How To Bypass HR Departments

I no longer recommend our clients to make applications on job portals. With the current market conditions, it’s just not getting them results.

Thankfully, we’ve been able to use alternate, “back door” methods to continue to get our clients results. We’ve seen clients use this method to land roles at firms such as McKinsey.

Here’s a step by step guide on the process to get interviews to open roles, without going through HR.

1. Understand Your Key Strengths

“Knowing others is intelligence;
Knowing yourself is true wisdom”

― Lao Tzu

Before you look outwards for what roles are open, look inwards. Understand what your key strengths are.

Do you have a consistent track record for turning around unprofitable businesses? If yes, then you’re a turnaround specialist.

Have you helped your company penetrate new markets in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand? If yes, then you’re an expert at penetrating markets in South East Asia.

Understand what makes you valuable in the job market.

Once you’ve identified your value, put it together as part of your career narrative.

2. Identify the target company and role

Once you’ve identified your strengths, think about which company would require that strength.

If you’re a turnaround specialist, looks for companies whom you know are struggling.

If you’re an expert in penetrating new markets, looks for companies who are looking to expand across the region.

We want to find you a position that maximises your existing strengths.

3. Find the future boss of that role on linkedin

At this point, we need to find a way to bypass the HR department. This requires us to reach out directly to the hiring manager.

Head on over to linkedin and enter the company name and the job title of the boss.

For example, if you’re keen on a finance manager role at a firm, your boss will likely be the existing Financial Controller or CFO. Enter the company name and the job title. eg. Osim Financial Controller

Once you find that person, it’s time to get in contact with them and sell yourself!

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4. Get an introduction from a mutual friend.

Look for mutual connections with the target contact person. Get a friend to introduce you. Be sure to get double opt in

If you can’t get an introduction, you’ll have to make a cold call or email (calling is more effective).

Be very cautious when you make the cold call. We have to be respectful of the other party’s time. Do not get them on the line and then launch into a 5 minute pitch as to why you’re the best person for the job.

Instead, ask questions. The trick to a good sale is to talk only 30% of the time

Here’s the script we give our clients:

1. Upon the call being connected, ask very quickly if this is a good time

“Hello John, I’m calling about the Finance Manager role you’re hiring for. I have a few questions. Is now a good time for you to speak?”

2. If the manager says yes, you can proceed with your questions.

This is an opportunity to impress. Asking the right questions will show you’re a great candidate for this role.

Here are some questions which an aspiring Finance Manager might ask the hiring manager:

  • What reporting softwares are you using?
  • What are some of the business improvement projects the Finance Manager is required to oversee?
  • What’s the firm’s biggest challenge at the moment?

The goal is to ask questions that show how serious you are about this job.

After a few good questions, you’ll see that the hiring manager will now start to ask you question about your profile.

At this point, give your elevator pitch from Step #1.

“I’m a Finance Manager currently working at Comfort Delgro. Last year, I set up their new SAP reporting system, which automatically tracked international currency exposure. I understand you’re looking to set them up at your firm, correct?”

By keeping the pitch short, and targeted towards the employer, you’re demonstrating how you’re a great fit.

At this point, the hiring manager will likely have his attention piqued. If you’ve done the call well, you’ll soon get this question:

“You’ve got a very interesting profile. Could you please send your CV directly to me? My email address is ”

If you manage to get the email address, you’re almost a sure-in for a face to face interview.


This process is much more time consuming but if you apply it correctly, you’ll be able to get dozens of interviews, at firms which you’re a great fit for, in quick succession.

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