Recruiting, let’s get back to basics.

By: Jill Reynolds, President and CEO of Quantix, Inc.

More and more, we live in a world of instantaneous results and most of what you need is just a click away.  Amazon can deliver nearly anything right to your doorstep.  Financial transactions seldom require a physical trip to the bank but handled on your mobile device.  Most any service can be purchased or scheduled on line, you don’t even need to pick up the phone.  But what about recruiting?  Can real recruiting be done by key word searches and email communication?  Only if you view the candidate as a commodity and not a person.

Let’s get back to the basics of recruiting.  Below are the key points to cover with a candidate, some points are straight forward with clear cut answers, others, like cultural fit, can be more ambiguous.

  1. Compensation: Learning about past compensation and benefits helps to lay the proper foundation for what the candidate is looking for in their next position.  While money isn’t everything, it is a driving factor and often a deal breaker.

  2. Personal criteria:  I refer to this as the candidate’s “wish-list” for a new position.  Some candidates can be very specific about their requirements for a new role, others find it easier to tell you what they don’t want or what was lacking with a previous employer or position.  Either way, this is a key component for the proper job match.

  3. Geography:  For the majority of candidates, location is important.  Unless the position is truly their dream job, candidates usually want a similar or easier commute than they currently have.  Be cautious and have in depth conversation if the candidate will be taking on an arduous commute with their new job.  This can also be a red flag for the potential employer.

  4. Management Style: Try to learn as much as you can about the management style the candidate feels they need or want.  Ask them about previous roles that they were most and least productive in and ask them describe the corresponding management style in each of the scenarios.  This will help you learn about the optimal management environment.  This conversation can also help you learn about their strengths and weaknesses.

  5. Work-Life Balance:  This one is tricky since this means something different to each candidate and employer.  The more information you can collect about your candidate the better chance you have to match the candidate with the right manager and company.

  6. Past and Future Performance:  If this is the right candidate for the job, as a recruiter, you should be able to confidently endorse the candidate and support your endorsement based on past job performance, relevant experience and aptitude.  Of course, past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and success.

  7. Competing Interviews:  Being informed about the candidates parallel interviews and potential offers is critical.  This is not to try to coerce the candidate to cease other interview activity but to help you and the client keep the right pace with the interview process and offer stage.  One of the biggest disappointments in recruiting is to lose a candidate to another offer you knew nothing about.

  8. Confirming the Compensation:  Hand in hand with understanding the interview competition is regular confirmation regarding the candidate’s salary expectations.  Even if there was a comprehensive discussion early on about compensation, that figure can change based on what the candidate is hearing in other interviews.

  9. Culture Fit:  This is important but often hard to identify.  This requires not only an understanding of your candidate, but also your client.  Discussions with the candidate about other topics such as work-life balance, the candidate’s career wish-list and management style can be insightful about culture fit.  Often though, it is the client who is the decision maker regarding culture fit.

To truly know your candidate and cover the “basics”, there is no substitute for a quality conversation.  The right candidate won’t be “just a click away”, but a conversation away.

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