A recent blog post on another website had the catchy headline, “How to become the candidate recruiters can’t resist.” Not to be snarky, but, in spite of that grabber headline, the post contained all the usual stuff about researching the company, preparing to ask questions, and the like.
But it got us to thinking: What do our recruiters find irresistible in candidates?
After all, we have an amazing team of savvy and experienced recruiters, most of whom are CPSR-certified and many of whom have a decade or more of recruiting experience. So we asked them what they find irresistible.
The overriding response? Honesty makes a candidate irresistible.
One of our recruiting supervisors said candidates should never “oversell” themselves for an engagement and risk getting caught in a lie.
As Technical Recruiter Meghan Garman said, “What makes a candidate stand out to me is their honesty, openness, and general friendliness. Someone who is personable, outgoing, and pleasant to talk to is irresistible to me.”
Dan Barraco, another of our Technical Recruiters, agreed. “I like when a candidate is transparent and honest with me. For example, let me know that you’re interviewing or have other offers on the table or that you’re not interested in the client company, et cetera,” he said.
Senior Technical Recruiter Kendra Jones-Lee stressed the need for the candidate to gain a comfort level with a recruiter. “If there can’t be open and honest dialogue on either end, I think that it can be ok to walk away.”
By far the most detailed response to the question came from Job Criger, a Senior Technical Recruiter who’s been with us for 10 years. His 5 points of irresistibility are:
- Responsiveness – Nothing is more irresistible then a candidate who answers your calls, answers emails quickly, and returns voicemails and texts rapidly. It shows me that they are in this with me as a team and understand the importance of a timely response.
- Ability to follow directions – When I’m working with a candidate and they follow through on forms that are requested of them for submitting to a client and they are able to provide the needed form to me quickly and correctly, that is irresistible.
- Reasonable flexibility – I don’t ask for someone to be available at the drop of a hat the moment the client asks for an interview, but it is amazing when the candidate does everything they can to make themselves available to meet with a client on the client’s schedule. That is irresistible.
- Understanding my job – I enjoy learning about what a candidate has done, so when I ask them to tell me about their project work and what they have done, I don’t want them to read me their resume. I can do that. Tell me the details, not the buzz words. I know this takes time, but it helps me make the case to the hiring manager that you as a candidate are irresistible.
- Personality – A little bit of charm and pizzazz goes a long way toward making a candidate irresistible.
Or, as Meghan put it, “If I speak to a candidate who is rude on the phone or very short with me, I automatically disregard that candidate. If that’s how they are with me, after all, that’s how they will be with the client, and we can’t risk presenting them to the client.”
So there you have it – be honest, follow Job’s 5 points, and you too can irresistible to recruiters. At least, to our recruiters!