Clean Recruitment: best practices for applicants
We’re recruiters. We might seem a bit like Martians, but we’re recruiters at the end of the day. We try to do things differently, of course. Also, we don’t embody the prototype of recruiters that you see in general, we don’t send spam, we’re not dull, and we don’t wear ties (although if a Fredder feels more comfortable wearing one, that’s fine too), but we're in recruitment. Or that’s what we aspire to be like. But we’re not turning our backs on our profession. We’re recruiters, and we think that it’s one of the loveliest, most satisfying jobs in the world. We fearlessly defend it.
Above all, we’re a company that turns the spotlight on our applicants. All of our processes, practices, communication and initiatives are geared towards looking after our Manfredites. We support them in any way we can, nothing more, nothing less, during what can be a life-changing event. After all, we spend around 40,000 hours of our lives working – that’s almost 5 full years. And I’ve deducted holidays from that, sorry.
We’re as happy as Larry defending what, for us, is quality recruiting, including practices that are transforming the sector into something that is fairer, more balanced and human. But nowadays we’ve come to do the opposite. Because, of course, there are also best practices for applicants, heavily based on transparency and highly focused on mutual respect.
Indulge me for a second with this proposal.
BEST PRACTICES AHEAD OF THE PROCESS
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
At Manfred we have a really clear policy: a Manfredite should never be involved in several processes at once. Doing so can have so many drawbacks that we don’t even know where to start.
In fact, we only put forward 3 applicants to begin with for each recruitment process. Very few. It’s likely that, out of two of them who fit in, there’s one that draws you in more, you have a better sense of where they want to go with their background, etc.
We’re increasingly finding that more Manfredites are applying for a gazillion recruitment processes. It’s human nature to hesitate and it’s a really good idea if/when you do to message someone in our team and tell us, or ask for a chat. We’re not only delighted to set aside that little bit of time for you, but we’d also be grateful if you turned to us before getting yourself into a bit of a pickle.
Somewhat related to the previous point, you should know that it’s impossible for Manfred to put you forward for a process that’s not the right fit for you. Luckily, we have no desire to send 180,000 soldiers to war with one stick. It would be a waste of time for both of us. Our time and yours is GOLDEN. Have we not already told you that, here at Manfred, we try to check and respond to all applications?
So, it’s not hard to guess that it’s counter-productive to apply for things that make no sense. For one, you may share some traits that fit the bill, there may be grey areas, or you may be lacking one or two little things. And the other, is that, as a Marketer, you may apply for the post of a Front-End Developer. Everyone ends up losing out.
It’s a really good idea to read the offer before applying, and to visualise yourself doing it; and to always, always, check the requirements carefully.
We need “to see you”
Of course, we act as a kind of filter before presenting you to the company. To do that, we give you a call to get to know you better, to understand where you’re coming from and where you’re headed, what motivates you and if you’ll fit in with the people who you’d work alongside. We just have a chat and/or exchange a few emails, and for that reason, it really helps us if you’re open with us and give us that info by opening up a bit.
But you also need to chat to us about your concerns.
_ If something might be a crucial factor that may rule you out, you can tell us in complete confidence. Things that may seem big to you may be nothing to the company, and it might be resolved quickly.
_ If you have any questions, concerns or enquiries, don’t just think about them, let us know!
_ If you think that you’re lacking in something to fit a certain profile or you have a weaker area, ask us without fear. We’re here to support you and offer you guidance and advice. We will always be honest—maybe it’s something that can be resolved and there’s no problem—or you might just be able to avoid feeling uncomfortable if you carry on with the application process.
Screw it all
When we open up a recruitment process, we carry out prep work with the client to steer and guide them, which is always based on data, and we painstakingly work on the job offer. There are some applicants who decide to bypass us and directly contact the company. Often, our clients will send them straight back to us or will tell us about them. We perceive this, in some ways, as a lack of respect for our work; so it’s also good practice that, if you see an offer through Manfred that you apply for it through Manfred.
BEST PRACTICES DURING THE PROCESS
In this regard, there are two scenarios that can cause difficulties:
Please be honest about the reason why you’re applying for the process. Using us just to get better conditions in your current employment is awful, because there will be at least two other people on the other side who are dedicating a lot of their time to your application, and it shows a lack of respect. What’s more, it’s destined to fail: if your current employer doesn’t value you as you deserve, what do you think they will do from then on?
If, at some point, you’re not convinced about the job, you’re hesitating or you’re thinking of dropping out, please just tell us. Whether it’s so we can do something to avoid it or, if it’s inevitable, so we can avoid wasting our time or yours or that of the company. If you know in advance that you’re not going to accept the job if they offer it to you... Again, please tell us. (Look, we know that it’s not always like that when you reject an offer. But we have had applicants who have fessed up to us and who seem careless, to say the least).
Time to step up your game
There’s one thing that gives a terrible impression: when you’ve not read the job advert before the first interview. Believe us: they can see it a mile off. Take 15 minutes to have a good read of it beforehand, think of any questions or queries, pain points, etc.
Alternatively, or if you want to go a step further, it would be amazing if you researched the company yourself, and you’ll get brownie points in any interviews without a doubt. Those who are interested can often fill some sort of technical gap; for those who don’t show any interest, it’s rare that they get any further in the process.
Finally, it’s usually a really good idea if you have any direct questions for the company, that you ask them: it may be about what the role is like day to day, the team you’ll be working with, the organisation, the conditions, etc. Firstly, because you’ll be able to visualise yourself in the job and you can assess your own fit. Secondly, it always gives a really good impression when you’re interested in the project 😉.
BEST PRACTICES AFTER THE PROCESS
Feedback, of course
At Manfred, we're committed to providing feedback to every applicant who is ruled out of a process. If, for whatever reason, you don’t agree with the grounds and reasons that we give you, tell us in total confidence. We’re always open to chatting about it. In fact, we prefer to do that before you’re left with a bad taste in your mouth. What’s more, we’re really aware that it may be really valuable information for you when it comes to applying for future processes.
Feedback for us is a two-way street: if there’s something that didn’t suit you during the process with us or if your day to day in your new project is not what you hoped it would be, or WHATEVER IT MAY BE... CALL US. Only then will we be able to ensure that whoever we’re looking after has a positive experience.