Whether you are the hiring manager or the candidate being interviewed, hiring is personal, now more than ever. Candidate behavior has changed more in the past 5 years than at any time in the past 30 years, but few employers have updated their hiring practices. This creates some real challenges on both sides of the interview desk, and more than a few opportunities to gain a real competitive advantage.

What’s different about hiring now? Why is it more personal?

We all have the internet in our pocket—an instant connection to the world. It used to be a pager or a Blackberry—a corporate device. But now it’s a PDA—a personal device.  We use our smart phones in a more personal way. We research, comment on, and share anything we want. We’re untethered from a wall connection, independent of our employers, and more free to be ourselves. American Idol taught us all to be a critic and a reviewer. Social media gave voice to our opinions on hundreds of digital platforms. And Amazon has taught us to be more trusting of anonymous reviewers than of anyone working in an official capacity.

Amidst this explosion in user generated information, we’ve all learned to filter out the irrelevant. In the noisy digital world we inhabit, it’s only the personal messages that get heard. Everything else is filtered out.

That’s what made hiring more personal now than ever. And most of hiring did not keep up.

Much of hiring is still trapped in a prehistoric time where dull job descriptions stomp around like dinosaurs, competing to attract a stack of  resumes from candidates. These resumes are all written using the same empty phrases from the job description. So nobody is communicating effectively.  

On both sides of the interview table, nobody listens to corporate-speak anymore. So whether you are sharing the story of your organization, or explaining the arc of your career, authenticity matters most.

  • No hiring manager will be interested to hear how you “facilitated a synergistic interaction with a client.” They will, however, be eager to hear about a situation where you solved a real problem for a real person.
  • No candidate thinks that job descriptions make riveting reading. Most of the language is impenetrable and incomprehensibly vague, “The successful candidate will have the demonstrated ability to develop and execute strategies to achieve strategic objectives.”

So, as a candidate, what can you do to make hiring more personal?

What exactly improves your odds of creating a strong connection with another human being? How can you get the attention of the hiring manager and make your case? How can you get your point across even when the hiring process is trapped in the land before time? Your ability to tell the right stories about your experience is every bit as important as your experience itself.

The Staffing Advisors team has successfully completed hundreds of executive searches. We know from experience that the job search process is stressful for even the most accomplished executives. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s what our Job Search Guide is for.

So, as a hiring manager, what can you do to make hiring more personal?

How can you get the attention of top candidates? As the job market tightens and recruiting becomes more challenging, how can you update your hiring process so you are not trapped in the land before time? How can you organize your recruiting efforts to appeal to the most selective people?

If you’ve ever wondered what candidates are thinking these days, or where they are looking for jobs, or wondered how you could attract better people, we have a few resources for you. First up, our thinking on the “millennial problem” – how the stereotype against them doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and what about an employer they find most appealing.

From our other resources, you’ll not only see the latest research on candidate behavior, you’ll learn with to do about it, right now, on a budget. And once you understand what candidates are doing, you’ll be able to organize your recruiting efforts to be more effective. You are welcome to learn more about the executive search and hiring process in our Resource Center.

These three following resources are for you if you find yourself wondering about:

  • Why good people are not answering your ads
  • Where is the best place to spend your limited time and recruiting budget?
  • What is the real impact of bad reviews on sites like Glassdoor?

Most job advertising budgets are wasted on ineffective ads that don’t reach the right people. Effective job postings attract the right people for the right reasons, so you spend your time interviewing people who will fit into your culture and stay long enough to deliver results.

Download the Staffing Advisors Guide to Effective Job Advertising to learn how to make your job postings twice as effective:

The future of your recruiting efforts is now in the hands of anonymous reviewers. And not only is employer reputation management critical to being competitive, it’s also important to your own career.