The key thing that top recruiters do in order to be successful is to ask the right questions early on. When you receive a job order, it is essential to ask the right questions in order to identify the best talent for your client.
There are five key questions that you should be asking whenever you are receiving a new job order:
1. What are you looking for?
Of course, it is important to get a job description for the open position. However, are you also verbally asking the hiring manager what he is looking for?
When you receive a job description, I recommend that you always read and review the description, but more importantly that you have a live conversation with the hiring manager about the position.
When you are speaking with the manager, push the job description over to the side and simply ask him what he is looking for. Many times, you will be surprised at the difference in the hiring manager’s description versus the job description.
2. What are the “must have” skills?
The hiring manager will likely tell you what his ideal candidate needs to have in the way of skill set. It is important for you to have a solid understanding of which skills are non-negotiable.
Ask the hiring manager which skills are absolute “must haves” versus “nice to haves” in the candidate. This information is extremely helpful when searching for top talent in a tough candidate market and it will allow you to focus your search on what the hiring manager really needs.
3. What type of candidates have you hired in the past and what made them successful?
It is always helpful to have an understanding of the type of talent that your hiring manager is drawn towards. Ask the hiring manager about past hires that have been successful. Find out about their prior work experience and skill sets.
Ask the hiring manager what made these successful hires successful. This not only gives you an understanding of what the hiring manager likes, but it will also provide you with keywords and questions specific to this candidate search.
For example, if you know that your hiring manager prefers candidates who have worked at XYZ company, your first candidate search should be for the right talent working for XYZ company.
4. What is the company culture / environment like?
While candidate skill set is important for any talent search, one of the most important items to include in your search is cultural fit. Make sure you get a good feel for the type of company culture and environment you are recruiting for. If possible, visit the hiring manager in person at the office and ask for an office tour. Take notice of how people are working and the set up of the office.
If an office visit is not possible, be sure to ask the hiring manager to describe the culture and environment so that you can ensure the right cultural fit.
5. When is the new hire needed?
Finding out when the manager plans on hiring for the position is key in order for you to properly set your recruiting priorities. Do not assume that every need is immediate. Some hiring managers like to stay ahead of the game and get the search started months in advance.
Always ask the hiring manager what the targeted hire date is for the position and plan your recruiting activities around that date.
What are some other questions you ask when receiving a job order? Please share your tips in the comments below.