,   |  January 19, 2017

Ask-A-Recruiter: Allie Hofer

Ask-a-recruiter is our series where we interview some incredibly talented recruiting professionals and get the scoop on their approach to hiring, what impresses them, and their biggest pet peeves.

This month, for our very first ask-a-recruiter, we’re interviewing Allie Hofer who is based out of Chicago and has hired for The Parking Spot, Kishwaukee College, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Allie also recently launched Office Hours, with the goal of creating a community of women focused on finding meaningful and flexible work — and sharing amazing resources with them.

Allie and I connected a few months back and immediately realized we had a ton in common. I thought of her right away for this series!

With that, let’s hear from Allie!

Ask a recruiter - Allie Hofer

I decided to pursue a career in recruiting because…

There is nothing more rewarding than pursuing work that models your life values. So having the opportunity to be a part of that process for other people is really meaningful.

My hiring philosophy is…

To borrow from Nordstrom, hire the smile and train the skill.

With each candidate I interview, I determine what minimum general acumen is needed to get the job done. And once the candidate demonstrates expertise in that criteria, I can then evaluate other core competencies that are necessary for the role.

For example, is the candidate a self-starter? Does the candidate demonstrate that his/her professional development is a personal priority?

Candidates stand out of “the pile” and get called for interviews when they…

Take keywords from the job description and include them on their resume. Applicant tracking systems have the technology to flag resumes where there is a significant match in keywords between the resume and job description, so tailoring each of your resumes to the various jobs you are applying for is critical.

My favorite question to ask in an interview is…

Tell me about your last performance review. What was mentioned as an area of opportunity?

And something that recently impressed me in an interview was…

A VP level’s commitment to team safety. I was interviewing a candidate in the final stage of a Vice President of HR search and asked about his approach to a varied team dynamic.

His response was that he likes to set the stage for safety by giving people freedom while also requiring forgiveness.

In other words (and I’m borrowing from Brene Brown here), giving permission slips for every team member to feel valued, heard, and respected.

At the end of the interview, I like when candidates ask me about…

The current dynamic of the team. So often, candidates ask about company culture; and while I think it’s an important criterion, what is more immediately impactful is your team’s culture.

One thing I wish candidates did more often is…

Follow up the electronic thank-you with a handwritten one.

One thing I realized from sitting on the other side of the table that I wish candidates knew was…

The importance of authenticity. There are some positions I work on that I would be remiss to not consider the personal connection I made with the candidate. With other positions, this is less and sometimes not at all important.

So regardless of the position at hand, I search for authenticity in the candidate’s responses because confidence naturally flows from the candidates who are most genuinely themselves in the interview.

And confidence, my friends, goes a long, long way.

Thanks so much Allie for sharing your insights! To keep in touch with Allie and Office Hours follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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