Do we take the time to understand our candidates?

I have just sat through a very interesting presentation by Doug Beabout www.DougBeabout.com , to the Asia Pacific members of the NPA recruitment network.

A question was asked of Doug, “How much time do you spend with a candidate?” it was answered that on average a good consultant working in the executive search/ headhunting arena would spend 5 – 6 hours with a particular candidate throughout the entire recruiting process.

No wonder a large percentage of people in the workforce see recruiters as only being interested in their fees and commissions. Candidate’s experiences are recounted that they are only receiving one or two phone calls possibly a face to face interview and that’s it, let’s say 1 – 2 hours tops. 

As recruiters we are constantly asking for commitment from candidates throughout the process, what are we reciprocating? Are you taking the time to discuss and iron out the smallest of issues for your candidates, or are you just powering ahead hoping that they make it through their guarantee period. No doubt we can all recount a problematic assignment that could have been made so much easier had we taken the time to clarify some outstanding issues of the candidate. Maybe you should challenge yourself by lowering your guarantee period because you know, really know, how good your candidate is for the role based on the time and research that you have invested in getting to know the individual.

Why don’t more people take the time to gain a greater knowledge of their candidates, their motivations and what they value in a profession, job and life in general? Surely taking the time to uncover this information would ensure a better fit with prospective clients. A happier and well suited candidate who stays in the role for an extended period is a source of referrals and testimonials.

We need to ensure that in a market where generational change and lack of available applicants is at an all time high, we are providing the best solutions and outcomes by stopping, listening and taking a genuine interest in the people that are our greatest assets, the candidate.

We must also remember that in one form or another we are relocating people, when we are placing them. Whether that is through physical relocation from one side of the city to the other, interstate or even internationally we are moving them away from their comfort zones. Therefore we must be preparing our candidates as well as ourselves, for the rollercoaster ride that invariably turns up during a transition, rather than abandoning the ship once the bill has been dispatched.Too many times I see recruitment consultant’s move on to the next assignment without ensuring that their work is done. Only to see an assignment go pear shaped because they were too busy looking for the next candidate or role. After all no one is going to take a job offer more personally than a candidate, so at least take the time and effort to ensure that there wellbeing is catered for.  

It’s your job after all.

View Rob McClintock's profile on LinkedIn

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~ by Rob McClintock on September 28, 2007.

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