Putting Candidates Needs First

In my initial calls with candidates, I tell them that I want to do what’s best for them and what’s best for their company. I tell them that this is their process, and I will say to them whatever they need to know to make the right decision for them and their career.

I liken myself to being a matchmaker- wanting what’s best for both the candidate and the client, and giving each all information necessary to make the right choice for THEM. When it matches, magic happens. When it doesn’t, let’s figure it out together before anyone signs on the bottom line.

This week I had someone decline a job, and I was left wondering if my transparency and desire to put candidate needs first, along with my refusal to be a recruiter that comes across like a salesperson, means that I have a lower acceptance rate than others. If my non-statistical wonderings are right, do I care?

There are all sorts of statistics around job acceptance rates, some saying that up to 70% of offers are rejected. That’s astronomical! Some of these rejections are because of a negative candidate experience, multiple offer situations and more, but I wonder if some of it is because the person didn’t know what kind of company/role they were looking at until the end. Maybe some true colors came out and scared the candidate away. Perhaps the offer process was tedious, or the person felt undervalued by the offer. Maybe there was too much pressure or not enough. Maybe …

On our podcast, Real Job Talk, Kathleen Nelson Troyer and I tell candidates to keep their list of job “must haves” ready and available at all points in the recruiting process. We tell people to evaluate roles against their lists and to ask questions throughout the process that will help them determine if a position is right for them. We are big fans of a transparent job search process, and candidates learning if a role is right for them, and if it isn’t, thanking the company and bowing out gracefully.

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If the job search process is more transparent, companies will save time and cycles on candidates who aren’t right for them and on candidates who THEY aren’t right for. If the recruiting process is more of an evaluation and get-to-know-you experience with everyone wanting the best result for BOTH parties, then everyone wins in the end. When recruiters wish to fill at any price; when companies will say anything to get talent; or when candidates are afraid to ask their real questions because they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity, none of the people mentioned are putting their authentic selves on the table. If nobody is authentic, how can anyone determine fit?

As a recruiter, I always ask candidates what their must-have list is, and I try to help them determine if this opportunity meets their needs. I learn about them, their careers, and their goals, and we discuss timing and fit. Sometimes I wonder if this puts bugs in their ears that makes them back out in the end, but I remind myself that I’d rather them back out during the process than after when I no longer have other candidates in the pipeline.

All of this to say, I’m staying authentic to the core. I’m accepting if a job isn’t right for someone, even if they are the perfect candidate on paper, because no matter their experience if we’re not a fit for them, it won’t work out in the long term.

Liz is the Owner/Principal Recruiter at Liz Bronson Consulting, specializing in teaching companies how to recruit with a more human-centric approach to finding talent. She and her team also augment company recruiting teams, finding them top business-side talent. 
 
Liz began her corporate career as an HR Generalist, and took those skills to recruiting, where her holistic approach to people management helped hiring managers build productive, cohesive teams. She spent 9 years at VMware predominantly focused on building out the product management and product marketing groups before helping companies such as SignalFx, Hortonworks, Greylock Partners and Evernote.
 
Outside of work, Liz is active in the Austin community, serving on the Board of Little Helping Hands- a non-profit dedicated to teaching young people the value of community service. She is often found with her family and 2 crazy dogs.

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