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11 Dec
2014

Betty Ebbi John

Director
 

A burning question is always being asked. What do hiring managers concern about?

For the past few years, coaching hundreds of working professionals from executive to senior management levels lead me to one big discovery. One of the most popular mistakes people made when speaking to hiring managers is they tend to talk more about themselves.

For example, one of my coaching clients Andrew said the following during our first session:

  • "I want to have an exciting and challenging job"
  • "I like to have a better work-life experience"
  • "I want to have a conducive working environment with a supporting boss"

What do you think about Andrew's statements? Sounds familiar? In fact, almost 90% of my clients have this initial problem. I call this the "I, I, I syndrome. Yes, this might be your ideal working environment. But interestingly, you are more likely to get what you want when you focus on giving first. This is also one of the main reasons why many of them could not get the job they want because they focus on themselves first and not what the hiring manager wants.

Hiring managers pay attention to what you can do for them, not the other way round.

They are not interested in knowing that you head the customer service department, but they do care that you maintained the highest customer satisfaction rating in your territory. They are not interested in knowing that you are a copywriter, but they do care that the product gained a 15% increase in market share after you rewrote the slogan.

Hiring managers think about and are concerned with the results you can produce based on your experience and not so much on your title or job responsibilities. It is the results of your achievements that matter.

Each of your skills needs to be backed up with concrete and relevant examples.

Think of it this way: anybody can type, but only a few can say that they can support typing assignments for five associates and never receive a document back for correction. Anybody can be an accountant, but not everyone can spot a financial discrepancy in the books that eventually led a company in saving millions of dollars in expenses.

Hiring managers need results. If you can make them believe in you, then you have a great chance of being hired.

The term "Hiring Managers" in this article is not referring to human resource managers, recruiters, talent acquisition, etc... The definition of "Hiring Managers" from my perspective are those who are potentially your superiors or bosses.

 

The following table created is to show who are your potential hiring managers:

 

 

 

 

3 Advantages of Speaking with Hiring Managers:

Speaking with hiring managers before there is a need for a job makes them notice you. While you are doing your market research, you are already learning about your target companies and the issues they face. If you can identify the problems and find solutions for them, if you can identify a need that they haven’t realized yet – then bringing it to the attention of the hiring manager will make you stand out as someone who actually knows what he/she is doing.

Speaking with hiring managers before there is a public announcement of the job opening raises your chances. While the job opening is not yet announced, you have a bigger chance of getting the hiring manager’s attention. At this stage you are not competing with anyone yet – you can establish a more meaningful connection, without the distraction of having to deal with other candidates vying for the same position. Once there is an opening, the competition can be intense. Communication will be stunted, and the hiring manager will be hard-pressed to treat everyone in the same manner.

Speaking with hiring managers cut down search time. Possibility of getting hired is very high if you speak to a total of between 20-30 suitable hiring managers. When the job market is strong, the average number of conversations with hiring managers may be less than 20; in a poor job market, the average may be more than 30. However, the average standard is around range of 20-30.

 

You need to access how many hiring managers you need to speak with? There are a number of reasons why some people in search speak with a large number of hiring managers and others succeed by talking only to a small number.

Sometimes it is due to the right time and also it depends on the difficulty level of the job search. Other possible factors will be the quality of your marketing plan, the effectiveness of your interpersonal skills, your skill in meeting and network with people and any other personal challenges you might be facing, such as lacking of discipline or procrastination.

Once the marketing plan is completed, you will have a better gauge on the level of difficulty in your job search process.

We believe it is important to estimate the challenges of the planned search:

  • What is the reaction of people in relate to your qualifications and marketing plan?
  • What do people inside your targeted organizations say about you?
  • Will they speak the good stuff about you or will they say that you are just one of the average candidates?

Being observant of these early signs will enable you to determine the challenges of your job search and the total number of hiring managers you need to speak with.

This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by Ngee Key Chan.

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