What recruiters wish you knew about the job search process

We went behind the scenes of recruitment with Monster’s head of talent acquisitions, and learned a few surprising facts about how companies go about making hires.

What recruiters wish you knew about the job search process

Matt Doucette

Job seekers can find the hiring process mystifying. After all, we don’t really know what’s going on at the places where we’re interviewing and sending our resumes—and often, target employers are as vague about what they’re looking for as job seekers are in their cover letters.

Matt Doucette

Fortunately, we have recruiters to help shepherd both sides to a happy, mutually beneficial arrangement. These individuals see it all, from job seekers dealing with the struggles of long-term unemployment to companies trying to renew their vitality with a shot of fresh talent. We sat down with Matt Doucette, Monster’s head of global talent acquisitions, for a behind-the-scenes look at the world of recruitment, and what job seekers can learn from the folks helping them take the next step in their careers.

Q: What don’t recruiters want job seekers to know?

A: I think there’re actually a lot of things that we don’t want candidates to know. The job description and even the job itself is probably going change once you get hired. There are also the times that the job isn’t even defined until we find the right person, which is crazy. We definitely don’t want you to know the specifics of the salary range. The biggest piece is that, more often than not, managers don’t actually know what they’re looking for in a hire until they find the right person.

Q: What kinds of mistakes do you see job seekers making again and again?

A: They’re too generic. You’ve got to be really specific in your searches. If you’re in a specific job and it has multi-levels of industries and experience, you need to tweak your resume, you need to customize it for the job and fit it to keywords that are inside the job description.

While you might eventually have success blasting your resume off to 500 companies, you’re going about it the wrong way. That highly specialized candidate, that unicorn, that employers are looking for needs to seek out the job in an equally specialized manner.

Q: What are some common frustrations you hear about the recruitment process?

A: Most candidates’ biggest problem in the process of getting hired is the lack of a recruitment feedback mechanism. They want instant gratification—but for every candidate that’s out there, a recruiter is talking to at least 100 other candidates and 30 hiring managers that week.

So as much as we’d like to make every candidate a priority, we can’t. It takes a couple of days sometimes. So I think that that’s the biggest part of the process that’s frustrating for job seekers sometimes. Just having them understand that at the end of the day, we prioritize you as much as we possibly can.

Q: What kinds of questions should job seekers be asking recruiters?

A: I think they should really talk about why the open position is important to them as a potential job candidate. What are the outcomes of the job? When I’m there for 30, 60, 90 days, what’s going to be the measurement of whether or not I’m a successful hire?

Q: How do you see the recruiting space changing in the next five years? How should job seekers prepare for those changes?

A: In the future, cultural fit may become a more important barometer than experience, with people like college grads and military officers becoming more common clients of recruiting services.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a recruiter?

A: The greatest thing about recruitment is that we help people get jobs, we help their families, we help their financial situation, and we get them into an area that they weren’t in before.

If we think you’re a good candidate, whether or not your skills and background are a perfect fit—if you’re a good candidate, we’re going to sell you to a hiring manager. We’re going to do whatever we can to help you get a career. That’s pretty rewarding to be able to do that every single day.

From the other perspective of recruitment, we’re helping the organization. Recruitment has a huge hand in keeping things from getting stale. We’re hiring A-players, people that have the knowledge and abilities to change an organization, and we see that every day too.