I always worry if I am doing the right thing by telling a candidate not only are they interviewing for an opening but so is our second submittal. We always tell candidates we can submit 1 or 2 resumes per an opening. Which is true in some cases, dependent on the client. But are we really hurting ourselves when we are making ourselves look good?

More recently, this has happened repeatedly, I have had 2 of my own candidates up for the same job. They knew about each other. They have tried to find out if they somehow have an upper hand-which Ill never tell. But then when one candidate gets the job and the other doesnt, should you even tell them? Tonight I had to let a candidate know the position was filled and we did not get any feedback from his interview except it was between him and the other candidate out of 3 people who were being interviewed. He asked me if our other candidate got the job and I admitted to him he did. Should I really fess up we were the ones who got the hire? Should I even let candidates know about each other when they are interviewing?

This little situation makes us look good as recruiters and shows how well we can do our job but is it really hurting us in the end?

Views: 172

Comment by Bernard on August 3, 2010 at 11:56am
Honesty is the best policy. If the candidate really doesn’t want to know the answer, they should not ask the question.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 3, 2010 at 2:11pm
It is my take that the worst mistake a recruiter can make is to only represent one candidate. We represent our clients who pay us to give them good choices. Very few candidates only work with one recruiter and they shouldn't. You can flip this discussion and think about ...do you ask your candidates which recruiters they are working with and question them about other recruiters or jobs. If they tell you that they have agreed with other recruiters not to discuss the positions another recruiter is sending them on are you offended? If they lie and tell you that you are the only recruiter they are working with then you discover that another recruiter has already submitted them on the same job, what then?

I prefer that a candidate tell me they are working with another recruiter but will maintain confidentiality because i then know they will do the same with the information and clients where i send them.

Yes i know the sharks will dig at a candidate for where they are interviewing then try to knock them out. It's a dirty part of our business. I ask my candidates for their confidentiality and i respect theirs.
Comment by Ben McGrath on August 3, 2010 at 2:24pm

You've gotten great feedback and some terrific policy suggestions here.

I am of the opinion that a candidate need not know the origin of any candidates. (yours, mine or theirs).

If you are asked "did you submit others"/"did your company fill the position", etc.... then by all means be honest.

Kudos to the group for the integrity shown on this subject.

All the best,
Ben McGrath
Comment by Greg Post on August 3, 2010 at 3:07pm
When candidates ask me if there are other people interviewing for the position, my answer is almost always, "Of course." Even if I have the exclusive, even if they are the only candidate the client wants to talk to, and even if I know they are drop-dead perfect for the position, I tell them there are other candidates interviewing. Why?

1) I want them at their best in the interview. If they think it's "in the bag," they may get lazy, fail to prepare, and screw things up.

2) I want to make sure I avoid rate creep. If the candidate thinks (s)he is the only game in town, they may decide their unique position requires a more unique rate than we initially agreeed upon.

3) It gives me an "out" if things go wrong in the interview. It's a lot easier to sell "the customer went another direction," if the candidate believes there were other options.

When a candidate asks me questions about the "competition," I always tell them to focus on what is within their control, not what falls outside of their control. They can't control another candidate's qualifications or interview skills. But they can make sure they present themselves in the best light possible so the client will choose them.

When my candidate doesn't get the job, I am honest with them about it. But there is a significant difference between honesty and full disclosure! I tell them what they need to know - it wasn't the best fit in the eyes of the client. Yes, they hired someone else. Yes, that person appeared to the client to be stronger in one or two areas than you are. Yes, my company represents that other candidate - that's our job. And now my job is to watch for "the right" fit for you, since this wasn't it. So let's talk about this other opportunity I have coming up...


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