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Hiring someone is a bidirectional process

16 May 2017
9 Oct 2020
5 minutes

A little more than three weeks ago, I announced that I was ending my adventure as a freelancer. Since, I focussed on finishing my contracts and got some me time, basically to recover from a nasty cold. Still, I had some interesting discussions in the marvellous world of jobs searching. Too often, people tend to forget that hiring someone is a bidirectional process: I’m evaluating you as much as you are evaluating me…

In other words: how you handle the hiring process says a lot about you, and the company. Let me gives you some examples…

The job description does not represent the job opportunity

It happened to me quite often that the online description didn’t fit at all the vision of the hiring manager. Looking for a Technical Evangelist? Once on the phone, it’s clearly a Technical Writer role. Wants someone with public speaking skills that can travel 30% and more of his time? Finally, nothing will happen offline: the focus is about scaling online, only. Searching for a great Developer Advocate? Oh sorry, for us it’s the same job as a Sales Engineer. Communications and seriousness of the hiring process may be huge issues here, and it’s no fun.

Interview or feedback process is taking forever

I know, processes! Still, it doesn’t make sense to me that it can take up to 4-6 weeks between the first contact and a job offer, if any. In my case, I’m in no hurry: I want to make sure I find the right fit for me as I’m aiming at long-term. Quite often, people need a job sooner than later. People are busy, I get it, but you should take the hiring process seriously. It often takes a week between a LinkedIn message (or email) and a simple reply: we are in 2017, for real?

No preparation before the interview

Wait a minute? By not taking the time to do some basic preparations, you are saying out loud, “I don’t value your time, and neither mine. You are not important or this role is not!”. It’s that simple. I usually end the process right after that as I find it a total lack of respect and it’s an important value for me.

Vision of the role is totally different from one person to another

I can’t pretend to know what it is to handle many interviews for different roles within a company. I’ve hired people in the past, but not at scale. Still, I guess that discussing with the person hiring for that role is the least you can do. Too often, I had a good talk with HR about the perfect role for me, but once I move to the next level, it was not even close to reality. It makes me think about the job description I was talking before: how can such a gap is possible?

Salary? It’s not important…

Let’s be honest, I know nobody, I said, nobody, that would work if they didn’t need money. We all need a job to live, so I kind of guess that salary is important. Why is it so hard to have at least a ballpark on the role you are looking to fill? If you gave a number too low, there is always an opportunity for discussion. If it’s too high, fine, you won’t save on your budget, but you’ll have an even more happy camper working for you. In any cases, tricking or relaying this part to a second-class citizen isn’t good at all. Don’t get me wrong! I will never take a job I don’t like even if the compensation is amazing. On the other side, I’ve worked hard to reach that lifestyle and I want to keep it. No need to go though all the processes to finally end up with an offer on the table too far away: we both lost our time.

Let’s discuss about what you are looking for

Here, I’m talking about people who want to have a talk with you even if they have no open positions that would make sense. They want to know you better. Who knows about the future? I can understand the value of this, trust me, but the problem is that I’m looking for a job right now and since I’m quite transparent, you have a pretty good idea of my background and where I would be a good fit… or not. It’s also rare that a company will create a role for someone right away. What I need now is to focus on the possibility at reach. In other words, going out for a coffee with everybody is unfortunately, non-realistic.

I know, it seems like I’m complaining a lot here (I’m good at it!), but I also got many good experiences in the past. I hope my message is clear: I care about my next challenge and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does… I also want you to care about your next employee and I’m sure you do…

Is the company caring about the values I live by? Are the people valuing my time as much as I value their? Would the team will be a good fit for me? Are they honest and transparent in the hiring process as much as I would like them to be once I’ll work there? There are so many questions I can ask myself to try to know the company better. Truth is, most of them are answered without any words: it’s all about the way you are acting. You cannot treat all potential candidates as rock stars, but at the same time, you should…

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