Is it still a necessity to meet candidates’ / job seekers face to face in modern day recruiting?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Is it still a necessity to meet candidates’ / job seekers face to face in modern day recruiting?

I guess I had something playing on my mind so I decided to put it out to the world of both external recruiters and hiring companies out there for some feedback and a playful professional debate.

I am a recruiter who specialises in sales recruitment on the South Coast. After receiving a CV through from a local(ish) sales professional applying to a local business development role of a mid level responsibility focusing on face to face new business, as I always do, called to schedule in a face to face meeting.

Much to my surprise, he advised that none of the other recruitment consultants he was working with and who had received his CV had asked for a face to face agency interview and were submitting his CV through to various roles with no need to meet them face to face before hand and he was unprepared to meet.

He also quite tongue in cheek implied that interviewing candidates before sending them over to clients and positions was some what “outdated and slow”.  

So, I guess it played on my mind whether I am putting myself at a commercial disadvantage by not doing this and not meeting my candidates face to face and the impact of other recruiters being able to move quicker and claiming exclusivity on them.

I am a born risk taker, always have been but I must admit, the idea of sending a candidate who I have never met to a client of mine where time and money has been spent building trust and a strong relationship without meeting that candidate and not knowing how their team fit would be, their presentation or with out the opportunity to probe around with their job history, skillset and even a bare minimum – their identification scares me!

I also question the ethics of the full standard fee if it’s a case of just forwarding on CVs to a client and not going through a thorough selection process, throwing in a few headhunted calibre candidates to mix up the process and add value. 

I guess for certain roles there could be an element of flexibility for not meeting a candidate – i.e. academics, back office roles, highly qualified positions or positions where credibility has already been established or maybe non-client facing roles  where there is less of a risk of it not being a bad team fit or company fit but I certainly feel for customer facing roles, or where a client sales strategy and where new business is on the line, there is a necessity to meet candidates.

And… Where is the benefit of the service to the candidate, to be able to offer them interview development and a consultative look at their career journey?

One of my keep USPs and what my my clients love is that I can describe a candidate in depth from a personality, home life, dreams and what drives them before they even interview. It gives candidates a fighting chance of being accepted for their dream roles based on more than just skillset.

Meeting people is how I network, its how I get referrals and most importantly its how I build the highest calibre of pooled talent for my lovely clients.

Recruitment, to me, is still a “people loving” industry, for me there is a fear of not having that personal interaction in the modern recruitment model. I protest to the future going in this direction and say “Save the human contact in recruitment industry!” – something that is potentially a dying beast.

Please humour me, or if you have a different opinion tell me if I am wrong … As I said I am always keen for a professional debate on our ever changing sector….

Written by:
Jackie Coventry