Monday, August 17, 2009

I like such candidates! Really.

Recently, I tweeted (you could follow more updates here) about recruitment and how 'Amazing Does Happen' in recruitment too. Here’s a case in point:

As a hiring manager, you’ve been interviewing a lot of candidates for a position in your team. There were many questions asked to each of them. Some they could answer, some they couldn’t. The interview was done. You moved on to the next candidate. The candidate moved on too, to other companies for more interviews. Then along comes a candidate who completely takes you off guard! He either writes/calls you to let you know that post-interview, he went back to books/internet/even met experts in a bid to find out the answers to interview questions he wasn’t able to the answer then. That’s the kind of candidate I would love to hire. Absolutely.

It talks about a lot of positive things about the candidate:

- Interest in the role he has interviewed for. It’s more than a need or want.
- He accepted feedback. He was told his answer was wrong. He took it. Worked on it. Came back with an answer.
- Showed he could take the initiative to learn and research for answers. Easier to say, “I don’t know”. Tougher to act on it.
- Tells us that he was motivated enough to get the job, by doing some self-learning.
- Going beyond his line of duty. He could have thought, “Well, I didn’t make it here. Let me try my luck elsewhere”. Right? But that didn’t happen. Off course, it’s in his best interest. But how many candidates have come across who came back with answers?

Maybe, just maybe, you might argue that the above reasons aren’t enough to hire a person. But these skills are more like personality traits. There could be many more good traits that I might have missed out while coming up with the list. The bottom line is that, here is a candidate who took the efforts to go back and learn. That’s attitude not a skill-set.

So if you are a candidate who has recently interviewed, here’s a question for you, “What are you doing about the interview feedback you receive?”

I see a high-value potential if you can act on that feedback and then go back to the hiring manager with answers. Yes, the chances maybe slim since managers are usually skeptical about reconsidering candidates they had earlier rejected. But there’s nothing to lose in giving it a shot. If you acted with the right intention and willingness, it will show in the way you present your answers. There’s a very high possibility that the hiring manager will come back to you, if he doesn’t find a suitable person from the candidate pipeline. By doing this, you are only improving your chances of getting hired – either now or in future. You just left a positive impression on the manager! My experience tells me, such candidates should be sure shot hires!

However, you’ll need to ensure, you do not stalk the manager in your quest to send him your answers. Write him one mail which maybe the best option. Or leave one voicemail (if you don’t get him on the phone the first time you try), asking for a good time to call back to explain your case. Please do not overdo this. Like sending your answers to everyone you know in that company (it does happen!). It will just kill your reputation.

Any thoughts from hiring managers? Or even candidates? Do you agree with me? You don’t need to. But then, let me know your take.