Recruiters are often compared to film and television casting directors. These are experts who select actors not only as the right “fit” in terms of versatility, talent, and charisma, but who also possess a pleasant off-screen personality sure to cause minimal drama. Corporate recruiters are often presented with similar requests from their organizations. They are tasked with finding a person who not only fits the hard skills—such as talent, education, and abilities—but also soft skills preferred by a specific department.
Corporate recruiters help to create a company brand. Their focus is on building rapport with candidates to ensure that new hires fit both the corporate culture and a given department. Certain departments have a specific ambiance. Some are outgoing and collaborative. In others, employees work independently, but catch up through weekly meetings. A recruiter may be asked to find a new hire who can perform the necessary duties while also fitting the existing departmental vibe, ensuring a smooth transition and quick camaraderie. An example of soft skills may be a sense of humor, a self-starter mentality, or the ability to blend with strongly opinionated personalities.
How does a recruiter narrow down candidates for a given position? What qualities grab their attention? How do they become convinced of the right fit? Aleron recruiter Robert Longley shares tips that shed light on the process.
Clarity and organization are your introduction. “An organized, clearly-formatted resume catches my eye,” Longley says. “Recruiters sometimes view one hundred or more resumes for each position, so easy-to-read resumes do stand out. A candidate’s work experience is the immediate draw.”
Re-familiarize with your own background. Many candidates do not take the time to brush up on their experiences and skills and, therefore, cannot explain them in an organized, linear fashion. Longley adds, “Interviews are opportunities for candidates to learn, and also sell themselves as a candidate. Those who exhibit enthusiasm and provide clear, interesting examples of skills and experiences have an advantage. Be confident of what you bring to the table and prepare to discuss it.”
Listen well. Soft skills can make a difference. “Hiring managers share the qualities they wish for in a candidate. Certain personalities are a better fit than others. A recruiter uses behavioral and situational questions to gain a better understanding of a candidate’s demeanor.” Pay attention to tone and wording; find and utilize examples that illustrate how your personality is a good match for a potential team.
Preparation = interest. Remember, your goal is to feel fulfilled and happy within an organization. Assess the personalities of your interviewers. Do they seem stressed? Happy? Eager to discuss your background? Do they smile easily? Do you feel at ease with them? Longley suggests researching the company and preparing questions about the department and people you would be working closely with so if the job is offered, you feel confident in your decision. This process is just as much for you as it is for the organization looking to fill the role.