This week I’ll wrap up the recruitment and selection of my new communications manager. As I look back on the six-week process, three thoughts resonate in my mind:
- The number of applicants was overwhelming. Though I’m confident I selected the right person, I feel sad knowing that the orchard was so full of low-hanging fruit that I was unable to connect with many, many qualified candidates.
- Too many really good people do a really bad job of branding themselves. They look the same, they use the same worn cliches and therefore they blend into a seamless stretch of beige. Only a few differentiated themselves.
- The tools for conducting a successful job search have changed. Five years ago a resume was much more important than it is today. Too many people waste time obsessing on their resume when they should be using other methods to differentiate themselves.
Among equally-qualified candidates, differentiation comes from being findable online. Differentiation comes from swimming in the deeper end of the social media pool. Differentiation comes with having writing samples, blog posts and other content show up when someone Googles your name.
From the overwhelming number of applicants, I selected a core group of impressive, highly-qualified individuals to interview in person. They had successfully differentiated themselves. They showed up in a Google search. They made it easy for me to learn more about them before I even called to schedule an interview.
The finalists I personally interviewed did certain things I wish every candidate would do. In the next three blog posts I will share 1) what they did right before the interview, 2) how they handled themselves during the interview and 3) what impressed me with their follow through after the interview.