Hiring Managers Speak Up About Lazy (yet qualified) Candidates

Lazy candidates

As a recruiter, I’ve had the luxury of a bird’s eye view into the minds of hiring managers.  I’ve admired how quickly they can spot talent, and have also noticed their innate ability to toss qualified candidates aside.  Why so quick to judge?  Signs of laziness, they say. More hiring managers are speaking up about lazy, yet qualified candidates, at an increasing pace.

Now, I’m not talking about lazy candidates who don’t get in front of hiring managers at all.  I’m talking about laziness seen among highly qualified candidates.

So, just what are the signs of laziness in qualified candidates?

Lazy (but Qualified) Candidates Don’t Do Enough Research

Perhaps they think their qualifications speak for themselves or there is no one else who can do what they do, but there are many highly qualified candidates who come to hiring managers knowing little about the company or specific job they are seeking.

Research should be the very first step of any candidate coming across a job post of high interest.  I’m talking about more than a cursory internet search.  I’m recommending candidates do time consuming analysis.

To begin, candidates must pour over the description itself.  This might involve printing it out, underlining key words, and taking note of each skill required.

Then, candidates should stand back and look objectively at their own skills.  If they were the hiring manager, would they deem themselves qualified?  If not, they should stop the process there and wait for a better fit.

If they are qualified for the position, they should next research the ins and outs of the company.  Take notes about the website, look at how it’s organized and worded.  Know how long the company has been in business, how money is made, and how it serves its customers.  Understand the big picture.

Then, take it one step further.  Look at the company’s LinkedIn profile, check to see if any LinkedIn connections work there or have worked there, and do a Google search to find news articles about the company.

If a candidate is thinking about spending eight hours plus a day in the position, then putting research hours in now is really just a drop in the bucket.

Lazy Candidates Don’t Tailor Their Resume/Cover Letters to the Specific Job

Let’s face it.  Job searching is its own part time job.  My advice to serious candidates: tailor your resume and cover letter to each individual job. According to a 2017 study conducted by LinkedIn, the average resume is reviewed within 6 seconds! My advice: showcase your relevant experience early and often.

Without compromising honest qualifications and skills, candidates should make tweaks to their resume based on each individual position.  For some positions, this may mean changing just a bit of wording in the objective.  For other positions, candidates may need to actually move bullet points around or change them altogether.  They might need to highlight different experience from past roles.

In my experience, many hiring managers don’t read cover letters. But if this is part of your preferred practice, I recommend mentioning specifics from the job descriptions themselves.  Put that towards the front of the letter.  It’s optimal to use exact wording where appropriate.  Also, speak about the company itself from previous research.

Lazy Candidates Don’t Seek Targeted Support from Recruiters

Candidates should be tactical in seeking out recruiting firms which support industries and companies that align to their skills.  When you submit a resume into an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), that platform receives every resume and treats them all equally, regardless of fit. Instead, candidates should establish relationships with search/firms recruiters who are recruiting for the type of position they are seeking.

Yes, a candidate should target recruiting firms in their industry.  I recommend candidates go to the recruiting firms’ websites and look at job alerts.  Then, submit a resume if they see jobs for which they are qualified.  Accompany the resume submission with a personalized email explaining why they would be a good candidate for the types of positions posted.  Remember, it’s mutually beneficial. One significant benefit is that it can give you an edge in negotiation. Being “represented” showcases how elite your talent is. Being represented separates you from the crowd. Most hiring managers know that a recruiter’s qualifying process is very selective, choosing only to present the most valuable candidates. Partnering with the right search firm can significantly increase the likelihood you’ll be considered.

Lazy Candidates Don’t Follow Up

Getting a highly sought after position takes work.  It takes time for a candidate to set themselves apart from others.  Writing a targeted thank you email may sometimes be the only differentiator.

Candidates should always follow up by email with a thank you within 24 hours of an interview.  Mention the specific names of everyone met during the interview and highlight something discussed. If you’re attempting to reach multiple people, tailor each one.

Candidates can also follow up by requesting the interviewers to become connections on LinkedIn.  But before doing this, a candidate should remember to make sure their LinkedIn profile is ready to be viewed.

The recruiters at Artemis see a “NOT IT” factor as a combination of many things, all starting with the very first communication from a candidate.

Artemis Consultants provides recruiting services to professionals seeking positions with Software, Technology, Data, and B2B Services companies.  We are looking for qualified candidates who are willing to put the time into determining a good fit.  If this is you, I invite you to visit our careers page and view some of the incredible opportunities we have available.

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