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As some of you know, I am actively involved in a job search now. One of the questions I often ask in the interview is "when are you looking to have someone on board?"

A lot of the time, I get the response posted in the Subject line or responses like.. "well, the hiring manager is so busy that we don't know when she will be doing interviews."

Do responses like this say something about the hiring managers (ie, red flags) or is this just standard fare out there?

I can't imagine any other area of a company being able to run a project like this. Sally to Bob "Bob, when will you have the new marketing mark ups done?" Bob to Sally "Oh, I don't know. I am going to talk to 92 graphic artists first and eventually I am sure one will be the one. I am awfully busy you know, so just keep waiting."

I know you have to set the bar high; however, if you don't have any milestones or deadlines in place, do you even have a bar to set?

*RNTT

...and yes, these weird little things keep me up at night and writing on the forums at nearly 2 am local time (sigh)

wendii's picture

Hi *

Recruitment is the least organised process in the world! So much of it depends on what you get in response to adverts, personalities of hiring managers and the vageries of all the departments in the process.

Hiring managers rarely understand that recruitment is the most important thing they do (because without it there is no team and no work gets done!) and they rarely prioritise it even when they say they are desperate.

It's just one of those things... which makes my job by turns frustrating, fascinating and hysterical.

Wendii

Mark's picture

This isn't a process issue, this is an interviewing question issue. When folks ask this question, they are preparing to launch into, "that's great, because I can start then no problem."

Many times, the response is simply a defelection of the question, which has nothing to do with whether the candidate is the right one for the job.

Mark

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks Wendii

So Mark, are you saying that even if my question is legit, as I might want to do something radical like try to plan my life, determine the urgency of the hire or start thinking about resigning etc, I am just getting an auto answer from the recruiter and it will usually be deflected without thought?

Why wouldn't you want to answer this question? Shouldn't the hiring team put a deadline in place to get this project done?

*RNTT

wendii's picture

*

It's a cop-out.. they just hope you'll loose interest before they have to face up to telling you you wern't suitable.

And sometimes it's a cop-out because the recruiter knows their next statement will be: I want this job, what else do I have to do to get it? and the recruiter knows the answer is 'be someone else' and they want to discourage all further conversation.

And sometimes it's a cop-out because the recruiter knows full well the manager is out of process and is going to get stamped on by someone, and the recruiter is just going through the motions until it happens.

And sometimes the recruiting manager is a nightmare and won't give a straight answer to any question the recruiter asks.

Moral: If the answer is Would you be able to start monday week? You're in.

Anything else, and a million other scenarios could be playing out.

I'm sorry that's not very positive.

Wendii

wendii's picture

*

It's a cop-out.. they just hope you'll loose interest before they have to face up to telling you you wern't suitable.

And sometimes it's a cop-out because the recruiter knows their next statement will be: I want this job, what else do I have to do to get it? and the recruiter knows the answer is 'be someone else' and they want to discourage all further conversation.

And sometimes it's a cop-out because the recruiter knows full well the manager is out of process and is going to get stamped on by someone, and the recruiter is just going through the motions until it happens.

And sometimes the recruiting manager is a nightmare and won't give a straight answer to any question the recruiter asks.

Moral: If the answer is Would you be able to start monday week? You're in.

Anything else, and a million other scenarios could be playing out.

I'm sorry that's not very positive.

Wendii

Mark's picture

I didn't say what usually happens is what I would do, or that what most managers do is effective or smart! :D

Most managers would NOT want to answer the question because they don't know the answer, as Wendii says...or, because so many people ask it and haven't a clue what the process is behind the scenes, and simply are asking for their own interest.

Frankly, you're not going to have much luck changing the process...why ask a question that gets you so little AND DOES NOTHING TO SELL YOU TO THE COMPANY when you still don't have an offer?

Until you got something, you got nothing.

Mark

asteriskrntt1's picture

I guess perception is everything and there is a fine line between showing enthusiasm (when can I start) or what the prospect thinks is showing enthusiasm and project management skill and annoying the recruiter/hiring manager.

*RNTT

FlatFeeKing's picture

it seems like the answer to the question would be, "we are going to hire someone when we find the right someone"

andreafeucht's picture

It is not *always* a cop-out.

One of the more embarassing things about my job performance since I've been a manager is that I've been asked to wear the HR hat for the company, and have spent 6 MONTHS unsuccessfully hiring for 1, then 2, now 3 positions.

Not because there are no good candidates - we've lost a few to other offers, but we also have lost a good number because our/my process is so darn slow.

It does take weeks to schedule interviews, bring people in, dig through the resumes, etc. And by that time they've moved on or just decided that we're too rude for them to consider us. Its unfortunate and yet, that is currently how it is.

So.... the applicants I get that have a glimmer of hope, I tell them to please harass me as much as they'd like because I am so busy that if I don't respond in an appropriate time frame it is not because I am blowing them off. I hope that the ones who are go-getters and want the job really will become squeaky wheels.

Just one more take on the whole situation.... from a start-up company's point of view.

CalKen's picture

So, Mark and Wendii, we have heard what the "average" manager would do, what should be the practice the "MT managers" should do?

Any nuggets of wisdom? Any previous podcast we can go to?