by Bill Radin
More Tips for Recruiters
Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
Compassion for Your Unemployed Candidates
a decent person, and you care about others. So how do you deal with the
growing number of job-seekers who show up at your door?
With kindness and
grace, I hope. You may not be able to find everyone a position—which is true
even in the best of times—but at the very least, you can show them respect
and offer some professional guidance.
remember my first recession as a recruiter, and the impression it made. The
same candidates who wouldn't take my calls a year earlier were suddenly
stacked up in my office, laid off from their salary-inflated positions.
first, I felt a tinge of
devilish pleasure we sometimes feel from seeing the people who snubbed us
suffer. My, how the mighty have fallen!
Simple Acts of Service
Fortunately, my better angels prevailed, and I quickly began to feel
compassion for my candidates. Of course, there was a commercial component to
my change in attitude. From a practical standpoint, I realized that our
fortunes were joined at the hip. Fewer jobs for them translates to fewer
paychecks for me. We're all in the same boat, with mortgages to pay and kids
to feed. (Or is it the other way around?)
what can you do to help your candidates, even if you can't find them a job?
Here are some ideas:
Treat job-seekers with dignity.
It's humiliating enough to have to
ask for a job, so don't rub salt in their wounds by being brusque or
sounding indifferent to their pain.
Thank them for showing up.
"I'm grateful you contacted me," you say. "I'm afraid I can't help you
at the present time, but the moment something comes up, I'll call you
Return their calls and respond to their
emails. Address each person
by his or her name, even if you use a stock phone message or email
reply. And please don't use an autoresponder unless you're unavailable;
it can feel demeaning to someone who made a good-faith effort to contact
Furnish a lead whenever possible. If
there's an appropriate resource (yes, even another recruiter who might
be helpful), then point them in the right direction.
Help build their skills and value in the
market. Your constructive
criticism and practical advice will be greatly appreciated, and may mean
the difference between an offer and a rejection.
Put job-seeker resources online.
My Web site, for example, contains 20 articles designed to help
candidates improve their interviewing skills, strengthen their resumes
and manage their careers.
Unemployment can quickly erode a person's
self-esteem. So whatever you say or do, always strive to build your
Acts of kindness not only have merit in their
own right, they represent a payback to your constituency. After all, if it
weren't for your candidates, you'd be unemployed, too.