I can’t stress enough that this is my opinion on this topic. It’s not right or wrong and some of you will agree while others won’t. Since I’m on the recruiting end, I have learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of the hiring process and was surprised to learn how little control a decision maker has in the process sometimes. The information I am sharing is based on my experience and thought it was worth sharing. There are two sides to every story.
Job seekers ask me all the time about reaching out to a manager or decision maker and if it’s okay to do that. They wonder about it bothering them so much that it ruins their chances of ever being considered for a job there. First of all, I highly doubt that you would be in the situation of them wanting to hire you, but not doing so because you reached out to a hiring manager. For those of you who still hesitate about making the contact, would you really want to work for someone who would get angry because you are using creative job searching strategies? The same strategies that decision maker is using when they are unemployed?
The main reason my feelings are strong towards making connections with a decision maker is because I have learned through recruiting, the hiring managers have very little control when it comes to the hiring process. Human resources dictate the guidelines and salary for each position and a decision maker has to get approval to do anything out of the guidelines. When someone is referred to a hiring manager or is contacted directly, they can speak with that person directly. If there’s a connection, the hiring manager would need to pass the candidates information on to human resources to start the process of setting up an interview. From there, the hiring manager is told what the salary budget is for the position. I tell job seekers all the time, you can try and negotiate all you want, but there are many times the manager has nothing to do with setting the salary.
Since decision makers don’t have as much control as they would like in the hiring process, it benefits a job seeker if they can get directly to the decision maker. When the hiring manager has a position open, they tell HR and the job is posted. All of the applicant resumes are going to either HR or a staffing company to go through all of the resumes. They are not being sent directly to the hiring manager to look at. HR and recruiters are suppose to screen out the candidates not qualified and forward those who are to the hiring manager. How do you know if you resume even gets looked at? What if your resume is being looked at and passed up? What should be on your resume so it gets passed on to the next person? All of these questions that you have no control over. To make sure your resume is being looked at, find the decision maker and get in front of them. Have them pass your resume on to HR to schedule an interview.
Sometimes this strategy works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s definitely worth a shot and you should always want to build long term relationships with decision makers. You never know when you might be able to help each other out. I say make those connections with decision makers and hiring managers. Position yourself for your next career move and remember to create your own career destiny.