Recruiters have to carefully think through the process of bringing candidates on board
“You ruined my life!”
How’s that for feedback?
Can it get any worse for a recruiter or is it just a case of another Monday in the trenches?
If you’ve spent as much time in recruitment as the author, you would have encountered this and worse. And, I am sure, you would have learned to shrug it off.
There are however lessons to be learned from these experiences. For, they can provide the recruiter with perspective.
A good recruiter will not take a formulaic approach to recruitment. He/she knows the perspective has to change from candidate to candidate so that hidden dimensions of talent come to light.
Now, the ‘interview’ is central to the recruitment process. Interviews take a predictable course, gauging how much the interviewee knows about the job. Most recruiters don’t try to find out what the interviewee does when he is not at work. Even if they do, they do it pretty much at the end of the interaction, to put the subject at ease.
There was once a very junior job applicant who came across as ‘average’ in the prior technical interviews and was heading inevitably towards the ‘Hold’ status, till he was asked about his interests. It came to light that he liked to read newspapers.
He saw reading newspapers not as a pastime, but as something that served a higher purpose.
Apparently, he worked through weekends, assisting his father at his hairdressing salon. While this work helped supplement his father’s income slightly, his real reward was getting to read the whole week’s newspapers which he couldn’t afford to buy on his own.
So, when customers were thin at the shop, our news junkie sat down to read all about what was going on in the world. Not only did he manage to gather all kinds of trivia, he also had well-formed opinions about a variety of issues. Letting him go would be the dumbest thing to do.
Perspective, in this case, is looking for an ability beyond recognized skills.
Here’s another stage of the recruitment process where perspective is required.
An intelligent and ethical recruiter will be able to make reasonable arguments for why the candidate should choose his/her offer. Letting a candidate decide on an offer based on verifiable facts provided by the recruiter is the right way to ensure against allegations like the one in the opening line of this article. Recruiters have to guard against taking the easy way out. For that, they have to have a perspective on what really motivates candidates. They have to answer several questions. What is it that spurs people to change jobs?
A study of millennials last year conducted by Gallup found that this much-sought-after group values “opportunities to learn and grow” more than compensation. They also gravitate towards companies that are considered “fun places to work”. So, a recruiter displays a sense of perspective when he understands what motivates candidates and prepares a pitch that frames the offer correctly.
(Rajkumar Mangottil is Manager — Human Resources at Maveric Systems.)