Nine things recruiters should know about candidates

Wednesday, 21/10/2009, 09:43 GMT+7

Getting to know the candidates and understand what they are looking for, along with overall qualifications, is critical to the success of hiring managers. If you are vague about these things, then stop thinking about the coming interview with them.

Below are ten points in key areas that all recruiters should investigate for each candidate they interview.

1. Complete compensation details. Understand exactly how the candidate's current compensation program is structured. This means more than the candidate's base salary; the base salary is just part of the overall package. Be sure that you ask about bonuses; if, how and when they are paid out, stock options or grants that have been awarded.

2. The "what they want vs. what they have" differential. Most candidates do not change jobs just for the sake of changing jobs. They change jobs because there are certain things missing in their current position that they believe can be satisfied by the position your organization is offering. Know what this position differential is and you will be able to know if you have what the candidate is looking for.

3. How they work best. Some candidates work best if left alone, while others work best as part of a team. Beware of hiring a candidate who does not fit into the current scheme, because, at times, style can be just as important as substance.

4. Overall strengths and weaknesses. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Your role is to identify those of your candidates. Hint: Ask what functions the candidate does not enjoy performing. We are seldom good at things we don't like.

5. What they want in a new position. Be sure to do whatever is necessary to get this information. Feel free to pick away during the interviewing process with open-ended questions until you have all of your questions answered.

6. Is the candidate interviewing elsewhere? You surely don’t like last-minute surprises? To avoid this, you should always ask the candidate what else they have for activity. If he has three other companies he is considering and two offers are arriving in the mail tomorrow, this is absolute need-to-know information.

7. What it will take to close the deal. #5 relates to what the candidate wants in a new position, but this one quantifies that want. For example, if the candidate wants more money, this is where you will assess how much it will take to close the deal. As another example, while #5 will let you know that the candidate wants to work on different types of projects, this one will tell you exactly what types of projects those are.

8. Can the candidate do the job? Even though you might not be able to determine if this is the perfect candidate, you should exit the interview with an opinion as to whether or not the candidate can perform the functions of the position. Furthermore, that opinion must be based upon information that was unveiled during the interviewing process and not just a gut feeling. It has to be based upon what the candidate has successfully accomplished and how that aligns with the needs of the current position.

9. Will the candidate fit into the culture? Not everyone that is capable of doing the job will have a successful run at the company, because culture does play a role in candidate success. For example, the culture of an FMCG company is very different from the culture of a software business. Do all you can to determine if the person is the right DNA for your organization.

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