Recruiting the right talent can be a challenging process – and for leaders looking for their next opportunity, finding that perfect position for your particular talents isn’t easy either.
But whether you’re looking for a job or trying to hire someone, taking a strategic approach to your search can help you overcome the challenges to finding that perfect fit.
Our guest today, Dan Yu, is the Founder of FastBook Advisors, a new kind of talent agency that focuses on strategic consultation in sales and marketing, organizational structure and design, talent acquisition, and human capital management.
We discuss the biggest challenges faced by both employers and job hunters, and how both can more effectively navigate their way through this process by having a clear strategy.
A Unique Perspective
Dan has a unique perspective on the recruiting process because he’s seen the struggle from every side.
Dan spent much of his career in financial technology having built trading desks, sales and marketing teams and their processes in small and large companies. With this corporate experience and context of having been in several sales leadership positions himself, this has given him an appreciation of the hiring manager’s challenges as well as the struggles many have when looking for their next opportunity.
Now he’s combining his operational experience, with his inherent understanding of the urgency around a hiring manager’s goals, and applying that knowledge to improve the search process.
Challenges & Misconceptions for Hiring Managers
As a hiring manager, you have expectations with respect to who you feel would be the right candidate. But if you have unrealistic expectations about the kind of person you want, and the time it will take to find them, then as Dan says, “You’re more behind the eight ball, as far as achieving your goals.”
Dan also tells us that often, hiring managers have a Goldilocks Problem; they’re looking for a perfect candidate that checks off every box on a list, but that’s not actually an effective way to find someone who can solve critical business problems.
Challenges & Misconceptions for Job Hunters
LinkedIn has transformed the world of recruiting and finding job opportunities. As such, you as a job hunter need to prioritize your LinkedIn profile. However, what he finds is that many do not.
This is the first thing that many hiring managers or recruiters will see about you, and you want to make a good impression. This is the brochure for your personal brand.
Dan has also found that many job hunters aren’t actually clear about the job they’re looking for, which makes it almost impossible to find the right role. As a result, they may be applying blindly via email or on LinkedIn and feeling like their application has gone into a black hole.
Further, they aren’t properly communicating their value throughout the recruiting process which will make it hard for a recruiter or hiring manager to understand how the job candidate can directly help their goals and address their needs.
For Hiring Managers:
You need to clearly communicate the business goals to the recruiter and hire based on those goals – not an exhaustive checklist of requirements.
Convey to the recruiter the problem you are trying to solve, rather than the seat you are looking to fill. That will get them to think about how to best solve for the issues by finding the right candidates.
Be realistic about your hiring timeline. Map out the timeframe when you want to have a new hire come in and then work backwards to when you need them to make the impact on your business goals. It takes time to get great executive talent.
You have to make time to provide ongoing feedback to your recruiter regarding candidates. The faster you give feedback, the faster you’ll get the talent you seek.
For Job Hunters:
"Think of your career like a business, and you're the CEO." Have a clear strategy for what you want your career path to be, then figure out the subsequent tactics that need to happen. A recruiter can’t help you if you don’t have your own career strategy.
Think about whatever role you are in today, and consider that the launching off point for the following role. It’s important to set that long term path.
Build your LinkedIn profile so that it's not a minimalist profile. It’s part of marketing, part of messaging, part of productizing your experiences so that it's attractive to a potential recruiter.
Share stories and accomplishments that demonstrate your impact. If you don’t put anything on your profile, it signals to the recruiter that you may not be serious about your career.
Plus, if you don’t even have the right keywords on your profile, you won’t even appear in their search.
As a candidate, you have think about your message and your stories. Demonstrate your aptitude and impact in helping to solve their business goals so you close the cognitive gap between what they’ve already read and what they can hear from you.
Remember - “bitter and angry isn’t sexy.” Whether you were unfortunately let go from your company or you are currently employed but not happy, you need to come across positive.
Have a disaster recovery/business continuity plan for your career and never stop looking. Think of the 50% rule: half your day, in an ideal world, is doing your job. The other half is managing your career. That half can be networking, and ultimately, making that network work for you in the long run.
Be kind and generous. Treat all the people in your network in a good way because you never know who can make that valuable connection or who could hire you in the future (it may even be a current employee!).
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