Hiring Amongst High Unemployment

As organizations and companies begin to stabilize (hopefully) soon, hiring practices may shift and change. Lots may be hiring remotely with most adapting to the weird time we’re collectively in. You also might be under an avalanche of resumes.

A couple core principles in hiring principles we’re reflecting on right now are below:

Weed Out the Desperate:

In an economy where 13.3% of people are unemployed, resumes and CV’s abound. The average hiring manager or recruiter spends 7 seconds looking over a resume. At ICAP, one of our recruiters recently found a resume where in the “About Me” section said that the candidate liked cannolis (not a joke).

Throughout the hiring process, interviewers have to make sure that they gage a candidate’s personality within the context of the workplace today. There’s a lot going on. Candidates aren’t immune from stress, anxiety, or pressure, but organizations must make sure that the candidates fit within the values and culture of the organization as well as excel in the work.

Not just people who need a job. Desperation is fairly easy to spot, but it can appear well-dressed.

Focus on questions related to what this candidate brings like:

-What will you add to our organization?

-Explain a time where you exhibited resilience and perseverance at work.

-Give me an example of how you used problem-solving to find an equitable solution.

Listen and Pass on The Opportunists:

Desperation is fairly easy to spot; opportunists are much harder. Ambition is a great attribute for a candidate, but not at the expense of the company or an organization.

Great companies and organizations create opportunities to equip team members and provide opportunities for candidates to grow, improve, help themselves, and ultimately help the company. When you add up those expenses and investment, companies and organizations need to ensure that the candidate they hire wants to receive those things and contribute to the culture to be a long-term fit.

According to LinkedIn data, “there’s a 76% chance of an employee still being at a company after 12 months there. After two years, there’s a 59% likelihood, and after three years, a 48% chance.” If you’re an organization with little tenure, then job-hopping may not bother you as long as the person gives 100% while they’re there. If that candidate is in a role that requires a lot of ramp-up time, it’s even more crucial that you hire someone looking to hunker down for 3-4 years.

Ensure that the interviewer and the company drill down on the conversation about tenure at your organization.

Ask questions similar to these:

-I see you’ve been at your current position for 6 months. Tell me more about that.

-How long do you think is fair to commit to this company?

-In your experience, what creates disengagement for you?

Hire the Engaged and Enthusiastic:

A few years ago before I got hired at ICAP, I was looking for a position in sales. I was in my early twenties and really needed a job. I interviewed at a few places, but I wasn’t getting a call back. I filled out two more applications and finally got a job. The company that didn’t hire me asked me how I fit within their values and which was most important.

Truthfully, I hadn’t prioritized or done enough research to speak in an educated manner. Obviously, my answer wasn’t great. They made the right decision to go in a different direction.

During the interview process, we’re screening for the people that will take the company to the next level, not just developers, administrative assistants, data scientists, nurses, etc.

When we interview, we’re choosing who we spend a bulk of our time with (unless craziness ensues, and someone can come up with an alternate dimension where time is irrelevant). Patrick Lencioni wrote a great book called The Ideal Team Player, which highlights three key ingredients to a great team member: humble, hungry, and smart.

To screen for candidates that are humble, hungry, and smart ask questions similar to this:

-How do you treat people in a company that would be considered your subordinates?

-How do you think your team would characterize you?

-Give me an example where you had to give or receive tough feedback. How did you handle that?

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