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December 16, 2017

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10 Things Recruiters Should Know About Every Candidate They Interview

Part 1 of 2

Interviewing candidates and gauging their fit for a culture and position is one of the most indispensable tasks a recruiter performs. The more a recruiter knows about a candidate, the better equipped they are to add value to the hiring process. That's why getting to know the candidate and understand what they are looking for, along with overall qualifications, is so critical.

But there is more about candidates you should uncover if you want to do the best possible job of providing information (read: value) to hiring managers. Below are ten points in key areas that all recruiters should investigate for each candidate they interview — before they present the candidate to the hiring manager.

  1. Complete compensation details.

    Understand exactly how the candidate's current compensation program is structured. This means more than the candidate's base salary; the base salary is just part of the overall package. Be sure that you ask about bonuses; if, how and when they are paid out, stock options or grants that have been awarded. Compile a complete list of benefits and how they are structured (e.g. PPO vs. HMO; there is a difference) and know when the candidate is up for his or her next review, because this can alter cash compensation.

  2. Type of commute.

    Commute is a quality-of-life issue and discussing it is important. A ten-minute commute against traffic is very different than taking the car to a train and having to walk five blocks to the new organization. If the commute to your organization is worse for the candidate than it is in his or her existing job, bring it up and see how the candidate responds. If the commute is better, use it as a selling point. By all means, be sure that you understand the candidate's current commute and how they feel about the new one.

  3. The "what they want vs. what they have" differential.

    Most candidates do not change jobs just for the sake of changing jobs. They change jobs because there are certain things missing in their current position that they believe can be satisfied by the position your organization is offering. This disparity is called the "position differential" and it is the fundamental reason a person changes jobs. Know what this position differential is and you will be able to know if you have what the candidate is looking for. If so, you will be able to develop an intelligent capture strategy when it comes time to close.

  4. How they work best.

    Some candidates work best if left alone, while others work best as part of a team. It is your job to know enough about the organization's philosophy and the way the hiring manager works to see if the candidate will either mesh or grind. Beware of recommending hiring a candidate who does not fit into the current scheme, because, at times, style can be just as important as substance.

  5. Overall strengths and weaknesses.

    Be sure to get some understanding of the candidate's strong points and the candidate's limitations. All of us have strengths and weaknesses (even John Sullivan has weaknesses, but he won't tell me what they are). Our role is to identify them and be able to present them to the hiring manager. Hint: Ask what functions the candidate does not enjoy performing. We are seldom good at things we don't like.

Read Part 2

- Howard Adamsky

Howard Adamsky (howard@hrinnovators.com) has been recruiting since 1985 and is still alive to talk about it. A consultant, writer, public speaker, and educator, he works with organizations to support their efforts to build great companies and coaches others on how to do the same. He has over 20 years' experience in identifying, developing, and implementing effective solutions for organizations struggling to recruit and retain top talent. An internationally published author, he is a regular contributor to ERE Media, a member of the Human Capital Institute's Small and Mid-Sized business panel, a Certified Internet Recruiter, and rides one of the largest production motorcycles ever built. His book, Hiring and Retaining Top IT Professionals/The Guide for Savvy Hiring Managers and Job Hunters Alike (Osborne McGraw-Hill) is in local bookstores and available online. He is also working on his second book, The 25 New Rules for Today’s Recruiting Professional.

Article as first appeared in www.ERE.net