Recruiter perspectives; the two-way street and the known unknowns…

 In Callidus News

Working backwards from the successful on-boarding and ongoing desired performance of a new recruit, there are a series of elements that must come together. And, contrary to popular belief, just a small number of these are based on the technical competence of the candidate and the ‘CV to JD’ alignment.

UntitledThe other, and by far the larger number of elements are what make the job of the recruiter both interesting and challenging – what we could call the ‘known unknowns’.

Let’s start with basic, specific elements; yes there is a vacancy with hopefully a meaningful job description, and an ‘ideal’ candidate profile in the mind of the recruiting manager. This is where the first of the non-specific elements start to kick in.

In our experience – 15 years and counting, most recruiting managers have their own definitions of good or great. This is evidenced for us by the fact we can work with one candidate into two different selection processes for a very similar/identical even job with two seemingly identical employers – and we can get two very different sets of feedback about the candidate’s abilities.

Some of this is down to individual interviewing abilities – a known unknown until we really get to know a business. We have some clients who can really get the best out of a candidate during an interview, and others who have a little way to go on this subject – which we can always help with if needs be – it is our day-job after all.

Let’s assume for now the candidate is available and interested. How they are engaged in the client selection process can have such a big impact on their feelings about fit with their potential new employer – or not. The recruiter has a big responsibility here too, they need to make sure they understand how each client recruits and brief the candidate accordingly – so no part of the process should come as a surprise.


We will always fully support a highly robust selection process – and a great candidate will appreciate this too, and feel the job offer is a greater reward and improves the chances of the offer being accepted. Very few candidates a business will want to employ will want to work for an employer who ‘has a bit of a chat’ with them.

However it is the approach that carries the process that is absolutely key to getting the successful outcome alluded to at the start of this blog.

In our experience pretty much all candidates in all the processes we manage and have managed have walked away with their own feelings about the people they have engaged with – whatever the employing business may think and feel about them. Yes, salary, location etc. is a big factor BUT, especially in the management grades, candidates buy-in most to the culture they have been exposed to in the selection process and has been on display by the people they meet – something you can’t measure or really quantify.


man-thinking-hands-on-faceGenerally, only once that offer lands on the door-mat, will their deepest thinking kick-in.

  • Salary? Check
  • Location? Check
  • Car? Check
  • Benefits? Check.


Now how do I FEEL about them?


And if the employer has engaged with them well and already made them feel good?

  • Check – the chances of an offer being accepted are greatly improved.

HOWEVER, if they don’t feel as if they were fully and positively engaged, and maybe they don’t feel quite right or sure?

  • The chances of an accepted offer are greatly diminished.

Hence, in our experience all recruitment processes are very much a ‘two-way street’ and the more we get to know our clients and candidates through our own stages of process, the more the known unknowns become, well – known, improving the chances of a successful outcome all round.