If time is the constraint, how can you analyze a candidate’s level of commitment? I work mostly on corporate-to-corporate contract positions (temporary placements), and I need to submit the resume to the preferred vendor or client within a couple of hours of the requisition opening. How can I avoid vanishing candidates?
I’d like to tell you that speed dating means you don’t have to build relationships, but I’d be lying (unless of course you're looking for a one night stand
, but that's a question for a different expert
). In contract placement, not only do you have to size up your candidates accurately, but you have to do it faster than your competition -- it’s just the nature of that side of the business.
That said, even contract recruiters build a stable rolodex of talent over time; chances are good that your brilliant placement today may be available again in the future. So you’re actually doing two activities in parallel: making placements as fast as you can, and selectively building a lasting candidate pipeline.
The heart of the issue is still one of watching for candidate behaviors of commitment
, and the ‘tells’ are always
there. Like playing a giant game of “connect the dots,” you thoughtfully and purposefully get to know your candidates over time; what motivates them, what their values are, what they need. You pay attention in their interactions with you, and you seek the feedback of others who also know and work with them.
I have yet to meet a seasoned recruiter who wasn’t also an adept observer of human behavior. This is what we do for a profession: we watch people make choices and decisions, and follow through on their promises. We watch and connect behaviors of commitment.
Years ago Abraham Maslow
published his Theory of Human Motivation which proposed that humans make decisions based upon a hierarchy of needs. Essentially, that basic needs for survival must be met before humans can concentrate on making choices for personal growth. Applied to candidates in a job search mode, the theory might sound something like this:
...If I’m hungry and I need a place to sleep, any job will do. And depending on how hungry or tired I am, I might tell you just about anything to get hired.
...If my basic needs are covered, I may look for a job that brings me greater security and stability (financial or otherwise).
...If I have security and stability, I may look for a job that brings me more friends and peers.
...If I have friends and peers, I may look for a job that builds my confidence and self-esteem.
...If I have confidence and self-esteem, I may look for a job that feeds my passion.
Whenever you find a great candidate, pay attention. Invest in the relationship. Build your stable. No matter how long it takes, the journey is worthwhile; it results in much better matches for your clients, and (hopefully) keeps you engaged in a job that feeds your own passion.
In my day job, I’m the head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage engagement for competitive advantage in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here
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