Identifying Candidate Priorities to Make a Great Fit

174359872I love my job. I have been with my company for more than eight years and each day brings a new and different challenge. As I contemplate my initial decision to accept this position, I review what my initial priorities were. This organization checked all of the boxes that were most important to me: fun, fast-paced work environment, great benefits, good commute, fair compensation, family friendly, ethical practices and an excellent team. These priorities became clear to me through my job search process. I had to suffer through a good number interviews and some self-contemplation before fully understanding what I was looking for. Had I worked with a good recruiter, I could have narrowed down my priorities much faster.

Identifying priorities on the front end of the recruiting process can save a considerable amount of time and heartache for both candidates and clients. A good recruiter can help.

A candidate’s true motivations are not likely to be immediately apparent when first discussing job opportunities. Heck, a good number of people that I have spoken with do not fully understand all their motivations until I am able to have an in-depth conversation with them. Asking a candidate “So, what are you looking for in your next role?” is not always the best route to a meaningful answer. There is a good possibility that you will get a canned response like, “I need X amount of money per year.” While compensation is important, it is likely not the number one true priority of a candidate.

Instead, try discussing a person’s previous positions and asking what things they liked and disliked about each role. This will provide much more significant hints at what your candidate finds important while considering future positions. If a person really liked the flexible schedule at their previous job, it could be a bad idea to present them to a position with a stringent schedule. If they absolutely loathed having a grueling commute in their last job, be sure to avoid any positions that are going to involve a similar drive.

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So, you have finally pinned down your candidate’s motivations and matched them up to an opportunity that seems to be ideal for them. It is time to pat yourself on the back, sit back and wait for the candidate to get the job offer and to accept this perfect position, right? Not so fast…you also need to ensure that your candidate has discussed this opportunity with their family or significant other before they even get to an interview. Some people are hesitant to bring up such a substantial change like a career move with their loved ones until they actually have an offer in hand. This can be disastrous. You want to make sure your candidate has weighed the pros and cons of an opportunity with their loved ones before they actually get to the interview and offer stage. Doing so beforehand will avoid a lot of frustration and wasted time for both the candidate and the client.

The phrase ‘putting a square peg into a round hole’ certainly comes to mind. You can probably get out your sledgehammer and pound that sucker in there, but that peg is going to be all bent out of shape and you are going to be exhausted from all the effort. Similarly, you can probably get a candidate to accept and even start a position that does not align with their true priorities, but there will be numerous problems down the road that will lead to an unsatisfied client, an unhappy candidate and a very frustrated recruiter. Instead, identify a role that is suited to your candidate’s priorities and reserve your sledgehammer for more worthwhile endeavors.

MORE: The recruiter’s role in creating a fantastic resume

Nick Cumberland

Nick Cumberland
Nick Cumberland is a Sr. Recruiter with MedSys Group. Over the past 10 years, he has been assisting driven professionals in the fields of IT and Healthcare IT to pursue the next steps in their careers.

Nick Cumberland

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