To find the best candidates, you’ll interview plenty of not-so-great ones. The faster you churn through those interviews, the faster you’ll find the right candidate for your client.
It takes a lot of interviewing to find good candidates. Most of those candidates will probably be of no use to you as a recruiter, some may have potential and a select few will make you feel like you found the Holy Grail of job candidates.
Real talk: It’s tough to be exposed to so many people with different problems, personalities and stories. Your immediate reaction may be to get frustrated in many situations. Fortunately, you can avoid getting to that place of irritation so you can do your job properly. Try these tips:
Stick to systematic interviewing
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in talking to people you forget you’re just interviewing them for a job. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour talking to one candidate who may not even be a good fit. Meanwhile, three others are waiting in the lobby.
As a recruiter, you have a job to do: go through as many people as it takes to find the right candidate for your client. The only way to do that is to have some sort of system or structure for interviews. That way, you get what you need as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next one.
Structured interviews are great for systematic interviewing because questions are based on what the employer is looking for. But there are plenty of other methods, too.
Be picky with your schedule
Just because you’re a recruiter and need to see a lot of people doesn’t mean you need to bend over backwards to accommodate a candidate’s schedule. Otherwise, you’re going to drive yourself crazy when they show up late without calling, decide not to show up, get there an hour early, want to come in on weekends or drop in without appointments.
If a candidate can’t get their appointment straight with a recruiter, what makes you think it will be any different when you send them to your client? In fact, there’s a high chance they’ll be just as flakey with the employer, too.
Set specific times for interviewing, be clear about when you’ll allow leeway (you’re not a monster; emergencies happen) and set rules for what you will not allow.
Don’t get too attached
You’ll meet candidates who have horrible stories, some you’ll feel empathy for and plenty you’ll want to help even though you know you can’t. Other candidates will infuriate you to no end, sometimes even to the point of kicking them out of your office.
This process can be emotionally draining and can cause you to lose focus, cost your company money and, most importantly, make you feel horrible all day long.
There’s nothing wrong with sympathizing or getting angry when it’s merited, but you do need to have clear boundaries with yourself when dealing with so many people every day. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
Understand the difference between sympathizing and getting wrapped up in the situation. It’s your job to figure out when you’ve crossed that line.
You may have to go through a lot of bad apples to find the perfect fit for your client, but knowing your boundaries will help you tremendously in getting the good ones faster. Remember, employers hired you for a reason: so they won’t have to do your job themselves.
Amanda Abella is a writer, speaker and life coach who combines her recruiting background with life coaching to help clients get clear on their career desires and how to go after them.