5 Tips to Recruit (and Job Search) in a Recruiter-Driven Market

Economic Outlet of the Job Search Market

It’s now nearly four years since the “credit crunch” hit, and the economic outlook is still far from certain. If we believe the media, there are huge numbers of highly-qualified graduates out there and only about 7 jobs available. It’s a recruiter’s market for the job ssearch, isn’t it? Well… no, apparently not. In my role as a sales manager, I’ve recruited twenty times in the past ten years, and finding the right person for my sales jobs is no easier now that it was before the current troubles.

I’ve put together some first-hand advice. If you’re a recruiter, I hope this helps you. If you’re a candidate, you can use this advice to help you land your dream job and gives you a look into the recruiting and hiring processes from all perspectives.

5 Top Tips for Effective Recruitment

  • Look Out for Mistakes in CVs.  When reviewing CVs or curriculum vitae (also know as resume), it’s important to remember that candidates can put anything they like in the document. A better measure of a candidate’s appropriateness is to look out for inconsistencies, mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation, short stints in previous jobs, or unexplained gaps. Clumsy mistakes can be a sign of poor attention to detail or lack of knowledge. Other inconsistencies should at least warrant further investigation during interview.
  • Start with a Phone interview.  It is good practice to conduct the first interview over the telephone. Apart from giving a good indication of the applicant’s telephone manner, it is also a great time-saver. When a face-to-face meeting goes badly, it’s usually at least half an hour before you can politely show the candidate the door. By beginning with a telephone interview, you can keep the interview time down to 6 or 7 minutes if the candidate is unsuitable, meaning that face-to-face interviews can be reserved for only the most promising applicants.
  • Be Flexible with Your Interviewing.  Whilst it’s important to have a well-structured interview plan, it is equally important to approach each conversation with the flexibility to drill down into the specific strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Whilst most interviewers will have a list of “good” interview questions such as “why did you leave your previous job?”, “what are your career goals?” and “what would you change about your last manager?”, the most important questions you can ask are “why is that relevant?”, “how would you do that here?” and “can you tell me more about that?”. Questions like this allow you to personalise your interviewing, and to press candidates for more details to ensure skills are genuine.
  • Consider Team Fit.  Anyone who is experienced workplace conflict will understand the enormous cost involved in terms of managerial time, lost productivity from those involved, and low morale in the team as a whole. Considering team fit is a vital step in the recruitment process. In addition, there are certain characters which should be present in most teams, for example highly ambitious employees, steady and reliable types, characters who provide energy and enthusiasm, and those who help teams to gel. Understanding how your new recruit can fill one of these roles is instrumental in forming a balanced team.
  • Ensure the Candidate Closes.  Important in any job, but vital for a sales position, is that candidate see interviews as a selling opportunity, selling themselves into the role. Interviews should be well-balanced, and the candidate should be asking as many questions as the interviewer. At the end of the interview, the candidate should attempt to close the deal. Should they not do this, they are unlikely to be a natural salesperson. Do not let a recruitment consultant influence your opinion of the candidate by suggesting that an interview isn’t a real selling situation. It is, and should be treated as such.

A Look Into Recruiting Processes From Your Hiring Manager

Recruiting isn’t just for recruiters.  It’s for hiring managers too.  Effective recruitment involves the entire recruiting and hiring team from recruiter, sourcer, job seeker, and hiring manager alike.   Because a good hire helps drive the business and in turn add jobs thus fostering the full cycle of the economic marketplace.

Are you in the throws or just starting your job search?  Download our free e-book for job seekers.  The Job Seeker Toolkit offers more job search insights and free resume and cover letter templates.  Click here.  

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Neil Shorney

Neil is a seasons sales director who has a passion for recruiting and company culture. Since 2006, he has only lost 10% of his employees to outside organizations and credits his management style & collaborative leadership. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Reader Interactions


  1. Josh Tolan says

    Great article! These are all great tips for how to find the best people for your open positions. Instead of using a phone screen, you might actually want to consider using a video interview instead. In a one-way video interview, you can pose written questions for candidates to answer on video. You can see how a candidate sells themselves, if they’ll fit into the organization, and how well they communicate. Best of all, you can do this all without being stuck on the phone with the candidate for a half hour or more. If the candidate isn’t right for the position and you know that immediately, you can just move on.

  2. Danielle says

    I enjoy phone interviews because it gives me a chance to figure out what employers are really looking for. When I’m asked “Tell me a little about your resume?” I counter with, “Well, could you tell me what hard skills you expect in a candidate”? This technique is helpful in really deciding what to highlight in a phone interview.



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