• Bridging the Gap between Candidates and Recruiters - Relevancy of a Candidate Profile

      Written by ANG Wan Qi, Consultant – Accountancy & Finance 

      4th August 2014 

      "Recruiters are really driving me mad! Why is it that you are only looking for an exact fit and not for someone who mostly fits a role and brings more varied skills to the table?" These are the exact words from the status of a job seeking friend on Facebook one day. 

      He is a distant friend and when I saw his status I decided not to try too hard to defend myself and my counterparts on his Facebook status as I can understand the frustration of active job seekers these days. I am not writing to defend the recruiters he had interacted with. I am not going to take sides this time round as I can understand the struggle of being a candidate as well as a recruiter as I have been in both positions before. 

      When I wanted to take a career change into recruitment after spending 5 years working in banking and finance, it was not exactly easy as I did not have experience as a recruiter. The big and established recruitment firms ideally like people with recruitment background, they could not see why I would have the necessary skills to have the potential to be a good recruiter. Some had interviewed me and felt that I lack the necessary skill sets, or am not 100% relevant, to be able to excel in the job. Of course, there are the firms who had given me the opportunity or else I would not be able to be writing this. It is definitely important that recruiters themselves and hiring managers look beyond having a candidate with 100% fit in the job, they should look out for transferrable skill sets from the previous roles to the current role, communication skills, adaptability, attitude, personality and many other factors that would be important to make a candidate excel and successful in the role. We need to always keep in mind that if the candidate will be able to do 100% of the role and is a perfect fit for the role, he or she might not even want to do that role, or get bored quickly. Most great candidates do not just move for a pay increment, they are looking for more exposure and more challenges over a sustained period. 

      On the other hand, recruiters definitely do have their own fair share of challenges as well. It is not totally fair to blame recruiters for trying to find someone who is the closest fit to what the client wants. After all, we are paid a fee by the client to find someone who is able to transit into the role quickly so business can run as usual and have the least disruption. It is therefore important for us to bridge this gap and this is the reason why we are here. Our role as a recruiter is not just an order taker from the client but also value add by advising them whether the requirements they have are realistic based on available talent and market conditions. We always ask if they would they consider someone who is able to do 60% to 70% of the role and has the ability and the right attitude to quickly learn the ropes, afterall that makes our job easier! Many clients I work with are in fact happy to interview these candidates and bring them on board! Some clients might be very strict on their requirements for a particular role as they would really need this person to be quickly up to speed as it is critical for the business, it is then for us to explain to candidates clearly why they would not be one of the considered candidates to help ease their frustrations. It is important to be straightforward and direct. I believe in being genuine to both clients and candidates as a recruiter to have constant support from both sides. 

      There are definitely struggles for both candidate and recruiter. What we need to do is understand the struggles on each side. With clear and direct communication, we can eliminate all frustrations!