October 29, 2014 by Walter Cogan
Just about every day in our busy IT recruiting or staffing practice, our clients send us job descriptions to assist them with locating top talent for their organization. In many cases, these job descriptions are provided to us by the client’s Human Resource/Talent Acquisition team and sometimes by the hiring manager. Regardless of who provides us the job description, it is always critical to the outcome of the candidate search for us to have a direct conversation with the hiring manager.
A job description is a wonderful tool that provides recruiters with a list of skills and experience that a candidate will require to successfully accomplish the job. What is does not provide us with is what we like to call “the job behind the job.” What we mean by that is that we need to hear directly from the hiring manger what they are seeking from candidates that is not mentioned in the job description. For instance, does the position require specific traits like the ability to get along well with others, advanced language skills, or the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies or constantly changing requirements? Does the candidate need to have a willingness to work long hours or on occasion late into the evening or on the weekends? Does the candidate need to have ability to work well on a team and will they be required on occasion to stand in front of a group and use a whiteboard to give a presentation?
As a professional recruiter, learning this type of “additional” information, regardless of what it is, is paramount to a successful search. When we have a direct conversation with a hiring manager we can ask all types of probing questions that will often elicit information on the position requirements that will never appear on a job description. Having this information will “always” allow us to do a better job sourcing candidates for our clients and will always increase the odds of a successful search.