July 18, 2018

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How to Evaluate Your Candidates

Each job seeker you interview deserves your full attention and a healthy dose of scrutiny. By tightening up the initial screening process, you can save time and avoid a lot of headaches down the road.

To help you decide whether a candidate gets the red light or the green light, consider these three factors:

  1. Time frame. Is the candidate ready to accept a new position NOW? If not, file the person away for future use or use the candidate as a source of new referrals. A typical time frame question might be, "If I set up an interview next week, and the company offered you the right job, would you be able to accept the job, turn in your resignation and start your new job at the end of this month?"

  2. Motivation.Can the candidate give you a sufficiently good reason for changing jobs? If not, you may find yourself stuck with a tire-kicker or recruiter-manipulator. With the exception of certain circumstances (such as a spousal relocation or imminent unemployment), people only change jobs if there's something they desperately want and can't get at their current job, or if there's something they have at their current job and can't deal with.

    To tell if a candidate is money-motivated, remember this simple rule: The only acceptable reason for changing jobs for more money is if the increase in pay will materially change the candidate's lifestyle or self-identity. If it won't, the more-money-candidate should be quarantined and filed under "MONEY ONLY."

  3. Urgency.A person may be genuinely motivated to make a job change, but unless there's a sense of urgency, you may end up coddling a whiner or enabling a serial interviewer. Try to discover the tipping point that pushed the person from "passively disgruntled" to "locked and loaded." If you can't find the urgency, you may be better off working with someone else.

By asking the right questions, you can vet your candidates quickly and accurately. And by spending more of your time with the winners, you'll make your hiring managers happy and your bottom line healthy.

-Bill Radin
Bill Radin's best-selling books and audio programs include "How to Market & Sell Your Recruiting Services" and "The Recruiter's Almanac of Scripts, Rebuttals and Closes." Bill can be reached by phone at (800) 837-7224 or by e-mail at