Cagey answers lead to cagey consultants

Caged Animal

You have a phone call, it’s an unlisted number. Who could this be? You answer your phone, curiosity getting the best of you: “Hello?”

“Hi, this is ____ from ____ Recruitment Agency, are you able to speak?”

Oh gosh the dreaded recruiter call, what do you do now? “Can you hold the line a sec?” If you are surrounded by colleagues I would suggest nonchalantly strolling somewhere else in the building. Preferably the broom closet if this is available. Then you fire back, “Ok I’m free to speak”.

But are you really? Part of the job selection and refining process of whittling down a short list to present to a client involves a lot of questioning. We need to find out what your skills are, where your previous experiences lie, what your strong points, and not so strong points are, what are your aspirations, and most importantly your salary expectations? And I know from experience that a lot of people are hesitant to deliver a lot of these details, and not just over the phone but in person too. The reality of the matter is that in coming to us, you are asking for our help to get your details in front of the right person and hopefully plead your case into a successful placement. If you are not giving us the information to most effectively do this, it is a waste of everyone involved’s time.

I know that particularly in terms of the salary questions, this can be a touchy subject and not one that people want to get involved in. I understand and completely sympathise with this. Problem is though that you are asking us to negotiate your going rate for new positions. If we do not have accurate information around what you need to be earning, this conversation is not going to go well.

To further explain myself in general, it is not just the lack of information to work with, that makes the recruitment process more difficult all round in this situation, but the red flags you wave in doing so. Why don’t you want to answer our questions, what really happened at that role? What have you been doing since? What did you actually do while you were there? Lack of information leaves an opportunity for people’s imaginations to run away with themselves. I don’t speak for everyone but I myself have quite a keen imagination, so watch out for how I join the dots. You might end up with a sabbatical in the International Space Station.

And then there are those who rather than omitting information, actually can’t answer the question. If not why not? Do you actually have this skill set or have you ‘bigged up’ your CV to get yourself in the door? It is our job to not only single out skill sets but to read people. And most of us are pretty good at this! You don’t think we can call out a bare faced liar? Guess again.

More information, leads to better connections, leads to more meaningful placements. Knowledge sharing is the name of the game, and it is how you will achieve your goal – your new role! Until next time, Happy Job Hunting!

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2 Comments

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  1. Good post. It a sad but true situation that many of us hide the fact we are looking to change jobs. This unfortunately leads to reservations about who we tell what.

    Once burned twice shy in my case. Some recruitment agents have aura of a used car sales person. They chase the numbers no matter what the cost. Sometimes that cost is their clients details to the wrong people or in the wrong order.

    I currently have the problem of information sharing with someone. He refuses to tell me if now is a suitable time, what he is currently doing. Often he will give me misinformation because he believes that what information he provides now is irrelevant.

    I have now changed my approach to him and ask him more tactful questions, ones with direct answers and I seem to get more relevant information.

    Not saying my approach is foolproof – but at least I am better terms with my 20 month old son 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on The In-House Recruitment Group and commented:
    Great post Tabitha.

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