Earlier this month, interviewstream CEO Ron Wilson hosted a fireside chat featuring Brian Brooke, Managing Director at Advanced Resources, and Joshua McKee, CEO and Founder of Atlas Staffing.
The three discussed how to effectively present candidates to clients, covering the do’s, the don’ts, and everything in between. You can watch their full conversation here or keep reading for a recap of what the chat covered.
More often than not, recruiters are playing a massive game of telephone – receiving information from candidates, relaying that info to clients, and vice versa. Many recruiters have a habit of placing too much emphasis on hard skills and resumes, but an important part of their job is to dive below the surface and figure out who a candidate really is. It’s critical to uncover things like a candidate’s ambition or how they would fit into a company’s culture.
A resume and basic skills are table stakes – they may get talent through the door, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. To accurately pinpoint soft skills and other intangibles, it’s important that recruiters build strong relationships with clients and candidates from the jump.
“The more you can get to know both your clients and candidates, the better you’ll get to know what your candidates can bring to the table, and what they can do to solve whatever problem the client initially reached out to you for,” shared Brian.
To develop these strong relationships, recruiters should focus on the candidate experience. The trio agreed that, while clients pay the bills, if you create a great experience for candidates, they’re likely to create a great experience for the client – in Joshua’s words, “it’s a virtuous cycle.”
Holistic candidate profiles are vital to the success of a candidate-client relationship – the more information that recruiters arm their clients with, the higher the likelihood that a placement is going to work for the long term. That said, it’s important that recruiters highlight the most important features and skillsets of a candidate so that clients don’t lose those attributes in the shuffle of information.
In certain instances, when a great fit is apparent, recruiters even have the power to change a client’s mind. Some of Brian’s greatest relationships with clients have included having conversations to level-set their expectations and showcase how prospects’ skills are actually more ideal than what the job description originally sought out for. Ultimately, those businesses ended up getting exactly what they were looking for – win-win.
As a recruiter, your job is to convey what a resume doesn’t. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to presenting a candidate.
It’s important to build candidate profiles around what a client is looking for. Brian stated it nicely with the phrase, “you never want to match a job to the candidate, you always want to match a candidate to a job.”
By developing a profile tailored to a specific position, recruiters can effectively highlight the differentiators and skill sets that a candidate brings to the table, and align them directly to the needs of a client.
“If you don’t understand your client, if you don’t understand what their culture is and what the company is like, you’re really only covering half or less of the overall requirements of making that a successful transaction,” agreed Joshua.
With that in mind, there are often scenarios where initial job descriptions from clients aren’t in line with the market, leading them towards the wrong candidates. Staffing firms and recruiters should use these opportunities to put their industry expertise to work, and guide clients in the direction of stronger talent.
Yes and no. In this day and age, information on the internet and social media is readily available to anyone who knows where to look. Recruiters should always accurately represent their candidates, but at times, clients can get in their own way, especially if they have a fundamental misunderstanding of a marketplace.
If a candidate meets role requirements, experience expectations, and has the core skills necessary to succeed, Joshua believes that unnecessary ruffles shouldn’t make or break what would otherwise be a stellar fit.
To wrap up the conversation, Brian, Joshua, and Ron looked to the future. It goes without saying that this year was packed with lessons, one of which is just how resilient people can be. Countless organizations adapted their workforce and operations overnight in response to the pandemic. Now, it’s becoming more and more apparent that things aren’t going to change for a bit longer.
“People are figuring out how to do things from home. When faced with problems, when you put the right heads together, a solution will typically come to the forefront,” Brian summarized.
The past six months have been indicative of a bright future, with a lot of demand for temporary staffing as companies push on through this time. 2021 has high expectations, but the panel was optimistic for what’s in store. The rollout of the vaccine will, hopefully, bring some sense of normalcy back to the world, and allow companies to hire with confidence.
Thank you again to Brian Brooke, Managing Director at Advanced Resources, and Joshua McKee, Founder and CEO at Atlas Staffing, as well as our very own Ron Wilson, CEO at interviewstream, for great insights and conversations. To check out the full fireside chat, click here.
Interested in our HR newsletter? Sign up below!
Monique Mahler is the VP, Marketing & Partnerships at interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.