The Hiring Picture Simplified

Hiring Picture Simplified – Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of people from diverse employment backgrounds about what they go through when hired—the actual process. I’ve spoken with those on both sides of the desk—the hiring manager and the job seeker. It’s interesting that there are really only three types of scenarios.

If you aspired to be successful in golf, you would never dream of achieving this without knowing the game itself. So think of hiring situations as part of the game. Knowing the three main situations puts you, the candidate in the position of knowing how the process really works; not how it’s supposed to be played. Good to know.

Hiring Picture Simplified: Settings

All hiring basically fits into one of these settings:

  • Setting 1: The Candidate Pool. Here, an employee leaves, creating an open position. If it needs to be filled, the organization collects a large group of applicants. They are screened. Those making the screening cut are then interviewed. The hiring manager or committee then makes a final decision and hires someone.

  • Setting 2: The Created Position. A job seeker recognizes a need within an organization. The hiring manager and job seeker discuss the need. The job seeker presents a business proposal to meet that need. A position is then created around the job seeker’s qualifications and value; finally, that job seeker is hired to fill the need.

  • Setting 3: The Known Candidate. A hiring manager knows several qualified people. The hiring manager has these people in mind as potential new hires should a position open up or a new one be approved. When that occurs, the hiring manager may collect, screen and interview a pool of applicants, but then hires one of the known candidates. Sometimes, the hiring manager may bypass the outside hiring process altogether; and simply hire the known candidate.

I’ve also had numerous conversations with my clients about what they think will happen in the hiring process. The majority assume that the Candidate Pool is the most common scenario. It is. But it accounts for only roughly 25% of hiring. The created position in Setting 2 is less than 5% of hiring. Hiring a known candidate in Setting 3 is how most hiring really happens.

Hiring Picture Simplified: Takeaway

What’s the takeaway here? If you want to cover 100% of the job market, your search strategy needs to integrate all three settings. The common denominator is talking to the hiring manager. Hiring will have to include this step in virtually all cases. But how and when that happens will differ. How?

  • In Setting 1, applicants wait for the employer organization to contact them. They hope the hiring manager will want to speak with them.
  • In Settings 2 and 3, the job seeker takes the initiative to talk to the hiring manager before an opening arises. This means there is also not a large group of competitors for the job. A crucial distinguishing factor.

If you are a job seeker, the best strategy is one that positions you to succeed in all three scenarios. The idea is to proactively contact the hiring managers at your target companies. Then build as much of a relationship as you can at these organizations—preferably with those who have hiring power or know those who do.

Knowing the rules of the game can make all the difference.

You’re only as good as the people you hire,”  ~  Ray Kroc (American fast-food industry pioneer and founder of McDonald’s)


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