It can be easily assumed that no matter how long you have been a hiring manager- or appointed with the task of hiring new employees in your department- you have certainly met a vast array of people. Some are qualified, some are not. Some are quiet and shy, while others are extremely bold and outgoing. You can never really know what you are going to get. If you have been working in this position for quite some time, then chances are nothing surprises you anymore. Candidates will walk in without a clue about the company, some may be sloppily dressed and others may be chomping down on a stick of gum like a cow chewing it’s last grab of grass. Although you may have seen everything already, there are still a few job seekers that can manage to puzzle you.
Chief among them are the aggressive job seekers. So often job posts will clearly state, “Please no calls about this position.” After all, as the hiring manager you already have enough to filter through without having to answer phone calls about the job as well. So when it comes to filling a position and moving forward in the hiring process, are aggressive job seekers good or bad?
It seems as though there is no clear-cut yes or no answer to this question. At the core, it depends heavily on what your company culture is like. With the extreme use of social media in the recruiting and hiring process, proper etiquette for the job search has become a bit fuzzy. Job seekers can now easily reach out to a company through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook gaining tons more information than before. They can easily grab hold of contact information and, without thinking twice, can call and send emails questioning your open position.
While most companies prefer not to indulge in the aggressiveness of a job seeker, making a lasting impression and being memorable is definitely expected from candidates. It seems as though there is a fine line between a desperate job seeker and an aggressive job seeker that is sincerely interested and excited in the position. If a candidate gives you a call, even when you specifically state not to, but delivers a message that both intrigues you and leaves a memorable impression, do you discount them simply because they were aggressive? Likely no, since this aggressive job seeker not only went out of their way to get your attention but once they had it they secured it with their skill. However, an aggressive job seeker that sends countless emails on whether or not you received their resume may not fit in so nicely with the latter, and their resume will likely be discarded. So when is an aggressive job seeker not acceptable by any means?
A while back we discussed how hiring is much like dating. The fine dance between job seekers and employers can end up a disaster, or a great union. We can hark back to this comparison and apply it to our aggressive job seeker. No one appreciates multiple calls from the same person- job seeker or date. As stated earlier, it may be annoying for a job seeker to call you about an open position, but what if you like what they have to say? While some employers may oppose this greatly, it depends on you and what you find acceptable. What is not acceptable, however, is a job seeker that calls multiple times inquiring about the job. If they are going to call out of the blue, once should be enough. If you have received their resume and find them to be qualified, then reach out to them.
A great way to avoid the above scenario from desperate, or aggressive, job seekers is to be a polite employer. If you have whittled your list of qualified candidates down, then let the other applicants know that they did not make the cut. Job seekers often complain about the lack of interaction or feedback from employers in the hiring process. Communicating with your job seekers can help you to avoid the multiple calls from aggressive job seekers. Make sure you are creating a good candidate experience so that aggressive or desperate job seekers are hindered.
Lying on a Resume
Did you know that 21 percent of job seekers lie, or exaggerate, on their resume? Keep this statistic in mind if you stumble upon an aggressive job seeker that seems too good to be true. They just might be! Be sure to check out a candidate’s past work experience and make sure they have the skills they say they have. You can do this by checking references and administering a skill test of some sort during the hiring process. They may be telling the truth, but you want to be sure you aren’t being played by an aggressive job seeker anxious to get the job.
There is a difference between desperate job seekers and aggressive job seekers. Most employers would say they appreciate an aggressive job seeker that knows what they want and is determined. However, that aggressive job seeker can easily turn into a desperate one. Be sure to focus on candidate experience during your hiring process to ensure you are presenting a good one. Not doing so may result in a frenzy of desperate job seekers- and more work for you in the end.
Have you dealt with aggressive job seekers in the past? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Marco Bellucci