Since the pandemic started, I don’t think anyone has been the same – that includes Kiandra, which as a company has also changed. I’ve certainly learned a lot.
For one, the jobs market is more competitive, which was the case for the most recent role we advertised. In fact, the job ad was met with many qualified applications, and for the first time – we were inundated.
There were so many applicants who exceeded all the criteria, applicants who have returned to study, applicants looking for flexibility and applicants looking for a change. Applicant after applicant, I found myself wondering how I was going to differentiate between them all without having to call all 150+ candidates?
My shortlist ended up not so short, but here are four things each of the top candidates were doing, which helped them shine above the rest.
They answered the phone with their name.
An incredibly simple concept but it really is about making a good first impression. A solid introduction when applying for roles and answering calls from potential employers, avoids the awkward small talk while trying to figure out who is on the other end of the line.
This was especially important to me during this process as the role required a great phone manner for incoming and outgoing calls with clients and suppliers.
A great first impression recently was [names changed to protect privacy]:
“Hello, this is Buzz Lightyear”
“Hi Buzz, this is Melissa from Kiandra. You recently applied for a position with us, and I’d love to chat further. Would now be a good time?”
“Great to hear from you Melissa. Absolutely, I’d love to chat about my application.”
They were prepared.
During our interview process, we were met with a larger portion of candidates who had researched Kiandra.
I was blown away by how many had lined up quite perceptive questions about how they could contribute, our current strategy and how we intended to operate in this new COVID normal. One even linked a few of her questions and answers to our behaviours. Talk about bringing your A-game!
My tip is to take some time and look at the ‘About Us’ page on an employer’s website or check out their social media, especially LinkedIn, to get a feel for how the organisation positions itself. This will also give you a good insight into how you align with their core values or behaviours, a good measure of how satisfied you could be in the role. If you are applying for quite a few roles, keep a little cheat sheet in the notes on your phone that you can quickly refer to during a call.
They showed us their true colours.
All our top candidates managed to show us a little bit more of themselves during their recruitment process.
Yes, here was their work experience, here were the skills and education, but seeing the person beneath the words and achievements allowed us to really envision them as part of the team.
My tip is don’t be afraid of presenting the person behind the professional. There are many clichés I could insert here but it’s about presenting your whole self to the company. You could link a skill or an example to something you learned outside of your work life, like your regular yoga class or even a passion project, to show your depth.
They had some ‘pluses’.
As a hiring manager, we are looking at ‘can they do the role plus…’, this isn’t a new way of thinking, but it means finding opportunities in the experiences which would enhance the team skills or fill any organisational talent gaps based on current or future objectives of the company.
So as a candidate, think about your experiences and strengths, then position them as a plus. For example, you may only have had a small exposure to this system or platform (or maybe you have none), but you are a quick study and have a strong desire for continuous learning.
My tip is to really think about how you can show your best self. Did you do a lot of presentations at your old job or during uni? Or do you have a future career goal and this role will help you get there? Bring it up when relevant to show your versatility and ability to grow and contribute to the company.
It’s really easy to get caught up in treating recruitment like ‘just another hiring process’ but given the current state of working (the ins and outs of lockdown, needing to pivot and change constantly), we really had to look beyond the idea of filling the role with the same skills and experience of its predecessor, to finding the right person to fit into Kiandra’s future.
Thanks for reading along. I also hope this has provided you with some insight into your next role, wherever that may be.
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