Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Employers, Sell Your Company and your Open Jobs

It has been a while since I last worked with a hiring manager client at a client company who demonstrated a full understanding of what it means to “sell” a job to a candidate.
In 2012, I was on the phone with a hiring manager who had been in his current company for over 25 years.  Most of this hiring manager’s peers had been in the company for 20 to 30+ years.  I doubt that any of these people had been through a foreclosure and they certainly hadn’t tested the waters of the turbulent job market we’ve had in the US in recent years.

Desired Skills

In our conference call where I was gathering the specific skill requirements a candidate would need to deliver, the manager was very clear in describing his expectations.  Most corporate job descriptions are pretty clear in describing a hiring manager’s expectations.  However, what a hiring manager wants is only part of what it takes to identify, recruit and deliver the right talent.
How Should I Sell the Job?

When I started asking my new client how to sell his newly created opportunity, you could cut the tension I had just created with a chainsaw.  A knife would have done no good in the effort to cut this tension.  The hiring manager barked back asking why someone who is looking for a job would need to be sold.  I think the person who set up this conference call forgot to tell the hiring manager that the company had engaged a recruiter who sells and not just an order taker.
The hiring manager was under the impression that with 9% unemployment at the time, that everybody whose resume would cross his desk would be unemployed and hungry for whatever job they could get.  He was unaware that the reason his company engaged me to recruit for them is that I’m able to reach candidates who are gainfully employed, candidates who possess the skills you wish you had on your staff and candidates who more often than not are not looking for a new position.

Highly Skilled Candidates are Generally Gainfully Employed

I politely explained to this hiring manager that the vast majority of people who possessed the skills he was looking for were gainfully employed and that I would be directly recruiting prospective candidates for him.  To my amazement, the hiring manager couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that a gainfully employed person would respond to a professionally delivered recruiting call.  This is what happens when someone has been in a company for 20-30 years.  They fail to recognize how most people live and how most people have to search for employment from time-to-time.
My Chainsaw Worked

It took a while to get this manager talking but I finally broke through the tension and got him to talk about the brand new projects that were slated for development in his group.  It was like pulling teeth but I actually succeeded in getting this hiring manager to talk a little bit about his managerial style and why someone might want to come to work not just for his company but for him.

The last time I saw unemployment figures, the number in the US was 7.8%.  Whether the number is 6% or 10%, chances are very strong that the candidates your company is looking for to fill information security jobs or cyber security jobs are gainfully employed.
When you create a job description, don’t just focus on what you’re looking for in a security job candidate.  Think about what your company has to sell and more importantly, what’s in it for a gainfully employed security professional that possesses in-demand skills to take on the risk of coming to work for you.'s Security Recruiter Blog