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Don’t Call Me Candidate! I Am Your Client

by Nov 1, 2013, 4:45 am ET

Being a recruiter, I am constantly engaging candidates: passive, active, willing, unwilling, able and unable, viable and non-viable. These “candidates” for various positions are as varied in their personalities as they are in their professional backgrounds. Working in healthcare, something I learned early in my career was that if at the end of any interview, I was on the fence regarding a specific candidate’s skill set, I ask myself a simple question.

“Would I trust this person caring for a sick relative?”

If the answer is no, they don’t advance regardless of the scarcity of their skill in the market. This has served me very well in my career, has served the companies I have worked with, and most of all has served the patients they will ultimately impact either directly or indirectly. I have found in my nearly decade of recruiting, that it is the best way for me to end my filter if there was any shred of doubt.

Lately I have identified another tool. I call this “Don’t call me candidate.” At the beginning of each interview, I remind myself that this person is not just an applicant for a job. This is a person; a professional, a mother, a father, and above all a client. “A client?” you ask? Yes, this person is my client above all. They have the unique potential to make or break my career and reputation, enhance, or diminish the culture of a department within my company, and most importantly impact a patient’s life either directly or indirectly. I remind myself that this human being’s unique skills and attributes hold importance, and has the potential to change the world.

By reminding myself at the beginning of each interview that this person is a client of mine, and someone I am here to serve, it allows me to remove my preconceived ideas about them, and allows me a moment of clarity in my review of their fit for my company and my patients, and is ultimately someone who can make a lasting positive impact to the people they serve.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Jeff. ISTM that regarding the candidate as your client is appropriate in the helping professions: teaching, social work, job development, pastoral work, therapists, etc. However,I believe it is appropriate for recruiters to say that whoever pays us is our client.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • m s

    What planet do you live on? I already care for a sick relative. Recruiters describe this as a “gap on my resume.”