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What Recruiters Want

CPC Career Team 5

By Lori Jazvac.

Recruitment is not a simple task, but a challenging one. Employers seek employees with appropriate skills sets and industry experience, along with values that harmoniously align with the company’s organizational culture.

Search Party found that 54% of employers are unhappy with the candidates selected by their recruiters; 38% cited “culture mismatches” as one of their main concerns. The Harvard Business Review supports this notion suggesting that “Culture fit is the glue that holds an organization together.”

Clearly, a gap exists between what leaders want and what recruiters deliver.  The challenge for recruiters is to fill an opening with the appropriate candidate in as little time as possible. The “right fit” means that the candidate must align with the requirements of the role and the particular values and culture of the organization. Recruiters employ technology, analytics, and other creative tactics to attract these ideal candidates.

Today’s recruiter knows the candidate, what drives his or her purpose, and the types of assignments that will best leverage individual qualities. Candidates who are successful in securing employment don’t expect recruiters to consider them for a variety of positions. Rather, they work collaboratively with the recruiter to determine the most appropriate opportunity, ensuring that they are the “right fit” before approaching the employer.

Guidelines for Career Practitioners

As Career Professionals, we need to coach our clients to approach recruiters in a positive and professional, goal-oriented manner. The resumes that we design need to showcase the candidate’s expertise and unique value proposition. Empowering clients involves preparing them to answer potential questions that recruiters ask. We also must align our services to ensure that our clients are meeting the cultural needs of the employer.

Recruiters are seeking the candidate who can successfully:

  • Demonstrate an authentic passion and confidence to adopt a specific role.
  • Respond promptly to an appropriate opportunity and make him/herself available as quickly as possible.
  • Present a strategically customized resume tailored to a specific position with relevant use of keywords.
  • Articulate the ideal marketable skill set in a goal-driven and results-oriented value proposition.
  • Display an online presence with a LinkedIn profile that represents the person authentically.
  • Present him/herself with a high level of professionalism, politeness, and integrity.

In addition, recruiters require attention to these basics:

  • Appearance – good personal hygiene with appropriate attire for the role.
  • Handshake – a first impression speaks volumes about the candidate.
  • Eye contact – poor eye contact signals that the candidate may be hiding something.
  • Honesty – stumbling through interview questions raises red flags.
  • Excellent references – shows that the individual is valid and reliable.

Here are some additional recommendations from recruiters:

According to  The Guardian, recruiters value graduates with excellent academic grades, but look for other factors: creativity, problem solving, team work, and leadership.

According to  Kelly Services, recruiters expect serious candidates who are self-motivated and who treat recruiters with respect and integrity, while being completely honest about their experience and abilities.

“Being proactive and owning your job search is a distinct asset. In fact, it’s appropriate to treat your candidacy as an ongoing job interview that allows you to add skills and experience over time.” 

According to dice.com, recruiters want five things from candidates. They should:

  • Be ready for change
  • Know who they are
  • Express genuine interest in the position
  • Know what they want
  • Say “yes” to new opportunities and risk-taking

Candidates who are a “right fit” tend to be more satisfied on the job and motivated to contribute on a larger scale. As a result, they are likely to increase morale and incur less recruiting turnover and additional costs for the employer.

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