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The importance of meeting candidates

The importance of meeting candidates

03 Feb 11:00 by Alan Jarque

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Of course all recruitment businesses screen their candidates, but how many actually meet the person that they put forward to represent them for a particular vacancy?

Whilst many candidates can present themselves well on paper, and even articulate their suitability when speaking on the phone, an interview situation is like no other. Meeting a candidate can help separate the fantastic candidate who is perfect for the job from the candidate who is not quite right or may not be serious about their job search.

The first benefit of doing so is that it enables us as recruiters to qualify our candidates’ skillset. Meeting a candidate makes it is much easier to ascertain where their strengths, and weaknesses, lie. By doing this before briefing a client on a particular profile you put yourself in a much stronger position; It is much easier to explain why a candidate can fit into an organisation and a role when you have met them and understand what exactly they can bring to the table, and more importantly, how they can do so.

A further benefit of meeting your candidate is being able to make a more personal connection. You are able to build trust and understand a person’s wants and needs. A large part of understanding a candidate can come from cues that are not obvious when speaking on the phone; body language is one of the most important factors in an interview and some studies have shown that up to 55% of communication is based on what people see.

Finally, meeting a candidate allows us to gauge something that all clients are likely to consider paramount- timeliness. If a candidate cannot arrive to meet with you on time, why will things be any different with a valued client? Whilst scheduling meetings with candidates can be time consuming, they help recruiters to understand which candidates possess better interview skills and other qualities, such as timeliness, which cannot be learned from a CV.

The next time a candidate of yours that you have not met makes an interview blunder; be it lateness, not being properly presented or not researching the business enough, ask yourself:  Could this have been prevented had I met this person? A lot of the time the answer will be yes.