Thursday, May 16, 2013

When and How It Is Best to Communicate With Human Resources, (Pt III)

Okay, I am ready to share with you the magic dance steps to this little jig I’m suggesting. Sorry for all the suspense but there’s a reason. For the sake of clarity, I seek to leave little room for argument, covering as many different angles as I can. Notice, nobody posts comments contesting my claims. It isn’t because nobody’s reading this blog, actually considering I’ve only been posting since October of last year, readership has grown fast with more and more people all the time. Just lately there are a few employment-related bloggers suggesting people should do more than just email resumes, but they offer no suggestions nor any real advice. I suggest people are starving for the kind of non-standard advice I offer and, frankly, I see no one else offering more than the same old pabulum you can find in any number of so-called resources from so-called experts. My advice is direct, anecdotal, fact-based, first-hand experienced up close and in the trenches and hand-to-hand, and I rarely lose an argument about this stuff because I walk-the-talk. Anyone who has a differing view and can prove me wrong is welcome to step up, or step off. Lead, follow or get out of the way – as the saying goes. And how is it that even this bloviating relates to your efforts? Because in a world of look-alike, generic people all doing and saying the same things, if you don’t stand up, speak up and make a point of being noticed, you won’t be. My goal is to help you to do this in the most effective manner possible. So where were we? 

Since I already have my practiced and effective F.A.B. presentation, here’s what I do next:

·         I compile a list of the companies I intend to call.
·         Then I research to determine the points of contact, using a combination of online research and telephone inquiries. 

Next I make my calls and when I reach a hiring official, I calmly but effectively present the information. At this point the conversation can go in many different directions. I listen for buying signs and follow them wherever they may lead. They might engage in further conversation to learn more. They might ask me to send a resume directly to them. They might suggest I call someone else more suitable. They might re-route me back to HR. They might get aggravated and cut me off. You won’t know until you try. Who knows, the hiring manager may tell you to expressly inform HR they want you to be moved through the process in a different manner, or they will just say, “you’ll need to go through HR”. If so, no worries, you and your inquiry are noted. If they refer you back to HR, which is likely, ask to whom they suggest you speak and get the contact info.     

This is how I like to pattern my efforts, now I am ready to circle back around and speak with HR. Because now I have a reason to speak to HR, and even better I have been referred; it carries more weight. This simple strategy has generated profoundly different results for me over the years. Most people are unwilling to do this and so, however it happens, when your resume crosses their desk they’ll remember you. You’ve made an impact and if you have a good F.A.B. it can only be helpful to your efforts. Although it takes some front-end effort and prep work, this alternate method establishes you as a standout in an age of plain vanilla ordinary.  

This is the way I like to communicate with HR; I’m neither avoiding them nor am I being disrespectful, I just come at it from a different angle. Even if the hiring manager wants to continue direct communication, I will always offer to copy HR on all correspondence, but I have the hiring manager’s ear, which was the intended goal. On a few occasions a hiring manager has thanked me and suggested I leave it with them and they take it upon themselves to follow up with HR. Some folks in human resources, like anywhere else, can have thin skin and possibly resent your going around them. However, I contend you are possibly saving everyone involved time and effort by cutting through the red tape.  

If you’re already doing what everyone else is, working the online angle of search and submission, good, you have that covered. By adding these proactive activities to your repertoire you’re multiplying your potential for results. Talking to real people will expand your chances of success and also make you much more comfortable when the time comes to sit across a table in an interview. As I often say, companies hire people, not paper (resumes). If you’re a pessimist, the worst that can happen is you are sent back to HR where you would have gone anyway, to send your resume down the rabbit hole. It’s up to you. 

Next time we will talk about what companies look for and use to disqualify applicants and how to avoid small but costly mistakes. 

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