Tag Archives: hiring manager

Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

Hiring managers need to prepare for interviews just as much as a candidate does. Hiring and on boarding new staff is an expensive part of business operations and preparation is key for the best chance of finding the right candidate, the first time.

Here are our top tips for hiring managers in the interview phase:

Know what you want

Don’t waste time interviewing a dozen candidates or anyone who looks like a poor fit for the role. Use the job description and make sure that candidates match your needs.

Clearly define the job title, responsibilities and expectations of the person. List all the skills – both technical and soft that you want this candidate to have.

Get a second opinion

Once you’ve established a solid shortlist of two or at max three candidates, assemble an interview team. Include people who will work closely with that candidate (even ones who are on the same reporting line and are no more senior than the new hire). Seek the opinions of those colleagues you trust who can provide an honest judgement if the candidate will be a good culture fit and can do the job.

Trust your recruiter

You need to let your recruiter help you. Which is why it is important you have a good rapport and trust the consultant you work with. They will have met with a lot of candidates who closely match what you are looking for and only submitted a small shortlist to you. Ask them why they chose them. Ask who they think is the best match and why. Work with your recruiter and let them consult to you. It’s what they know and what they do best.

Pace yourself

Don’t rush the interview. Whilst we know you are probably busy and have important tasks to get back to at your desk an interview is your opportunity to truly see if the candidate will be a good match to the role.

Start with a brief chat about the background of the company and role. Then dive deeper about the candidate’s experience and what they can bring to the role. Pay attention to the candidate’s body language, enthusiasm and the questions they ask in reply.

Preparation is key

Have a list of questions to ask ready to go. Ask the same questions to each candidate. You may naturally “go off course” from time to time and delve deeper on some answers. However, it is important to bring yourself back to the questions you prepared earlier and compare the answers across each candidate you meet with. Having prepared questions also keep the flow of the interview and helps to keep you on track.

Take notes

Not excessively, but you will need some prompts to remind you later. Trust us. The important answers will stay imprinted in your mind, but when you are comparing more than one candidate, it is best to scribble the important points down and then add more substantial thoughts after the interview.

Be ready to move

Remember that you are most likely not the only hiring manager that candidate is meeting with. When you decide on the candidate you want to offer, keep the ball moving and the pace going. You don’t want to get to offer stage and find they have already accepted another job with your competitor. There is also nothing more disheartening and no bigger turn off for a candidate looking at a potential new job, than the company having massive lags between each stage. Keep them warm throughout the process, start the reference stage, bring them back in to meet the team (at the very least keep the recruiter in the loop so they keep them warm for you).

Hiring doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it doesn’t have to be hugely time consuming. Let your recruiter do the hard yards so that you only have to meet one or two standouts who are the perfect fit for your role. Then, be prepared and ready to hire when you meet The One.



You’re overqualified for the role

What happens when you are clearly overqualified for the role? We hear it a lot. You want to take a step back, focus on family or study or just want to take your foot off the pedal for a bit. But why is it so hard to get a job when you are overqualified?

This is a tricky conundrum for a hiring manager. While they may be able to see that you’d bring a diverse skill set to the job and could perhaps even do the job with your eyes closed, it doesn’t mean you are the right candidate for the role.

We’ve listed the most common reasons why your application won’t be successful and some ways to overcome them too:

Too expensive

Hiring managers and businesses will have a salary and budget allocated for this role. While you may look impressive on paper. They quickly assume they won’t have the funds to meet your expectations or match what you’ve previously been paid.

Make sure on your cover letter and when speaking to the recruiter you make it very clear that you are flexible on salary. Also make it clear that you understand you will be paid the going “market rate” for the job in which you apply for. Not paid for your skills.

You will get bored

This new role won’t have enough challenges for you. Which is possibly the very reason you applied. You need to very clearly state what is driving you to apply for this role and why you are wanting to look for a position that has less demands on you.

You don’t understand the role

On first glance, recruiters or a hiring manger will assume you don’t understand the job ad and that you have applied incorrectly. Make sure you acknowledge the role and the responsibilities in your cover letter.

You’d have more experience than your manager        

This has potential to get awkward. A manager could find this threatening to have someone with more experience reporting to them. You need to reiterate your reasons for wanting this role and what is motivating this career change.

