Sure, being a recruiter is a pretty powerful thing. Think about it, you are the person that gets to say whether a resume gets passed along, or not. This translates into a candidate having a chance or not. Jobs are important. Especially in today’s economy where more and more Americans are feeling the economic crunch and losing jobs they thought they’d have for years to come. Trust me, I’m one of them. Talented, intelligent, great personality and no job. My mortgage, electric and gas bills still need to be paid. So the thought of a recruiter taking a look at my resume and thinking “This resume should look better…” or “She’s out of work, probably not very good”, really gets my blood boiling.
I’ve been working in HR and Recruiting for a total of 5 years. And I’ve seen a lot. The “Interrogating/I’m in Charge” recruiters and what I’ve coined, the “Realistic” recruiters. You see the first type, we’ll call them Interrogators, want to make a candidate’s life really hard. They want to take a dull spoon and drive it into their chest to see how much they can take. In the end, if they survive, they’re the best person for the job. Usually there is only one person that fits the bill. The Realistic recruiters take a different approach. They too want to find the best person for the job, however the realities of daily life are a consideration in the process, and therefore more candidates are seen, considered, and in the end the pool of talent is stronger. This is good of course. If the offer goes out and the first candidate declines, guess what the Realistic recruiter gets to do? Go right back to their pool of candidates and utilize their backup. You might be saying, “Ok, that sounds great! But how do I get that pool of candidates?”. Well, the “realities of daily life” piece needs to come in. As a recruiter, if you see a resume that has a gap between jobs, don’t discount the candidate immediately. Ask yourself, “Is this a reasonable gap? Could this person have been home with a child? Could this person have lost their job? Did this person need to take a hiatus and go on a two month safari trip to Africa?” By asking these questions, you are giving the candidate the benefit of the doubt. And that is ok. You cannot judge why someone has taken time off until you speak with them and decide if it’s reasonable or not. Obviously if the candidate lost their job for a terrible reason and things sound shady, you’re going to pass. But in my experience, 7 times out of 10, the candidate’s reason is acceptable.
Another questionable area for recruiters is a candidate that wants to change career paths. Perhaps you have an engineer that wants to get into sales, or vice-versa. Let’s take the first scenario. Perhaps the resumes extensive engineering experience make a recruiter think “Why the heck would they want to get into sales?” Or, “They’re probably an engineering geek without a personality, not the right fit.” Well, unless you speak to the person and hear about what they’ve been doing and why they are interested in getting into sales, you will never know. In my experience after speaking to such candidates, I’ve found that they’ve worked in sales in the past, and/or perhaps are currently shadowing a sales rep to learn more. This aggressive, proactive behavior is great. It indicates the person has drive and is going after what they want. The next step is to give them a chance. The Interrogator wouldn’t have spoken to this candidate, and therefore missed out on someone that could be in the backup pool. They would’ve most likely passed on the resume due to the unconventional background for a sales rep. Exception – if you have a high volume workload and have plenty of candidates with sales experience, the engineering candidate might not get moved forward. The point of this scenario is, if you are not finding enough good candidates don’t make the rules about who is or is not a good fit. Be a bit more realistic in your approach. Think outside the typical guidelines because you never know who you’ll find.
We’ve established that by being a bit more realistic, you have a better chance of creating a strong pool of candidates to know all the basics for the applicants in a company for the jobs for higher level of post which requires lots of professional skill in the particular criteria of an job they are filling with construction recruitment agencies. The other end result is, reputation. Candidates talk more than we think they do. Positive and negative feedback not only hurts a recruiter, but it hurts a companies reputation. Imagine you are a candidate dealing with the Interrogator. You’re on the defensive. You feel like you’re being attacked and instead of being able to sell your skills, you are defending what you’ve worked so hard to build. Do you think you’re going to run out and tell your friends about the great contact you’ve made at the company? I don’t think so. Chances are you will explain to friends how uncomfortable the Interrogator made you feel and try to forget about the company entirely. Now, imagine the opposite. You are a candidate dealing with the Realistic recruiter. They ask questions to learn more about you and don’t make you feel uncomfortable when you discuss the gap in your resume, or perhaps why you are switching career paths. You are able to focus on selling your skills and discussing the achievements in your career. You are more relaxed, have clear thoughts and therefore, can explain yourself in great detail. The Realistic recruiter has gotten the goods out of you. You will spread the word about the great contact you made at the company, send the recruiter referrals and speak highly of the company. It’s easy to achieve this type of success with candidates over, and over again. Let go of the need to over-control the situation. Be more realistic when reviewing resumes and speaking to candidates. Don’t assume you know why there is a gap on a resume, etc. Give candidates the benefit of the doubt.