Even if your hiring manager knew you before you applied, they are taking a risk if they hire you. But if they don’t know you beforehand, then you are asking them to take a huge risk on you.
Of course, you don’t feel it’s a risk – but to the employer, every new employee is a big risk.
There are many studies that show about 1/2 of new hires are bad hires – employees that aren’t able to help the hiring manager meet their goals withing the first year, or are unhappy and leave within that year. The hiring manager’s risk is that a new employee won’t be able to provide enough value and therefore be a drag on the team, making it more difficult to meet team goals. If the new employee doesn’t work out, the hiring manager has an additional risk – admitting the hiring mistake to their boss and HR and start the termination process.
The Employer Doesn’t Know You
If the employer doesn’t know you, you present a big risk to them. Is it any wonder that CareerBuilder reports that 80% of new hires are someone the hiring manager already knows? Here are some ways to get hiring managers to take a risk on you, when they don’t already know you.
- Make yourself worth the risk: Demonstrate that you’ve already solved the hiring manager’s priority problems
- Demonstrate the value you’ve provided for past employers: The best predictor for a hiring manager to see the value you’ll provide to their company is the value you’ve provided to past employers.
- Demonstrate fit: Act and communicate like you already work there. Describe your employer value and accomplishments using your target employers’ internal language and jargon, while avoiding the language and terminology of your past employers.
- Build internal supporters: Continue to network with companies even after you’ve gotten an interview. The more people inside your target company who you can get to vouch for you, say good things about you, or even ask the hiring manager if they are going to hire you … the more likely a hiring manager will take a risk on you. An unknown quantity isn’t quite as unknown, with numerous internal supporters.
The Employer Knows You
This is still a risk, because the hiring manager needs to build consensus, to cover themselves in case you don’t work out. No hiring manager wants to have been the only supporter of an employee who didn’t work out – with a boss, peers and team saying “told you so”.
- Build additional internal supporters: The hiring manager isn’t enough – you need more. In order to influence the hiring manager’s boss, peers and team, you need additional internal champions. The more internal employees who come forward on your behalf, the easier it is to build consensus that you’re worth the risk.
In Part 2 – I’ll cover other situations where you need to convince employers to take a risk on you.
Employers and recruiters – Are there other steps you can suggest to candidates, so you’ll take a risk on them?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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