New to the Game? Understanding The Hiring Process

  • Date : 26 Mar, 2022

In the job market game, what is important is not how the game is supposed to be played, but how it is really played. Significant research clearly outlines three key channels that best describe the hiring process: The applicant pool, the created position and the known candidate. With my combined recruiting and hospitality experience spanning 30 years, all hiring fits into one of these channels.

1. The Applicant Pool: An employee leaves, thus creating an open position. To fill that position, the company collects a large pool of applicants and screens them. The candidates selected from the applicant pool are then interviewed by the hiring manager. The hiring manager makes a final selection and together with the direct report hires that person.

2. The Created Position: A job seeker identifies a need within an organisation. The hiring manger and job seeker discuss the need. The job seeker develops and present a “hiring” proposal to meet the need. The hiring manager creates a position around the job seeker’s skills and interests, and the job seeker is hired to fill it.

3. The Known Candidate: A hiring manager knows several qualified candidates and has them in mind as possible additions to the staff in the event a position opens up or a new one is authorised. When a position becomes available, the hiring manager may go through the motion of collecting, screening and interviewing a pool of candidates, but then hires one of the known candidates. Or, the hiring manager simply hires a known candidate without collecting an applicant pool at all.

The applicant pool is often perceived to be the way hiring happens, but actually accounts for about 25% of hires. The created position is less than 5%, but gives the organisation outstanding candidates. The 3rd option is how most hiring actually happens in Hospitality, or nearly 70%. Do you make yourself known?

If you want to cover 100% of the job market, your search strategy needs to take into account all three of these channels. The key point is that you always talking to the hiring manager, or go through someone who is! Each channel is unique. In the applicant channel, candidates wait for the hiring company to contact them and hope that hiring manger will want to speak with them. In the remaining 2 channels, the person in search taken the initiative to talk to the hiring manager before there is an opening and negate a large pool of competitors.

The best search strategy is to position yourself to succeed in all three channels. This can be done by pro-actively contacting the hiring managers at your target companies, specialist recruiters and building as much of a relationship as you can with them and key personnel. Don't rely on generalist job boards only; they do not offer an optimal return for your career. 

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