You will leave as soon as something better comes along

This happens when people are unexpectedly out of work or it takes too long to find a new role. They take on a job that is a few steps back and less pay, to tide them over. But as soon as something bigger and better comes along, off they go. Hiring managers have been burnt by this in the past, and they sense that you might just be another candidate looking to “fill in a gap”. Be conscious of their concerns and make it clear why you want this exact job, for the long haul.

The key areas you need to address when applying for a role that you are overqualified include:

Focus on the employer’s needs

Demonstrate your understanding why they may have concerns (see above points) and build a constructive case as to why you are a good hire.

Clarify why you want the job

Make it clear that you want this particular job and why. Without going into too much personal information, acknowledge the difference and explain what is motivating this change in direction/pace.

Highlight what you love about the role

A hiring manager wants to know you are enthusiastic and going to be a good hire. Tell them what you like about the job and the role. Tell them why you want to work for their company. Give them no room to assume that you are not interested in the day to day tasks or will get bored.

Don’t be put off if you get rejected when you first apply for a job you are overqualified for. It may take a few applications and some clear communication on your CV and cover letter to address your reasons and be considered. As Karen our MD has always said, the right job is out there for everyone and there is a right candidate for every job. Sometimes, it just takes a little time.


Hiring Managers – Here is what you should be asking your recruiter

Hiring Managers, you shouldn’t just be asking potential candidates questions. You need to ask potential recruiters a few important questions before you engage their services. Even if your company has used that agency before, you need to make sure that you are getting the right consultant for your vacant position.

Here are 8 questions you should be asking your recruiter the next time you engage an agency/recruiter:
  1. How long has the recruiter been working in recruitment for?
  2. Why are they the right recruiter to find the best candidate for you?
  3. How do they maintain relationships with candidates? What is their candidate care process?
  4. What areas do they specialise in?
  5. What type of clients and industries do they typically work for?
  6. Are there any other consultants in their agency that they work with to source candidates?
  7. What is the process after our initial brief? Do they send a shortlist? How long should I expect it to take?
  8. What happens after the candidate is placed? Do we stay in touch before the candidate start date? After the candidate starts?


Just like most things in life, go with your gut. When you meet with a recruiter for a role, you should have a good rapport and see yourself being able to establish a long term, professional relationship! There are a lot of great recruiters out there, make sure you are working with the best.


Hiring Managers – You Need to Work your Recruiter Harder

Hiring Managers, you might need to work your recruiter harder!

Recruitment is a competitive space in Sydney. Let’s face it – recruiters are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, however, the good ones are not. Now is the time for your recruiter to be working hard for you.

If they are not working hard? You need to review your recruitment partner and either A. work them harder or B. find one who works hard without being asked.

Here are our Top Six Questions you should be asking to know if your recruiter is working hard enough:


1. They work on your role exclusively

A good recruiter will know the market that you are hiring in. They will know plenty of candidates in that space, but possibly not the best one for you….yet. Let them canvas the whole candidate pool and submit to you a shortlist of the actual best. If three agencies are working on the one role, most candidates will only meet with one recruiter. A recruiter cannot compare apples with apples if they are only seeing “some” of the current candidate pool. So go out on a limb and offer them exclusivity. You might find it’s in your best interests, not just the recruiter’s.

Furthermore, if a recruiter knows they have the role exclusively, they can prioritise finding you the best candidate. If a recruiter is competing against three other agencies, they might end up quickly scrambling and sending you whoever they have so that they are in the race. Without taking the time to ensure they are meeting your brief and sourcing you the best candidate.

2. They don’t offer you budget rates

You know the saying: ‘You get what you pay for’? It’s true for recruitment services too. If you are getting flat rates that seem too good to be true, they probably are. A good recruiter knows the value of the service that they are providing and they will work hard to earn that fee. If your recruiter is charging you full fees they should be worth it. This includes offering a true partnership with you, the hiring manager, to ensure that the hiring process is as seamless as it possibly can.

3. They know their candidates

Sending a hiring manager a shortlist of candidates is of course part of the job. However, a good recruiter who is working hard will have met with and know the candidates they are submitting. They will know what is motivating their search for a new job. They will understand their soft skills and hard skills. A good recruiter will understand what will be the right workplace culture for that candidate. They will know their candidates and be able to talk you through why they might be a good solution for your business.

