From resumé to job offer

Is your search for a new job taking forever? You seem to be spending so much time just waiting — waiting for an interview, waiting for final approval from the hiring manager and HR manager, waiting for the employment contract.

This article sheds some light on the hiring process, explains why it takes so long and gives some tips on how to improve your chances of success.

The recruitment process starts from the head count approval and sourcing for candidates, to interview management and assessment tests. It requires resources and time.

Hiring practices vary depending on the industry, the company and the hiring manager. Even managers at the same company may use different approaches.

Large organisations typically have a formal hiring structure, more layers in the hiring process and several people involved in the process. These companies tend to attract a large pool of candidates for any one role, and there is a preference to “hire from within”, that is, through internal transfers.

Small organisations and those who hire less frequently may have only one person responsible for hiring, resulting in a faster hiring process.

Generally, the hiring process comprises these steps:

Identify the role

The business unit within the organisation identifies a job vacancy and notifies the HR department. The hiring manager provides details of the role such as the job title, responsibilities or duties of the role, required qualifications, experience and skills, and drafts the job description together with the HR department.

Special traits or qualifications needed for the employee to be successful in this role are also included. The new vacancy gets approved by senior management.

Advertise the role

The role is advertised through various channels, such as internal postings, career fairs, print advertising, online advertising, recruitment providers and social media sites.

Tip: Online advertising channels allow the vacancy to be “live” for longer periods of time, so find out if the role is still available before you apply.

Shortlist candidates

It is common for a job vacancy to attract hundreds of resumés. Very often, the HR manager will do a phone screen to be certain that the candidate’s credentials fit the role. A list of potential candidates is then provided to the hiring manager who further reviews and amends the shortlist of candidates for the first round of interviews.

Tip: The HR department shortlists the best qualified candidates for the role based on the information on the resumé.

The best way to get your resumé past the initial round of screening is to ensure you meet the basic requirements of the role and that your resumé is well presented, that is, well structured and logical, has no errors and is easy to read.

Interviews and decisions

The HR department arranges for the candidates to meet the hiring manager and the HR manager. Candidates are assessed based on their fit with the role, the company and the team.

While everyone involved in the hiring process will contribute feedback on how you fit in, not everyone has the authority to make hiring decisions. Usually it is the manager of the department where the person will work, who makes the final call to hire.

Tip: Find out who will make the final decision or is able to influence the hiring decision. However, treat everyone equally throughout the hiring process.

Waiting game

If you do not hear from the HR department after several weeks, you can assume that the role has been filled or you are not a suitable candidate for the role. Very often, it is not possible for the company to send a rejection letter to every single candidate due to the high volume of resumés received.

Unforeseen events may cause a delay in the hiring process. For example, the hiring manager or interviewer travels extensively, leading to difficulties in setting a date and time for interviews to take place.

During the process of interviewing candidates, HR and hiring managers may realise that the job description and requirements have to be redefined to better suit the needs of the hiring department, or that more stakeholders need to get involved.

Once you have completed the first interview, send a thank-you note or e-mail to the hiring party. If you do not hear from the interviewers after the date they are supposed to get back to you, drop a polite e-mail or make a call to enquire if there are any updates. Do not be too pushy or be overly aggressive and annoy them. Continue to keep your resumé and job search up-to-date.

A company who values, engages and empowers its employees will never make a rash decision when hiring. This is the kind of company worth working — and waiting — for. – Source: ST/ANN

Article by Mike Game, chief executive officer (Asia) of Hudson, a leading provider of permanent recruitment, managed solutions and talent management services.