Is it still necessary for candidates to meet recruiters?
Back in the day when we only had a telephone, fax and a database, it was necessary to meet candidates to make sure they were presentable, they were who they said they were, and we had the latest updates on their CV that they faxed through or is bringing with them.
In today’s world of technology and social media, almost every person has a digital footprint on one or more channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. As recruiters our roles have changed considerably. Instead of taking out our little black books and hitting the phones when we receive a job request, hoping to catch a prospective candidate at home and working a lot of after hour days to get hold of people, we hit our lifeline to candidates – the internet! When we have a job to fill today, we do a search in our database, we advertise do searches on job board databases, we hit LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and we ask for referrals from our contacts! And we work a lot of long hours to search for the holy grail – the right candidates. The chances are before we even get a resume from you, we already know who you are, where you work and your career history, what your digital footprint looks like, who you know and what you may be looking for.
All the access we have to a candidate’s online presence, allows us to get a good perspective on who a candidate is, how they present and what their interests are. We get to know so much more about a candidate through their online presence than what they allow us to see in an interview, and we can make an educated guess if they will be a good fit for our client. All it takes now is a quick phone call to corroborate some facts and making sure we are on the right track with the candidate’s expectations and aspirations and how that fits in with our client’s expectations and provisions.
Sure, for some roles it is important to meet candidates. Executive roles where candidates wish to be discreet about changing roles or highly visible roles of a sensitive nature. And some clients still want to know that we personally took the time to meet a candidate and what our feedback is, but it is becoming less important to employers.
On the other hand, candidates have also become exposed to more and better information. They have the same ability to track down jobs at companies they want to work for, which recruiters they want to work with and who they want to meet. And a lot of the time, candidates don’t have time to meet because they are working or have family commitments. That doesn’t mean they are not really interested in the role (well most of the time). So, it can go both ways.
Now you may ask – so what is the value a recruiter offers if they don’t take the time to meet with candidates? As a recruiter who literally talk and stalk thousands of people a year, we become pretty adept at knowing our candidates – who will be suitable for a role and who will be ready to move. Our value is that we know how to interpret the data that is available to us and use it for the benefit of our clients and yes – for our candidates.
So, the next time you don’t get to meet a recruiter face to face, don’t think you haven’t been noticed or you are not valuable because they won’t take the time to meet with you. The chances are excellent that you have been noticed and the role just wasn’t a good fit for you, the same as when you look at roles on Seek and decide most are not for you.
Now I know this is a controversial issue and I know I am going to get a lot of negative feedback and I look forward to hearing your views on this topic.