4. They guarantee their work

If your recruiter won’t offer you a guarantee on the candidate’s placement, they are not working hard enough. It can take a good 3 months for a candidate to find their groove in a new job. Which is why businesses offer a probationary period. Your recruiter should be matching this with their guarantee period. Some recruiters even offer a guarantee of up to 6 months. Proof that they are working hard to get the right solution for you the first time. If they don’t, they’ll do the hard work for you again, without any cost to you or your company.

5. They do their due diligence

The recruitment process can be a little like match making. It’s not tinder though and a good recruiter isn’t swiping left or right based on a hunch! There is an initial telephone screening to get a feel if they are suitable. Then there is an interview process with the consultant, possibly even some testing and profiling. At some point in the process, there will also be detailed reference checks. This is not an additional service or a bonus performed by a recruiter. This is part of the job and part of a recruiter’s due diligence.

6. They partner with you

A good relationship with your recruiter is really important. You should feel that your recruiter is your partner during the recruitment process. You should be able to bounce ideas off them. Debrief with them after each candidate interview and talk through your concerns, ideas and objectives. You should trust their expert opinion. And trust they have you, your company and candidate’s best interests at heart. If you cannot trust your recruiter, it might be time to look at other options.

To sum it all up – a good recruiter should work hard for you to find the right candidate for your role. They should also work hard for their candidates. You cannot have one without the other. A good recruiter understands the importance of this and will work hard for both parties to find the best solution. If your recruiter isn’t working hard, you may need to look at why this is happening and decide what you can do to make sure you are getting a better outcome.

HIRING MANAGERS – The Counter Offer

It pays to always be aware of the potential for a counter offer. It isn’t always going to happen. But being aware and prepared will help increase your chances of not losing that ideal candidate at the eleventh hour.

It should be expected. If the candidate you want to hire is as good as you think they are, their current employer won’t want to lose them. Remember – good candidates don’t get fired.

So how do you prepare for the counter offer?


When you are interviewing your candidate you need to try to understand the motivator for them leaving. Try to understand if they are leaving for more money, a better career opportunity, or perhaps a change in culture or leadership. By understanding the motivator, you are able to navigate the interviews with this potential candidate. During that interview you can explain to them how your role can offer them the new opportunities they seek.


Now you understand their motivation for leaving. During the interview process you should be educating the potential candidate on how your role will meet their individual needs and wants.

Don’t forget that the interview process is about the candidate too. Now more than ever. We are turning into a more candidate driven market and the job needs to be right for the candidate as well. During the interview process, don’t take for granted that this candidate wants or needs your job. Along with interviewing the candidate about their experience, make sure you are educating them about the role, company and opportunities that you are offering. If you understand their motivators for leaving, you will be able to cover these off during your conversations.


If you are partnering with a recruitment consultant, this is where they will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes. The recruiter will be talking with the candidate and workshopping through their options. A good recruiter will know what is motivating the candidate’s need for change. The recruiter will be helping find the right solution and fit for the candidate and guiding them to make the right decision. Work with the recruiter to help the candidate and ensure they understand your role will meet their needs and wants.


You need to know what the role is paying. You should know what you can afford to pay before you start the interview process. Don’t waste time interviewing people you cannot afford or who have unrealistic expectations about the salary they are after. Equally, once you have identified the candidate and there has been a conversation around salary expectations, don’t lowball your offer if you are hoping to get them across the line.

When money is in play, it is important to be transparent and honest with the candidate. If you have verbally discussed a figure, make sure you are true to your word or you will paint your company and its ethos in a bad light.

It might be too late to negotiate if you’ve lost integrity by offering a lower salary than discussed.


How a candidate handles a counter offer is a valuable time for you to learn about that person. A little negotiation is never a bad thing. However – how a person conducts themselves during this negotiation period can be very telling. Occasionally you can find more out about a candidate before it is too late and have signed on the dotted line.

If the hiring manager assumes a good candidate will be counter offered, they are able to prevent a lot of stress at the final hiring stage. Most candidates don’t want more money. They have other drivers for leaving. But money can cloud people’s judgement. So be prepared and ensure that during your interview process, you are covering off any issues that may come up once the candidate is given that tempting counter offer.