Let’s say you’re an Engineering Manager or Human Resources Manager and looking to fill an urgent void for your company. You have your job description, but you can’t seem to find any proficient matches. Many of our clients know this struggle all too well. The choices seem slim to none and the prospect of filling roles with qualified candidates seems insurmountable.
Whether you realize it or not, you already know the solution. Flexibility is key when it comes to finding the right candidate. Here are a few stories that walk you through what it means to be flexible with candidates.
Story #1: Give 'Em a Chance
We were working with a client that needed a Senior Design Engineer. They made a unique product, had no immediate competition in the area and did not want to relocate anyone because they needed the engineer urgently.
One individual was found that had the right skills, years of experience and even had some familiarity working with the product they made. He was denied an interview because he had only a cursory knowledge of the product instead of years of hands-on experience.
Two simple questions were asked: one, "Would there be any harm in speaking quickly on the phone with him to gauge your interest?" Two, "With no one in the area even understanding what it is you make, would it not be helpful to have someone who does?"
It turns out a resounding YES was the answer to both. The interview went fantastically, he was a cultural fit for their company and had enough knowledge to not only do the job but exceed their expectations. The company found their perfect engineer all because they were willing to look beyond their job description.
Story #2: Give 'Em a Test
A company needed an Electro-Mechanical Engineer and they wanted someone with 3-5 years of experience. One of the recruiters at TriMech discovered someone who had been working on a similar product but was around 2+ years. This company rejected the engineer based on his experience.
Our candidate understood but still wanted to work for this company and felt they could perform the job well. So, we went back to the hiring manager and asked if the candidate could take a test or model something for them to gauge his skill. They agreed. If he could model a part for them at one of TriMech’s offices while being watched by one of TriMech’s engineers, that they would consider him.
The candidate did as they requested, and his work was sent to the company with an observational write-up by our engineer. The company was impressed by the talent level of our candidate and hired him.
The Other Side
Not every story has a happy ending. For every example of success, there are instances were flexibility won’t be in the equation. There have been countless times where we will send candidates to companies who have experience doing exactly what a job description states or the skillsets craved by an Engineering or HR manager, but it doesn't work out. These candidates are turned down because they have six years of experience instead of 10, lacked the exact type of degree stated on the description, lived 15 miles farther than a company would like and so on and so forth.
These rationales can absolutely be barriers for companies. However, every company has unique challenges and certain limitations. The point of this blog isn’t to chastise but ask you to reconsider how you think of candidates. Take the five-minute phone screen, think twice if the years of experience are really too low and consider candidates who might be slightly out of the area. You might save yourself and your company stress, time and money in the long run.