The 7 Mistakes Recruiters Make With Candidates

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Dec 9, 2015
This article is part of a series called Ask Barb.

Dear Barbara:

Over the past two quarters, I feel like I’ve lost my ability to match my candidates to orders. They tell me one thing and then during interviews with my clients they give different answers. My clients are beginning to lose their confidence in me and i find myself second guessing who I’m now submitting. Do you have any advice on how I can make better matches?

Stephen C., Boston

Ask BarbDear Stephen:

To help you improve your matching skills, I’ve listed below the seven most common mistakes — and what to do to avoid them.

1. Having selective hearing – ignoring red flags

When you hear red flags you must hit them head on. Red flags just don’t disappear; they actually become more prevalent throughout the placement process.

2. Interview with a specific opportunity in mind

If you interview with a specific job in mind, you will slant your interview questions. Conduct a general interview to understand what is really most important to each candidate.

3. Not understanding job specs

Before you attempt to match your candidate, it is important you understand the job specs to be able to explain and present them to your candidates.

4. Not listening to understand

In order to make appropriate matches, it is important to listen and understand where your candidates are coming from vs. Listening to solve. If you see the opportunity through the eyes of your candidate, you will make better matches.

5. No role playing during the prep process

Your prep is not you talking and your candidate listening. The prep is you role playing, listening to your candidate’s answers and offering suggestions.

6. Asking close-ended or multiple choice questions

If you ask questions that are multiple choice, you may be putting parameters up that don’t really exist. Your candidate’s answer could be, “all of the above” or “none or the above.” When you ask close-ended questions, you are limiting the information you will obtain.

7. Assuming what they have done is what they want to do

When you utilize percentages you must first have an accurate understanding of your candidate’s current job. You then ask what percentage of time they want to do specific tasks in their next job. Often they are making a change because they want to do either more or less of a specific task. Never assume that a person wants their new job to mirror their current job.

If you implement these solutions you will improve your matching skills.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

This article is part of a series called Ask Barb.
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