by Bill Radin
More Tips for Recruiters
Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
Should You Meet Your Candidates?
expecting good news. His top candidate just met with the hiring manager for
their first interview. Then came the call.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” said the hiring manager. “Haven't you ever met
“Um, no,” said Dave. “Is there a problem?”
“You bet there's a problem. The candidate’s two front teeth are missing,”
said the manager. “From now on, I’m going to insist that you screen your
candidates face-to-face before you submit them.”
“Sorry,” said Dave. “It won’t happen again.” How could I have been so
Two Different Viewpoints
Was Dave stupid? Or just unlucky? The answer depends on your perspective.
Some recruiters believe that every candidate should be screened
face-to-face. If a candidate’s resume fits the profile, you should set up a
This “flying fingers” approach makes sense if candidate ownership and
control trumps everything else. For example, if you rely entirely on job
boards for your candidate flow, you’ll need to “clear and hold” fresh
candidates before anyone else can get to them.
In contrast, there are recruiters who either can’t meet their candidates
because of geographical barriers; or recruiters who believe that face time
is a waste of time. Their reasoning goes like this: Who cares what the
candidates look like or how they present themselves? Ultimately, it’s the
employer’s opinion that counts. And besides, it’s impossible to second-guess
intangibles that are purely subjective.
Plenty of Upside
I'm somewhere in the middle. If a candidate requires coaching or becomes a
job finalist, then we'll get together and chat. Or, if I plan to market a
candidate to several different employers, I’ll make sure to do my due
diligence before I put my reputation on the line. Otherwise, I don't feel
the need to meet face-to-face.
Don't get me wrong; I like meeting my candidates. A deeper understanding
helps “sell” the match
disqualify a person who's fatally flawed.
Whatever your perspective, remember that nothing beats an air-tight phone
screening in advance. You simply don't have time to waste with people who
don’t qualify technically or meet your standards.
Second Life Adventures
The advent of Web cams, video conferencing and online social networks (such
as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace) can help you bridge the gap between the
all-or-nothing points of view.
The most intriguing innovation is the virtual interview, in which digital
stand-ins (known as "avatars") take the place of flesh-and-blood candidates.
Chances are, the candidates' online versions of themselves will be more
at least, more interesting
their real-life identities.
According to The Wall Street Journal, candidates who send their
avatars to interview on sites such as Second Life tend to spruce up their
looks, switch their gender, or appear as their fantasy alter-egos (one
person showed up as a mermaid).
All this digital sleight-of-hand makes me wonder what happens on the
candidate’s first day on the job, when virtual reality and actual
reality finally meet eyeball-to-eyeball.
Maybe Dave shouldn't feel so stupid after all. His candidate may have been
toothless, but everything else
Author's note: The toothless candidate was actually mine; I had met with him
in my office a year (and two teeth) earlier.