Every employer wants the perfect candidate; but there is nothing more annoying for a recruiter to hear than an employer say that they liked the candidate/s put forward... but just want to see 1 more.
Many recruiters complain of hearing the same response all too often. What is it that makes the employer want to look further, despite the fact that they may have already met with the perfect candidate?
When unemployment levels are high, employers seem to think that the perfect candidates are more desperate for a job. In reality the opposite is likely true. In a tight labour market employers are more likely to do their best to hold onto valuable employees. Furthermore, even the best employees know that a less than stable market is not the best time to give away a secure job. In reality the "perfect" applicant is no more available in a market down turn than at any other time, there are just more applicants.
It's human nature to seek out the best, we've all heard the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side". We tend to think that there is always something better to chase, but the ideal of what we are looking for is often different from the reality. The truth in reality is that if the candidate seems like the best fit, they likely are!
What steps can recruiters take to avoid the 11 out of 10 candidate syndrome
A good recruiter knows that there is always this risk their clients wanting to see more applicants, even if they have already seen the perfect candidate; so what can you do to ensure that you are prepared for the inevitable?
It is not enough to merely know that the candidate has the qualifications, experience and personality to suit the job role and the work environment. A great recruiter knows that they have to go beyond and above this to be able to sell their best candidate to the potential employer. One of the key ways to do this is to know what will press the employers buttons!
You could do this by simply ensuring that you have a measuring scale from the employer to match your applicants criteria against. The benefit of this solution is that the employer then has to look at empirical evidence rather than allowing their gut feeling of "we want an 11 out of 10 applicant".
You can also speak with the employer first: groom them to understand the "11 out of 10 syndrome", why it occurs and how you counter for it!
You can also put forward LESS candidates (seems counterproductive I know - but more choice leads to more looking). Finally you could put forward as many candidates as you like, but give the employer a ranking of the suitability of each beforehand - this creates a measuring scale for the employer to then reference and verify.
The truth is that most employers ask to see one more candidate because they are scared of missing the best candidate possible. As a recruiter, your job is to ensure they know they have already met with the best candidate!