Saturday, September 29, 2012

How and What Recruiters Are Really Thinking

by Mary Salvino

Successful recruiters do more than find suitable candidates to fill positions. Both internal recruiters, i.e. those found in the HR department of most large companies, and external recruiters, i.e. recruiters hired by companies on short-term contracts, have the same goal.  Their goal is to elevate human performance in the workplace.  The most successful recruiters listen, advise and deliver performance-based people solutions.

Things to remember about recruiters:
·        They are a reflection of the core values and the environment of the organization wherein they work
·        They are cognizant of the fact the good interviews are inter-actional – During the course of the interview, both the candidate and the interviewer will be trying to determine whether or not the company is the best place for him or her to thrive
·        They are being paid to find the best candidate for the position based upon the information they were given by the hiring manager
·        They are not being paid to tell the candidate what they did, if anything, wrong
·        They do not want to burn any bridges
·        They will not call the candidate back if they do not believe that there is a market for the skill set the candidate possesses
·        They will judge candidates based upon some of the following criteria:
o   First impressions:
§  Your interview attire is outdated / messy / too tight / too revealing  / too flashy
§  Your physical appearance is disheveled / outdated / sloppy / smelly / overpowering (i.e. too much perfume)
§  Your eye contact is weak / shifty / intense
§  Your handshake is limp / too forceful / clammy
§  You say “ah” / “um” / “like” too much
§  You talk too much /say inappropriate things (i.e. swearing) when you answer interview questions
§  You appear overconfident / pushy / self-centered  / insecure / aloof / ditzy / scatter-brained  / desperate
§  You talk too fast / too slowly / too loudly  / too softly
§  You giggle / fidget  / act awkward / have facial tics  / lack expression
§  You appear to lack sincerity / self-confidence / clarity / conviction
§  You are too young / old
§  You are too fat / frail
§  You are the ‘wrong’ gender
§  You have poor posture
§  You are physically challenged 
§  You language skills are poor (i.e. vocabulary and/or grammar)
§  You are deemed not suitable based upon your ethnic background, political/social affiliations or religious convictions
 §  You did not display 'suitable' manners e.g. ask to be seated before you sat down
§  You did not use /thank them by name
·        They can ‘smell’ fear, anger, and confusion
·        External recruiters will work harder for you if you are not registered with other recruiters
·        External recruiters are likely  not be forthcoming with the name of the company for which they are recruiting

Things for you, the candidate, to remember:
·        You must find a way to feel good about yourself and your ability to contribute.
·        Confidence comes from knowing your strengths and embracing them
·        You will always be asked to identify your weakness(es)
o   HINT #1 - All ‘weaknesses’ should be work related
o   HINT #2 - All ‘weaknesses’ should be accompanied by an action plan to address / overcome the ‘weakness’
·        Confidence also comes from doing your homework on the company; you should be able to articulate why you would be a great fit for the job clearly, concisely and enthusiastically
·        You should always strive to interview the recruiter before they interview you:
      o   HINT #1 - Ask them about their background and details of the job posted
     o   HINT #2 - Do a background check on the interviewer, i.e. Google their name and review the information before the interview takes place
·        You have the power to choose by whom you will be represented
·        You have every right to decline representation by any particular recruiter at any stage of the job searching process if you are not comfortable
·        You should always ask that you be informed of any potential employer’s details prior to your résumé being forwarded to that potential employer

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”  ~ Winston Churchill

Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at