Candidates with polished resumes or Candidates without resumes BUT has experience....

Recruiter 1: "I cant present this - this resume is garbage. This is a very good client of mine and I cant afford to screw up!".

Recruiter 2: "Even though his resume is garbage, he does know your competitors and he does belong to xyz association and he does deal directly with your client's competitors and he is eager to talk to your client. What more do you want?"

You don't know how many times I ran into this situation when trying to perform recruiter splits. Why do recruiters / HR professionals think that a resume is the end result to any successful search. I was once told that a paper resume only counts to approximately 10% - 15% of the entire recruiting process. The rest (75% - 80%) is based upon the interview, body language, personality and enthusiasm of the candidate. His direct knowledge of the industry is also what is important in order to be successful at the job. Especially for sales candidates, shouldn't recruiters and HR professionals examine and assess the 'book of business' a candidate can bring to an existing client? A candidate that has 20 years of sales experience working for a competitor firm that wants to leave can be a critical find for the recruiter. The wealth of knowledge, contacts, relationships that he can bring to the competitor is almost priceless in a situation like this. Hopefully, when a recruiter makes this find (maybe through direct headhunting/sourcing), the experienced recruiter is not going to ask the candidate for a polished,up to date resume. (Im assuming the candidate would not have one).

The fact that we live in an age where non-compete do not hold up in a court of law makes this a position in favor for the candidate, not the existing company. Most candidates that recruiters find through direct sourcing do not have polished resumes. In fact, if the candidate has any kind of experience and has built his career based upon one company, he might not have a resume at all. Should we then throw out all of these candidates and look for candidates with 'polished' resumes? I think not!

Views: 305

Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 23, 2010 at 9:39pm
No we should not throw them out. In my opinion it is part of our job to help them put together a polished resume. If one wants to fly on an airplane, one cannot just walk up to the gate, hand the attendant some money and get on the plane. One has to have a ticket. A resume is simply a ticket to get on the plane.

Companies are turning down good candidates because of poorly written resumes, typos and sloppy presentation. If a sales candidate can not prepare at least a decent resume, how can he/she begin to put together a well written sales proposal?

And by the by in many states a non compete that is reasonable in time and distance may stand up. Even if it does not companies are filing breech of contract suits on a daily basis that take lots of money, time and emotional drain to fight. In most cases the hiring company does not want to put themselves in a position to defend or have a new employee defending a lengthy breech suit so will not offer to a candidate who has a non compete contract with a competitor.
Comment by Brian Pho on August 23, 2010 at 10:09pm
@Sandra - Most non-compete go for non-solicitating of current existing accounts. We all know that there are ways around a non-compete. The sales candidate just cannot call upon existing clients that he deals with. However, this does not stop the candidate from putting out a press release to market himself and let the existing clients know he has switched in order for the existing clients to contact him.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 23, 2010 at 10:37pm
If you believe that will work and companies will not and can not take action have at it. If that person sends his press release direct to one of the clients in any form it is solicitation. The way many of them are written if the client did contact him he would be advised that the client would need to be handled by another sales rep. The other side of that equation is the integrity of the candidate in regard to honoring a non compete/non solicitation contract rather than looking for a way to get around it. Most companies do have a non soliciation of current clients so when someone interviews telling the new one that they can "get around" their non compete the hiring manager will often say, "If he would not honor his current non compete why would i want to expose my own client list to him if he would do the same thing to my company in the future.

Many companies will go a long way to protect their proprietary interests in terms of their client list. Even if it is nothing more than filing something to throw the "hassle factor " into the mix to let other employees know that if they jump ship and take clients in any way be ready to spend a lot of time and money defending. One can sue a ham sandwich and many companies will do just that.

There are ways to cheat on almost any agreement . I much prefer a candidate who says, " i would love to work for them , i have a non solicitation of current clients, if they have other clients or feel my sales ability is strong enough that i can develop new clients i would like to speak with them."

When that is the response i know i have and can promote a candidate who is a person of honor and integrity. The ones who start telling me how they can do an end run , get around something or do something in the "gray" area make me feel like i need to wash my hands to get the snake oil off. I will drop them.

In my book there are only two ways to do business..honest and dishonest. There is no gray area or way around honoring an agreement.
Comment by Christopher Perez on August 24, 2010 at 1:31pm
I agree with you, Sandra. In a business where we spend much of our day helping clients and candidates see situations from different perspectives, this is one area that should remain black and white.
Comment by Suzanne Levison on August 24, 2010 at 4:39pm
In many situations, my recruited candidates do not have resumes or current ones. Since I know my client's needs, I always create a "letter" of sorts for my client, copied to the candidate. With this process, after discussing at length the recruited candidate's experience and how it relates to the position, I am more in control of the selling points a specific candidate offers.

No, it's not my responsibility to create a resume for any candidate. It IS my responsibility to both client and candidate to explain how and why the fit may result in a perfect match. "Paper" is part of that process in many instances.
Comment by Brian Pho on August 24, 2010 at 4:49pm
@Suzanne: Great point! I agree completely.. Too many recruiters depend on a resume to see if a candidate is a good fit.. If the resume is crap, I like your idea of creating a letter to detail his/her experiences... Most recruiters cant get that... or maybe their lazy...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 24, 2010 at 5:05pm
Any good recruiter will do a cover letter to go with the resume. It has been my experience that most employers will not accept just a letter from a recruiter without a resume. Even if they believe that the candidate sounds good and wants to speak with them they better have a resume when they walk in the door.

I don't think it is our "responsibility" to create a resume. I believe that it is part of my job to see that my candidate is presented in the very best light. That includes making suggestions on how to polish the resume or better present their background.
Comment by Brian Pho on August 24, 2010 at 5:26pm
Recruiters responsibility is to highlight the strengths/weaknesses of a candidate. Even if a candidate has a polished and great resume, the recruiter's job is to identify reasons for leaving, sometimes compensation, preference for relocation etc... stuff that's not on the resume,,. When a cover letter can bring an added value to the resume by filling in the blanks and highlighting key strengths AND key weaknesses, then the recruiter has done their job. Providing ALL the information necessary for a hiring manager to make a decision to move forward and coaching both client and candidate on the process is the main responsibility of a recruiter....

I dont agree on candidates asking recruiters to create their own resume -- that's not our job.. but we can highlight key points that will be influential in a decision makers mind
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 24, 2010 at 5:37pm
Good job description, i didn't know that.


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