Department managers want what they want, but you will not succeed as a
recruiter unless you find your voice and tell the manager when his or
her requirements are unreasonable. That is a much better process than to
post job ads and try to find people with all of the goofy requirements
listed in the ad. You’ll fail and managers will get frustrated with you.
If there’s going to be a potentially sticky or awkward conversation about what’s reasonable in a job ad, why delay it?
One important way to be a better recruiter in 2016 is to tell the
truth to department managers and to candidates. Here are some of the
things it can be hard to be completely truthful about when you’re
talking with job candidates:
- It can be hard to talk about money.
- It can be awkward to answer the candidate’s questions about the job, which can sometimes be very detailed.
- It can be tough to tell the candidate why it’s taking so long to hear back from a hiring manager.
Everybody is overworked. It would be great if candidates and managers
understood how hard you work and could take your heavy workload into
account, but they won’t do that unless you fill them in and educate
If your job involves contacting candidates who haven’t reached out to
you or to your firm, it’s important to remember that you are intruding
on a busy person’s day and life. They have a lot of other things to do
besides taking your call. The rule to remember in this situation is the
Happy Life Rule, which goes like this:
The candidate you approach is already living a happy and fulfilled
life without benefit of knowing you. You may feel that you have the
greatest job opportunity in the world to offer this candidate, but he or
she is in the driver’s seat, because you reached out to him or her. You
have to sell the candidate on talking with you before anything else can
In the old days, candidates would drop everything when a recruiter
called them, but not now! The more marketable the candidate is, the less
your pitch will interest him or her if you make the traditional “Have I
got a job for you!” appeal. They’ve heard it all before. You have to
sell the candidate on investing the time to talk with you in the first
place, before you say Word One about the job opportunity.
The worst thing you can do when reaching out to a candidate you don’t
already know is to start interviewing him or her then and there in your
first conversation, by asking interview-type questions about the
The candidate has no reason to answer your questions at that stage.
You haven’t earned the right to ask questions yet! Here’s how you can
approach candidates respectfully in an initial phone call.