Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Jamie Ceglarz.
Jamie has over a decade of recruiting experience in the Bay Area, largely focused on startup/technology companies, and is also co-founder of The Bay Area Operators Network.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
I got into recruiting like most people: I didn’t know what I wanted to do and fell into it. The reason that I stayed in it is another reason though: getting to work with people daily and (1) help candidates find jobs as well as (2) help companies attract and retain top talent is incredibly rewarding. I had a short stint in the software industry and quickly came back to the talent space given how wonderful it feels to truly help folks.
Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?
Lesson learned: it’s okay to push back on hiring managers! I was interviewing candidates for a company that was hiring for 2nd shift, basically working afternoons and into the early evening. We were given guidance from the hiring manager that he ONLY wanted to talk to candidates that had previous proven experience working 2nd shift. From the HM’s standpoint, he had seen too much turnover from candidates who had never previously done it. I had the perfect candidate, I knew he was the man for the job but he had never done the exact shift/schedule before. I pushed the hiring manager and the candidate got the job and stayed with the company for 8 years!
Outstanding. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?
1. Interviewing the interview panel
- Before interviewing candidates, making sure the whole interview team is on the same page with what the role is that we’re interviewing for/what void it fills on the team/ org, reporting structure, etc. as well as what part of the interview process each person is playing. This unifies the team, gets everyone on the same page, and provides for a streamlined process
2. Setting realistic candidate expectations
- Often times, in an effort to ‘get a candidate across the line’ and accept an offer it can be tempting to aggrandize a role, which is morally wrong and frankly should be illegal. What really should happen is the exact opposite: give candidates a realistic view of the company/problems they will be tasked with solving, and almost try and sell them OUT of taking the role. New hires will be appreciative of the honesty, and it goes a long way to set a foundation of trust with new teammates
3. As the candidate to put together a 30–60–90 day plan
- Part of the interview process is often some sort of ‘take-home’ or ‘case study’ assignment. But asking a candidate to assemble a 30/60/90 plan AND THEN REVIEWING it with them is a great opportunity to give the candidate (1) feedback on their plan to help them align to your definition of the role as the hiring manager, as well as (2) get candidates bought into the role/being able to visualize themselves in the company/doing the work. If they don’t want to take the time to put together the 30–60–90, they likely don’t really want the role
With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?
1. Employer branding is a big one, press releases, etc can go a long way to differentiate against other companies
2. Have a tight interview process/messaging. Don’t reach out via Linkedin, and don’t use generic messaging. take the time to write a custom message, ask for an introduction, etc.
3. Onboarding is equally as important as recruiting. Taking the time to help assimilate a new member of the team in their first weeks is critical. Who are they getting lunch with on their first day?
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Do what is right; let the consequence follow.” Ultimately every day we’re faced with tough choices, and it’s easy to bend the truth or do what is easy. but that isn’t what greatness is made of and isn’t what type of company we’re building. It’s not what I would want my son to act like either.
Thank you so much for sharing these fantastic insights!