Does this question make you stop and think? What is my interview rate like?
I will ask again – when you present candidates to your client, do all of them get invited to interview with that client?
If not, why not?
If you have as good a relationship with your client as you think and you feel they trust you, why won’t they interview every candidate you put in front of them? After all, you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to find the right candidates, you interviewed them, assessed their cultural fit, skills and willingness to work for the company before you decided they will be a great fit. So why won’t the client trust your judgement and interview every candidate?
Now for the hard question!
Have you ever asked a client why they won’t interview all the candidates you introduced to them or are you too scared to rock the boat? Too many recruiters don’t want to push back on a client to find out what their reasoning is. Because we are so afraid of feedback, we would rather put our tail between our legs, send the candidate packing and hope the client picks one of the candidates they agreed to interview.
You have just failed your client and your candidate! If this was a video game, GAME OVER! It is your duty to discuss your client’s choices with them because you need to uncover what the reason was for rejecting a candidate.
- Either you didn’t provide your client with a clear picture of why the candidate is a good fit and you need to set the record straight, which will make you realise you need to do more work on your briefing to clients.
- Your client may not have the definition of the role clear in their own head so they cannot map the candidate’s qualities to the job as you see it. Pushing back and discussing your reasoning for introducing the candidate may make your client have a lightbulb moment and you get your interview.
- The other outcome may be that you realise you didn’t quite understand the role and were just lucky to get an interview in the first place. This will give you the opportunity to go back and reassess other possible candidates and at the very least make you more aware when you take the next job brief. We learn more by error than by getting everything right or ignoring our failures.
None of these outcomes are negative, even though you may think so initially. In all instances you have proved to the client you are a true professional and a true consultant.
Of course, there may be a totally different reason only a third of your candidates get interviews! You didn’t do a decent job and just sent candidates through so the client thinks you are busy working on their job! If this is the case, I hope you find a different job and fast, because this is never ok! This is the type of behaviour that gives recruitment a bad name and makes it hard for other great recruiters to build a trust relationship that you ruined.
I know many of the larger agencies work on KPIs and you are measured on the number of resumes you send per week or month! Don’t think for a second they care about your reputation and your relationship with your client. To these large agencies you are just a number and expendable and for their overall bottom-line, volume is king! Something will stick!
So the next time you introduce candidates to your client and not all of them get an interview, ask the question! You don’t need to be confrontational! You will be surprised how many clients welcome your pushback and appreciate your efforts more. This will lead to an even better relationship and get you to the point where your candidates will know when you discuss a role with them, they are almost a hundred percent guaranteed to get an interview and imagine how your credibility goes up and the referrals you will get.