11. July 2017 ǀ Munich Ismaning

Apply in the right way - Insider Tips from a recruiter

From their Xing and LinkedIn profiles to their job interviews, what should applicants take into consideration? Sabine Hauck, recruiter at maihiro GmbH, provides some valuable tips.

At maihiro, you are responsible for active sourcing, i.e. you actively comb the internet for potential candidates for open positions at companies. What do you bear in mind, what advice can you give?

Interested candidates who are up for a change should present themselves with a strong profile on the business networks Xing and LinkedIn. It is important to describe skills in detail, paying attention to the keywords in the “I am looking for” function. If an applicant is “Actively seeking opportunities”, it would be a good idea to express this clearly; however, a lot of thought should go into who can see your “career goals”. A professional photo is also part of a successful presentation. I encourage all interested candidates to activate their email notifications or regularly search their profile page to stay on top of things.

How do you address interesting candidates?

I contact them directly via LinkedIn or Xing. In doing so, I make sure I address them personally and never send mass messages for a position. In my email, I inquire about any further education or similar initiatives they have taken to develop that could be of interest to maihiro. In addition, I explain why I am interested in the candidate, how he may be suitable for the position that maihiro would like to fill, and give some initial information on the position as well as on maihiro as an employer.

That sounds tedious…

It isn’t easy, but it allows us to gradually expand our network of potential candidates. Because even if the person is not interested in changing jobs today, he may think quite differently in a few months’ time. Active sourcing provides us with highly suitable candidates and I actively remain in contact with many of them.

Active sourcing is only one way to fill open positions. What are the popular job marketplaces, where does maihiro advertise?

In Germany, we mainly advertise on Stepstone. In Austria, on the platform karriere.at. That is where we have had the most success. We also use other, more specific, portals and channels. We used to post entries on other job portals, but were only moderately successful.

Is that enough?

The IT skill shortage is clearly felt, which is why personnel consultants provide us with job search support. In the last few months, our employee recommendation program “maiReferral” has also proven very successful. If the recommendation is successful, the “tip giver” receives a monetary reward. The same goes for people from outside who recommend us suitable candidates who successfully complete their trial periods. We have integrated the ad recommendation function into our recruiting tool, which makes it easy and quick to make a job recommendation via social media or by email.

If an applicant would like to actively apply to maihiro, how does the IDEAL application reach maihiro and what does it typically include?

Candidates send their applications directly via our application tool on our homepage – it only takes a few minutes. A pertinent CV, current references, and relevant project experience are generally sufficient for the first stage.

Who is usually present at a job interview at maihiro?

At a job application interview, usually someone from HR and a representative from the functional department. If the applicant is not from Munich, the first interview usually takes place via Skype. In the second stage, we then invite the candidates to a face-to-face interview in Ismaning or Vienna.

What questions should applicants always prepare for and what do you like to hear?

I always ask the following questions: Why have you applied at maihiro? I use this question to find out what is important to the candidate and whether he has already dealt with maihiro. What does the candidate think of maihiro, what does he expect from his employer? And what he needs to be successful in his job.

Another question that I generally ask is what the candidates are particularly proud of – whether it is in a professional or personal context. Some tell me about major professional or athletic achievements. Others that they are proud of being able to pursue their studies. And some answer “of my children”. Those are all great answers! This allows me to learn a lot about the candidates.

You say that applicants should be informed about the company that has invited them to an interview. What are your reasons for that?

True, I expect a certain amount of preparation. If the applicant is not sufficiently informed about the company, it does not put him in a good light. It suggests that the candidate is not seriously interested in the company. The applicant should at least know that we are a consulting firm that implements CRM systems and is partnered with SAP.

What should you do if you have holes in your CV?

Anything but lie! Personally, I am all for honesty and openness. For instance, if a candidate traveled after his studies, as many new graduates do, this should have its own line on his CV – it speaks to the candidate’s cultural openness and curiosity. If the gaps are due to personal reasons, it is possible to express that and keep the details to oneself.

How to you verify the soft skills of your applicants?

We don’t carry out stress interviews; the focus is on getting to know the person. This is why a detailed CV is so important – I look very carefully at the documents. On the one hand, what positions the candidate has already held, but also what hobbies or volunteer activities he has written down. For example, a few months ago, I was interviewing a candidate who had been a scout leader for 18 years. I asked him how he deals with conflict and what that has taught him. It was very interesting and showed me how responsible that candidate was.

I often ask junior consultants or students about their university projects, for instance. This gives me a good idea of their organizational skills, but also how persistent or team-minded someone is.

Let’s talk about working at maihiro. What skills does the typical maihiro employee have?

In addition to his professional skills, he should above all be fun and cooperative, as well as enjoy working with others.

What can maihiro offer a new employee?

Above all, great coworkers! We use flat hierarchies, work transparently, are always open, involve employees in decision-making processes, and embody the open-door philosophy. This can be seen clearly in our Video.

In addition, we offer our employees a great deal of flexibility, because we value individual paths. For instance, our accountant lives in Turkey and manages the financial bookkeeping from her home office. She worked at maihiro in Ismaning for many years. Even after she moved, we didn’t want to lose her professionalism and her personality, so now she works for maihiro abroad. It works really well.

What benefits do all maihiro employees get?

We offer our coworkers lots of continuing education opportunities (professional training, soft skill seminars, participation in networking events), individual career paths, and numerous hard benefits, such as a cell phone and laptop for private use, access to the private DSL connection, accident insurance, a company car or business bike, as well as a variety of festive occasions.

Could you give applicants one more thing to think about?

I think what is most important in a personal discussion or on business networks is to stay yourself. It’s not worth it in the long run to boast or promise something that doesn’t correspond to reality. Make the effort to keep your Xing or LinkedIn profile up to date and prepare well for job interviews – recruiters appreciate it!

*In the interest of readability, we have chosen to use the masculine gender. However, it should be understood to refer to either gender.

Autor: Katja Pfeifer ǀ 11. July 2017 ǀ München Ismaning

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Katja Pfeifer

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Katja Pfeifer

Communications and PR specialist, owner of AGENTUR PFEIFER