times more likely to help you fill your position when we obtain the right details up front.
While each position involves a unique skillset that might involve certain detailed questions, here are some specific items that you should be prepared for when speaking with your recruiting partner:
- Describe the IT team this role is a part of; is it a large or small group? On-shore, off-shore or both? What level of experience does the group have collectively?
- How does the role interact with the business, if at all? We want to understand how much this employee will interact with the business, non-technical users, etc. This will help to gauge how important soft skills such as verbal communication, public speaking, and personality traits will be.
- Tell me about your company culture. Is the organization more casual with a collaborative team-oriented environment or is it more business professional where everyone has his/her own lane and must stay in it?
- How much of this role will entail maintenance work vs. new development? This question helps us understand if the right person will be more of a go-getter with an ear to the ground on all the latest technologies to challenge and push new techniques and styles, or more of an expert in a specific technology who likes to maintain what is already in place.
- Let’s hear about the project this role supports. Knowing these details help us to attract talent. A big initiative that is public-facing like developing a mobile application, for example, can be a huge selling point. People often want to work on projects that the rest of the world would use or experience.
Recruiters should not be in the business of matching job descriptions to resumes; a computer can do that. In fact, a computer DOES do that. Websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, etc. can really help with refined searches. You plug in your parameters and it spits out which resumes are a close match and even ranks them by percent match! But, realistically, that only gets you so far, not to mention the exhausting process that follows that consists of weeding through resumes, figuring out who is just using fancy words and then determining which candidates actually possess the skills that your company is looking for.
Who would trust a doctor that just takes your health record and hands you a diagnosis? You aren’t the same as everyone else in the database - you are unique just like your IT organization, your open position, and your team. The type of recruiting partner you should trust is one that wants to invest in you, has a full understanding of your technology and how the consultant/hire fits into that puzzle.
Do you have questions about your hiring plans? We would be happy to help you develop a recruiting plan that will ensure you have the right talent for the short- and long-term. Reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.