5 Reality checks for recruiters


by Kay Vittee

Career advice articles litter the Internet – how to write a cover letter, how to write a CV, how to interview well and how to get the ‘dream job’. Most articles repeat the same-old sage advice that quite frankly most career seekers should already know. Some try to get creative with clever intros and themes but most simply skim the surface of what is a really deep and desperate issue. They tiptoe around the truth with euphemisms and politically correct phrases. It’s time for some cold hard truth. Here are the five reality checks for recruiters.

1. Don’t be fooled

  • The candidate doesn’t have the qualifications and skills required for the job.

    No amount of smooth talking or charm can hide the fact that a candidate doesn’t meet the minimum job requirements, especially in an interview or when assessments are conducted.

  • The candidate’s references were either not available or unsuitable.

    Nominating a co-worker, friend or family member as a reference holds no merit because references need to be individuals who would give an unbiased and accurate account of your skills and behaviour – ideally direct management.

  • Unexplained big gaps in a candidate’s employment record should never go unnoticed.

    Ask for honest reasons as to why a candidate was or is out of work and discuss these in an interview.

2. Check out candidates’ online reputations

Every recruiter or potential employer should search potential candidates’ names on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Not necessarily to dig up dirt but to look at how highly he regards his own image and reputation and therefore how respectfully he will look after his potential employer’s reputation.

3. Look out for rudeness

The candidate arrives late for your interview – even a few minutes late is not on. It shows a lack of consideration and sets a bad precedent. Recruiters need to ask themselves these questions:

  • Is the candidate dressed appropriately?

Poor attire and lack of care for how you look shows disrespect and can make the worst kind of first impression.

  • Is the candidate too familiar?

A professional greeting is so important. ‘Hi’, ‘howzit’, ‘what’s up’ and a fist bump do not qualify.

  • How is the candidate’s body language?

So much can be said without words. Arms folded, wondering eyes, fidgeting and tapping feet all send out unspoken messages. A candidate should present himself confidently, positively and honestly.

4. Make sure the candidate is well-prepared

If the candidate really wants to work at the company, he should do his homework. Ask questions to gauge how much the candidate knows about the company. The candidate should also be asking questions. This shows that the candidate is taking the opportunity and his career seriously.

5. Beware the money-hungry employee

  • Watch out for employees that ask about salary too soon. The interviewer should be the first to raise the subject of remuneration.
  • Look out for candidates whose salary expectations are unrealistic. Look at salary surveys and industry reports on what the average salary for the job type and seniority is and this will give you a good idea of what the candidate should earn.

This article first appeared onĀ HR Pulse.

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