I always expect a lot of questions from candidates about the prospective client before they meet: how many are they seeing; where do I rank; what are they really looking for; what do you think I need to emphasise? That sort of thing.
Do you know, only once have I ever been asked the same thing by a client, I wonder why that is?
The point here is that recruitment is a two-way process, especially head-hunting. OK, there’s an argument that when someone responds to an advert they are already buying, but search is all about finding exactly the right person for a role, referencing them both formally and informally and selling them the role. It’s true.
When someone is in a role with a good career path we always have to sell them a new job elsewhere. Why should they risk a change? I talk about the push-factor and pull-factor of jobs; if the pull-factor of a new role is not greater than the push-factor of an existing role then it is dangerous to move – for all parties. Our job is to work out whether the candidate will be well served by moving – and that isn’t always the case, sometimes we have to tell candidates that too.
The next critical phase is introducing clients and candidates, and this has a number of bear traps. There are some golden rules here so that the candidate gets the right impression, because they will certainly get AN impression:-
All first interviews are a two-way process and the hiring company must sell, just as much as the candidate.
So good hiring managers will think about how many other clients a candidate is seeing; where the client might rank; what a candidate is really looking for in a company; and that way work out what they really need to emphasise.