Attracting Candidates

Candidate perception vs client perception. We may judge them but they also judge us.

Being recruiters that work for the client, we are always asked by them to give our impressions of the candidates but never to feedback our impression of them as a company! They tend to forget that the candidate has an impression of them and their organisation, simply because their focus is solely on whether the individual is suitable or not and where they may be lacking.

This even starts before the candidate gets to know who the client is. If the job profile doesn’t appeal or hasn’t got the keywords in it to attract their attention then it is over before it even starts. Some clients make it easy for us by providing plenty of information on the role, where it sits in the organisation, future prospects, remuneration, details on working conditions and the company’s vision and mission – all of which is of interest, especially to younger generation workers. Then there are some roles which are hard to sell.

Many of our clients do not recruit that often and are no doubt ‘rusty’ at best at interviewing candidates, which sometimes doesn’t make for a good start! Factor in being late for the interview and keeping them waiting, not having reviewed the candidates’ CV thoroughly and being unprepared on what questions to ask all leave the interview somewhat unstructured. If you add in taking calls during the meeting you can see why the candidate might not view you favourably. Sadly, despite what you might think these type of situations are all too common.

If we take the candidates perspective, it seems that around a quarter decide whether the job is for them within the first few minutes and more than half have decided either way by the time the interview is over. Contrast this with the client who will assume that all the candidates are interested, otherwise they wouldn’t be there!

Today, candidates can find out an awful lot about a company, their personnel and the company’s reputation before the meeting through internet searches: if the information about them is not what they want to see then the meeting will be over before it has even begun. The interactions the client, and us as their recruiter, have with candidates before any meetings take place also form an impression on them. Yes, it’s a minefield.

Factor in the instant nature of communications and any delays, whether it is in replying, or meeting them, and it could be game over: candidates expect to be sold the role by the company as much as they expect to have to sell themselves for the position.

If you want them, you’ll have to sell to them…