The Secrets to Successful Industrial Recruiting & Hiring from an HR Expert

Candidate interviewing with two professionals

In today’s employment market, finding the right candidate for an industrial position can be exceedingly difficult.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is at 3.9%. While this is great news for employees, it is especially challenging for employers looking to fill open positions.

Kirsten Faurot, former HR senior business partner at Thomas, has years of experience matching the right person with the right industry job. She recently shared her best practices for finding, recruiting, and ultimately hiring the best talent for your industrial business.

Preliminary Stages

For a knowledgeable HR recruiter, Faurot explained, the talent acquisition process really begins with the hiring manager.

“I think the keyword … is 'partner,'” she said. “What really helps us to understand the job and make sure we get the right person is to get as much information from the hiring managers as possible.

“[The HR team member is] going to get that request for a new job to be filled, and the first thing they’re going to do is pick up the phone or walk over and see that hiring manager,” she explained. “I need to know everything that this person needs to do, as well as what kind of attributes that the person should have.”

During this phase of the process, Faurot noted that it’s also important to review the job description itself.

“If you want to find the right person, you have to look at the job description every time and make sure you’re capturing all the things that need to be done,” she said. “Chances are, the way things move so quickly in our world today, in our businesses today, that there are probably some things that weren’t caught in that job description that now need to be updated and included.”

Helpful Tools

Like most HR professionals, Faurot has a few preferences when it comes to application platforms.

When recruiting for open roles in New York City, Faurot says, “LinkedIn is definitely one of the top [resources], but I’ve had a huge amount of success with ZipRecruiter. For tech jobs, Dice is critical. Sometimes I also use Handshake, which allows you to post your job to different colleges, so that’s very useful when you want to tap into those recent grads.”

Faurot also uses some tried-and-true platforms such as Glassdoor and CareerBuilder to recruit for more general positions.

To keep incoming resumes organized, “That’s where an ATS or Applicant Tracking System like Google Hire is really helpful,” she suggested. “With an ATS, I’m going to put in some keywords, and it’s going to give me only the people who have those keywords.”

Making Contact

For Faurot, early communication with potential hires is absolutely critical.

“I find the most efficient way is to reach out to each candidate by email,” she noted. “[When] I communicate with them, I want to know how quickly they respond. If they’re going to spend even one sentence answering me, their interest is strong. … That shows me they’re going to be interested in coming to work for us and [they’re likely] someone that I’m going to want to talk to.”

After identifying the candidates, Faurot likes to connect with them in a more personal way.

“I always get on the phone with them and I have at least a 20-minute phone call,” she explained. At this early stage, “I’m not spending a lot of time going through all of the aspects of their experience — I’m really trying to hit on why they are looking for a job [and] what they want to do in their next job.”

More so than the answers themselves, what Faurot is really looking for is passion.

“That passion comes through, and that’s what you want to hire,” she said. “You don’t want to hire someone who’s not excited about what they’re doing.”

After screening the most eligible candidates, it’s the hiring manager’s turn.

“I strongly encourage the hiring manager to get on the phone … and have a short phone interview with the candidate, as well,” she explained. “You can figure out a lot about somebody on the phone — like how you’ll work together — and it’s a lot less time consuming than having a full, in-person interview.”

The Interview Process

After going through resumes, screening the most eligible applicants, and selecting the best candidates, it’s time to set up the interview.

One of the most important parts of the interview process is consistency. “We really try to get people to ask questions that are going to be the same of all our candidates,” she stressed. “I don’t want to ask one candidate a series of questions on one area, and then give someone something else, because then I can’t really compare [the two].”

Ultimately, Faurot believes that the hiring process should be about how the job will benefit both the company and the candidate.

“It’s my belief — and I know it’s true from everything I’ve seen — that people tend to be really good at what they enjoy,” she said.

When the candidates come into the office to interview, “I want them to meet their colleagues,” Faurot said. “They need to get a feel for what the place is really like and who they’re going to be interacting with. Give them as much info as possible, and be super transparent.

“You have to remember, it’s a two-way street,” she explained. “We want them to want to work here as much as we have to decide if we want them to work with us.”

Image Credit: fizkes /

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