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Being A Strong HR Pro Means You Give Candidates Nicknames...

Here's a strategy for you - when you're trying to fill a spot in the organization, you need to brand the process.  Case in point, discussing candidates with VPs or C-level folks who have seen a lot of candidates and have a hard time remembering/discussing them on the spot.  That's always an issue for me - so many candidates, you say their last name and the leader you're talking to can't place them because she's seen so many candidates this month.

That's OK - we're all human, right?Serpicocolhead_02

My strategy?  Help the busy leader remember what's good about the candidate by giving them a nickname.  You can't throw every candidate a nickname, but once you've brought them in, they've interviewed with the team and they're being compared and contrasted for days/weeks after they've left (after all, schedules demand that most of us bring candidates in over weeks, not days), your candidate deserves a nickname, if they're still in the game.

What type of nickname, you ask?  One that illustrates their most memorable, positive strength.  Need some examples?  Consider the following:

-Floorburn - Candidate that has a history of grinding his way to success.  He's talented, but really outhustles those around him to be successful.  Great trait, so Floorburn becomes the nickname.  Not afraid of diving headfirst into something when necessary.  <used as follows in the field: "You remember  Floorburn?  He'd be great in that situation. No one's going to take the business away from him".

-Hollywood - The guy who's going to look great in front of customers.  He's got all the other tools to do the job, but he really looks the part and that's been perceived as a positive by the manager you're talking to. <used as follows: "That's a big revenue prospect.  You'd probably send someone like Hollywood for the first call, right?">

-Serpico - Your leader loved Pacino in Heat, and noted candidate #3 looks a lot like Pacino with long hair.  Bam - your candidate will be referred to as "Pacino" moving forward, or Tony Montana or Serpico if your leader wants to go more specific. <"Frank Serpico called to follow up.  He says he'll be doing surveillance on our organization from the parking lot until he gets the job.">

Note - nicknames aren't given to mock.  They're given to help the candidate, and remind the leaders making the call about what was good about the talent they've seen. 

Got a good candidate you want to get hired?  Give a nickname that will make the hiring manager smile.  The hiring probability increases 10% as a result...

Comments

Andrew

Summer Reruns? :)

Paul Hebert

Great post Kris... next time I interview (hopefully never) I'll close with - "just remember me this way - and give them a great, memorable nickname. I'll be the only one they actually remember at the end of the process.

Love this.

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