Written by Cindy Nowack
Think Like a Hiring Manager and Land the Job
Jessica Pierce has learned a thing or two about what hiring managers look for when finding quality candidates. She owned her own staffing company, and is now the Founder and Executive Director of Career Connectors, a non-profit organization that connects professionals in career transition with hiring professionals and quality resources. Career Connectors has grown from 25 people meeting for the first time for resume review and interview prep to the powerhouse non-profit it is today, serving more than 31,000 people and 750 companies in the metro Phoenix area. So when Jessica took the stage, everyone in the audience paid attention to what she had to say.
Most people wonder why didn’t they get the call back for a job opening. They had the qualifications and experience, but it’s more than just that. If you think like a hiring manager, they are looking for quality candidates they know will do well in that position. If you apply online, you are just an email address, not a person. Think about ways to set yourself apart from the other applicants. You need to customize yourself.
Employers and their hiring managers prefer hiring people they know. Companies with a referral bonus give certain candidates a prescreened option if an employee refers them. The retention rates of referred employees are higher than others, so this saves the company time and money.
Social media is also an essential tool across industries for finding qualified candidates. Top recruiters are 60% more engaged with LinkedIn recruiting tools than the average recruiters. Know these three key words for connecting with the right people on LinkedIn at your target companies:
- Talent acquisition
You should be connecting with the recruitment teams at your target companies, so they can get to know you. This is a step in setting yourself apart from the other job applicants. When looking for candidates, recruiters will tend to pull from their own networking pool first to fill the position.
Jessica also promotes networking as an important component in landing your next job. Don’t get stuck behind your desk, applying for jobs online all day. You need to show up and meet people. Jessica used Anthony as an example.
Anthony had been looking for his next position for months with no luck. Jessica got his commitment to actively network for four weeks. After the 4 weeks, Anthony felt like it was working, so he continued making these connections through networking. At the end of only 6 weeks, he had two job offers!
Jessica refers to the 3 Cs of Hiring:
Competence + Character + Chemistry = Culture Match.
You will want to connect with others as your first step to getting hired. The audience took a few minutes to list three things each of us can do to connect with others. A networking event, career fair, even coffee with a friend can build those connections. Take a few minutes now to write down three connection points to help you build your own connections.
The next step is competence. Think about your skills, knowledge, experiences, and accomplishments that can show your competency for job openings. Take a few minutes now to write down three of your competencies.
Character traits are also important in customizing yourself. If you need help with identifying your characteristics, Career Connectors offers a DISC assessment online at no charge to job seekers. Based on your answers to a series of questions, the assessment will provide an evaluation of your behaviors and traits. Take a few minutes now to write down three of your own character traits.
The third “C” is chemistry. First impressions are important, and most people know within the first few minutes whether there is a connection. When you meet the hiring manager face to face for your interview, the handshake is an important step in making the connection. Jessica says match the other person’s pressure with 2-3 pumps and let go. No lingering! She had each of us try our handshake with others in the room. Practice this with your family or friends so you are prepared with a good handshake.
Remember these steps before, during and after your interview to help set yourself apart from the others.
Before the interview:
Research the employer
Know your resume
Prepare and review your interview notes
During the interview:
Dress to impress
Arrive 5-10 minutes early
Engage with everyone
After the interview:
Send thank you notes
Connect on LinkedIn/Social Media
If you would like additional help knowing the winning strategies of networking for a job, Jessica recommends Molly Wendell and Executives Network. Molly has been dubbed “The Job Whisperer.” Her networking techniques are effective and proven to work.
You now have a few nuggets of information that can help you think like hiring managers, and hopefully create that culture match with you and your new employer. Hiring managers want to find the culture match for their company, but you also need to know if the company is a good culture match for you as well. Use Jessica’s 3 Cs of Hiring to help you find the culture match that works for both of you.
Goodwill has 22 career centers in central and northern Arizona with 3 career advisors at each location. They offer help with your resume, mock interviews, and more than 1,000 positions posted to their internal job board. All of these resources are at no cost to you. Stop in one of the career centers Monday – Thursday, 9am-3pm, and Friday, 9am-1pm.
Goodwill offers donation drives across the state to support schools. They can bring a van to your location, and pay 10 cents for every pound donated. Then, Goodwill puts 90 cents of every dollar back into its workforce development.
Denise and her colleagues at Goodwill are committed to the company mission of ending unemployment by providing sustainable employment opportunities and building stronger communities.
Paychex was founded in 1971 with their headquarters in Rochester, NY. Their location in Phoenix is close to the I-17 and Bell Road. Paychex is a provider of human resources solutions and human capital management. The company has many accolades, including number 5 on the “50 Best Companies to Sell For.”
Their company culture promotes a positive and professional work environment, a work life balance, career pathing and promotions, and community involvement.
Current openings include:
- Payroll specialists and dedicated service representatives
- 401K and S125 advisors and coordinators (Retirement Services)
- Online service advisors
- HR generalists
- Agency advisors
Established in 1978, Avesis is a dental, vision and hearing insurance company that has recently acquired Guardian. Avesis covers more than 8.5 million members.
Their current openings are:
- Customer service representative (pays $15.25/hour; class starting in September)
- Data entry specialists
- Data entry team lead
- Vision claims processor
- Vision utilization management processor
Founded in 1928, Farmers Insurance is one of the largest and most respected insurance brands in the United States. Farmers is a leading insurer of small- and medium-sized businesses, and also operates a rapidly growing financial services company.
There are currently two locations in Phoenix, but all employees will be based at the I-17 and Pinnacle Peak location within the next few years. Farmers is looking to grow in the Phoenix market, hiring 300-400 new employees who have a passion for helping others and putting the customer first.
Two positions that Farmers is currently hiring are:
Customer service: taking inbound calls from policy holders or field agents. This role needs decision-making and problem-solving skills, in addition to excellent communication and computer skills.
Inbound sales: providing customer service and product knowledge for internal and external customers. This role pays a base salary plus commission, and must pass a licensing exam.
To apply, go to www.farmersinsurance.com/careers.
As Jessica Pierce mentioned in her presentation, the DISC assessment can be a valuable tool for identifying your character traits, the words that describe who you are. You can take those descriptors to match against job descriptions that interest you. The DISC assessment is offered by Career Connectors at no charge. Click on careerconnectors.org/disc/.
The next event is in Gilbert on Tuesday, July 31 when Ted Robison presents “Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out.” On Thursday, August 9, Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins presents “From Transition to Triumph: Mentally Regrouping In the Midst of Career Change” in Phoenix. You won’t want to miss either of these amazing speakers and their relevant topics for your job search.