won’t keep you hanging on this one.

The only thing that matters in an interview for you as a job seeker is – how badly do they (the company) need to fill the position. period.

I know, it seems shallow, but that it the way of the world, even truth if you want to get metaphysical about it. Your interview will be shorter, the offer better and your joining date sooner based on this. Interested to know more?

Brilliant. So how do you find out how badly they need someone?

Here are some observations:

(disclaimer – this is based on my experience as a hospitality recruiter. I don’t really know if this holds true for any other industry, though I am told almost all customer facing industries share these)

If the company is getting in touch with you directly the obvious tell tale signs are as follows:

Can you come in tomm to see us / meet us?

The fact that they haven’t even vetted your resume, done any kind of telephonic “round”, or for that matter basic fitment test, should tell you they really need you.

If you do choose to go meet them the very next day, and they don’t even keep you waiting to meet the HR Head or the Ops Head, well, just ensure you ask for more salary that you had earlier thought about in your mind. they really need you.

When they ask for a reference if you are not interested

When a consulting firm does this, they are just following a trade practice – increasing their network and trying to earn their wages, but when a company does this, they really are running out of options.

They obviously don’t have a solid database of candidates so are now reaching out to candidates who will not be interested in them, but may know someone like them. Take this as a compliment that the company feels you have a good network, then either share or don’t share, entirely upto you. But if you do share, let your friend know – they can then increase their asking price.

When they call and offer you a promotion or an increase on your current salary without even meeting you.

Do not feel great at this point, ok maybe you can, but generally speaking when HR Execs start talking about a promotion or salary increase on the first call (assuming they have your resume – updated one ) it is a sure sign that they are desperate.

When you see the same updates on HR’s linkedin – day in and day out.

I try to tell my industry colleagues, do not keep putting the same positions day in and day out. Some of them think I am deterring them from building a database (well, as a consulting firm we get paid when companies come to us for recruitment), but some of the smarter ones have understood what I mean. When your hotel / company is always looking for staff it sends the message you are just not able to hire, or if you are, you are unable to retain. Both is worrisome.

p.s. this is even worse on WhatsApp groups. One gets so numb to some people’s updates because they are lazy and just put all their positions in one post and keep cut/copying it on all groups. Desperate.

when you see freshers being offered jobs that never ever before were open to people without any experience.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I remember a time, when some of our clients wouldn’t even meet people with less than 2 years exp. Today they are holding open houses, meeting freshers, even making campus rounds. Why? you know why, they are desperate.

When the corporate website / job portal never takes down an advert.

On some corporate job sites, I see front line staff positions are always kept open. At first I thought, maybe they like to keep adding to their database, but then when I spoke to HR they corrected me – its because the damn positions never fill up, like never.

When people working there complain of double shifts and no offs.

They really, really need you!

When they are unable to give you 30 days to join them.

Any company that cannot offer you 30 days to give notice to your current employer, to ensure that you leave on good terms, ensuring smooth operations at your current job, is desperate. If they make this a condition to the job offer, smell the fear on them and increase your asking price.

As a consultant, I do not like it when candidates agree to ditch their current employers without proper notice. I just don’t, but that is my personal take on the matter.

In a connected world, you should be able to find someone who works in the company to tell you what is going on.

It also depends on the position. Some positions are just too critical and need to have someone, anyone in the seat, while some other positions can be managed till one finds the right candidate.

an example from the hotel industry:

– Sales Manager leaves, the Front Office Manager is asked to manage it for sometime.

– HR Manager leaves, the Training Manager is asked to manage it for sometime.

– F&B Manager leaves, the Executive Chef is asked to manage it for sometime, so on and so forth.

If the hotel / company gets away with it, some positions never go back to the normal state – kind of like a chemical reaction where something new has been created.

H2 + O = H2O

F&B Manager + Executive Chef = Director of Food & Beverage

100k + 100K = 150K

these kind of equations, companies love; reduces headcount and salary bills.

I am sure there are similar examples from your industry too. Do share them in the comments.

If you are getting a call for a position that has been vacant for quite sometime, you can look at it in one of two ways:

1. they tried to run the place without someone doing the job full time, but realise now, it is a full time job.

2. they are very particular who they hire, even if it means waiting for the right person.

Try to find out which is which and accordingly prepare for the interview and salary negotiations.

The next time you get a call for an open position, look for these tell tale signs to decide what you should do or even, what you should ask for!

Happy job hunting.

p.s. If there are other signs that I have missed out on, please do mention them in your comments.



Hotels/ In A Job Interview.

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