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The power of the proactive interviewer

In an industry that revolves around innovative technologies, we must adapt our recruitment style to our industry to obtain the best talent.

A product takes years to develop, research, run clinical trials and launch. Products are in the pipeline long before they come to market. 


Imagine adapting that to your hiring methods? If you know your product pipeline and strategy, you know the future skills required in your team. The innovative and proactive hiring manager will always source the best talent. 

Remember; whilst you may not have a need right now, you did have once or will do so in the future.


“Not all recruitment comes from an ‘official’ job order and not every candidate may be interested in a particular role posted by your company, or interested in moving right now. That does not mean they wouldn’t be the perfect fit for your company.”


The current mindset towards interviews

Many hiring managers or businesses adopt what I refer to as a reactive talent sourcing mindset. Thus, meaning that unless there is an actual vacancy in their team/organisation, they do not meet or interview candidates. 

Interviewing is perceived as being ‘time consuming’ or a ‘waste of time’ for the candidate if there is no headcount available. 

In an age where there is a demand from candidates for “innovative technologies” and “agile and quick to respond” work environments, your hiring process and behaviour can be an example of your company ethos.     


The future mindset

I have been speaking with many companies recently about the power behind being proactive in their hiring methods. Those that adopt this style will be the ones to hire the best candidates in the market as opposed to the best candidate at the time of your vacancy.  

The candidate you are seeking is highly likely to be sitting comfortably in their current company tracking to be sales rep/marketer of the year or even on a development plan that will see them achieve their career goal internally through promotion. 

Most candidates I engage with will often describe themselves as “passive” in their job search. This means they are not necessarily looking for a new role but if there was something really exciting on offer they would certainly consider it. This generally means they will move if there is a compelling offer including promotion or something exciting and new that is in line with their career development plan.


The disconnect

 And so a disconnect occurs. What candidates are seeking and what hiring managers can offer are widths apart. 

The hiring company will want an outstanding performer that can come in and hit the ground running. They may request specific product knowledge. For example, a Sales Rep brief may include; ambitious, top sales results, self-motivated, good culture fit and Cardiology or Orthopaedics experience. 

Your ideal candidate will in majority terms not opt for such an opportunity as it offers no progression in their eyes. Your ideal recruit is seeking sales management, marketing, market development; anything that is a step up from their current role. 


Why be a proactive interviewer & more so during COVID-19? 

Time: both hiring managers and candidates are working from home. Easy access to connect by video meetings to e-meet you and chat in confidence.  

Less pressure: when having an open headcount to ‘fill’, you are often targeted with filling the role within a certain timeline. If you are not hiring right now, you can take the time to see which person really does tick the boxes in what you are looking for? Maybe it will lead you to liking someone ‘outside of the box.’  

Miss the rush: whilst most companies have hiring freezes in place right now, when ‘normality’ resumes, the market will be chaotic with large volumes of recruitment. If you talent pool now, you will be at offer stage whilst others are just advertising or briefing agencies.  

Hire the candidate v fill the vacancy:  Imagine being able to tell an applicant you have created a role for their skill set instead of them filling your vacancy? The positive message behind this is so strong. Your candidate will be jumping to join you. 

Employer branding: Being proactive in your talent pooling says a lot about you as a manager and your company. Do you aspire to be known as an innovative and inspirational manager?  

Positive messaging: In relation to COVID-19, meeting candidates now shows that you only see the situation as temporary blip. It shows you have faith in the economy returning to business as usual.  

Market insights: By talking to talent outside of your own team, you will also get a feel for what the industry standard is. You will also learn about other sectors outside of your own product and clinician speciality.   

Reputation: My candidates love to hear that my managers are proactive in meeting people. Candidates actually really like this approach to recruitment. There are a lot of emotions attached to the candidate job search process and meeting managers casually to get to know them and their businesses is of great interest and adds ease to the process.  

Proactive recruitment is my passion and I have had great success in placing candidates this way.  Please do reach out at any time to discuss your hiring strategy.