What’s on Paper Isn’t The Whole Story
Ah, the résumé. It’s a job seeker’s chance to unapologetically brag about themselves in the hopes they will convince hiring managers and/or recruiters that they are the best candidate for the job. Some go a bit further than bragging and embellish a bit, even outright lie. In fact, 85 percent of employers caught applicants lying on their résumés.
While the résumé is intended to give employers and recruiters a snapshot view of prospects, they can’t always be trusted to be 100 percent accurate. There are tactics you can use to decipher between truth and fiction, such as searching their social media profiles and contacting references, but there’s something else that tells a whole lot more about a person than what’s on paper: the in-person interview(s).
Yes, you can conduct a phone interview for screening purposes, but if you really want to know what a person is like, you’re going to have to meet them face-to-face. Body language, interpersonal skills, attitude and other character traits aren’t something you can pick up on a résumé or fully appreciate over the phone.
We’ve put together 6 traits recruiters should look for that aren’t going to be on a résumé. Schedule those in-person meetings and look out for the following:
These soft skills are incredibly important. You can have the perfect candidate on paper and then realize in an interview that they can’t carry a conversation, or worse, are offensive. Maybe they interrupt and don’t listen. They may come across as defensive or overbearing.
Alternatively, you may have an average résumé but upon meeting the candidate, are blown away by how well they present themselves. In either situation, pay close attention to their interpersonal aptitude to gauge whether or not they’ll work well with others.
Does the candidate seem excited about the job? Even though your interview may be the tenth they’ve had in a week, they need to show you they really want the job and are excited to take on the job responsibilities. They often put more effort into their jobs and even go beyond what’s required of them.
An enthusiastic employee is one that exudes positivity and is happy at their job. They not only complete their work, but they do it with a smile on their face. Enthusiasm is contagious, too. People are drawn to positive people and in turn, learn to look at things in a more positive light. Ask the candidate ways they’ve gone above and beyond in their previous jobs and see if they can come up with a legit example.
Passion differs from enthusiasm in that passion goes deeper. You can be enthusiastic about a job task, but passion goes to your the core of who you are. You are passionate about social justice, for instance, but enthusiastic to help others create signs for a rally.
When it comes to finding the perfect fit, a candidate that is passionate about what the company does and what the company stands for is an invaluable asset. They will likely champion the brand and see their job as contributing to the overall good. Ask them how their values and interest align with that of the hiring company.
An employee needs to have abundant motivation to come to work every day and do their job. What drives them? Are they go-getters, self-starters and eager to learn? If they have the drive, they have the incentive to do well. Something is challenging them to push forward, even when things get tough.
If an employee is just doing their job because it’s all they have until the next better thing comes along, they won’t be around long. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average employee tenure in 2016 was only 4.2 years. Drive can help extend their stay if they are determined to achieve specific goals. Ask them what goals they have achieved and what their current goals are as it pertains to the specific job or industry they are in.
We’ve talked a lot about company culture and how important it is to find employees that fit into it. Every company has its own feel and cultural fit is highly specific. Employees who feel part of the team simply do better. They contribute more and are more engaged.
A recruiter should know their clients’ cultures well. During the interview, imagine the candidate working in your clients’ specific environment. Can you see a good fit? Would they have a difficult time melding with others? Ask them pointed, customized questions that would answer those questions for you.
Love of Denver
Denver IT recruiters have it good. They get to recruit talent for companies in Denver – not exactly a hard gig. Who wouldn’t want to live and work in such a beautiful city with access to some of the most incredible vistas and outdoor activities in the world?
If you’re an IT recruiter in Denver, you may find it easier to pinpoint the candidates who share your love of the state. Many great candidates will do whatever it takes to work there. They may be more driven and enthusiastic because they realize how lucky they are. When interviewing, ask them what they think about Denver and if they could imagine themselves working anywhere else.
Recruiters may not think of philanthropic activities as much of an indicator of character, but numerous studies prove that doing good for others is good for you. Here are a few of the stats:
- 94% of people who volunteer say it improves their mood
- 96% say it enriches their sense of purpose
- 78% say it lowers their stress levels
- Volunteering is proven to improve happiness, life satisfaction, sense of control over life, physical health and depression symptoms
- Volunteering develops compassion and reduces negativity
Ask your candidates if they volunteer and see if they are passionate about a specific program or contribute their time on a regular basis.
Looking beyond the résumé is a smart tactic for recruiters and employers alike. Those in-person interviews will give you perhaps more quality information about a person than any self-promoting résumé ever could. It may take more than a single meeting with the candidate. The more time you spend with them, the clearer the above attributes will become. It’s worth your time to discover the nuances that make a person who they are in order to place them in the perfect job for both them and your clients.