Best Ways to Support Candidates for a Successful Placement


By Brenda Cullum-Shergold

A recruiter’s job begins when a client identifies the need to fill a position, and it does not stop until a candidate accepts a job offer. Recruiters are coaches between candidates and the hiring team supporting both parties every step of the way. Recruiters provide expert advice and guidance for candidates throughout the entire process: from initial screening to accepting a job offer.

Recruiting is the ultimate game of “Survivor,” where the candidate’s primary goal is to eliminate other applicants along the way, survive all interview stages until they become the last candidate standing. Recruiters work hard to understand what motivates their candidates and coach them to put their best foot forward for a successful placement.

Many simple, yet useful tips will set candidates apart from the rest:

  • Ask questions that are work-related and do not disclose information that can get you eliminated or could cause discrimination such as marital status, sexual orientation, health issues (previous or current), personal hurdles or even an ailing parents’ health.
  • Take the time to understand the job description and how your experience aligns with it. Have the job description and your resume on hand. Highlight the things you have experience in, but do not shy away from the things you have not done before. Even though it might be seen as a weakness, it is also a learning opportunity for growth and development and demonstrates transparency.
  • Learn about the company by reviewing their website and social media channels.  Look for recent press releases and current news and where possible, read the latest annual report.  Identify their corporate values. Align yourself with who they are and determine why you want to work there.
  • Ask questions that cannot be answered by simply looking at their website. What is the work environment like or their corporate culture? For example, ask questions on the team dynamics, their leadership style or job requirements that are not listed in the job description. Then, align your experience and likes about the previous employer that makes you want to be part of the potential employer. Your passion will show how you might fit into that organization.
  • Never lie, but sometimes less is more. When asked about negative experiences in your previous workplace, remember, the story does not need to be told in its entirety. Be honest and professional when it comes to office problems. Speak about the issues overall, not focusing on specific individuals, but rather the positive outcomes of changes you would make. The potential employer might be curious about what you will say about them when you move on from the organization.

It is normal to feel nervous during a job interview; however, nervousness can put you out of the race. Find ways to calm your interview nerves. One way to stay grounded is to pay attention to your environment. Try noticing little things about the office or the person who is greeting you to wash distractions out of your head. Be present and let the conversation flow. Remember, they are also trying to find the right fit too.

At the end of the interview, let the employer know that you want the job. State your interest and find out if anything is preventing you from moving forward with the interview process. Most hiring managers are quite honest, so this is your chance to clarify anything that might be missing.

Recruiters spend time preparing candidates for all interview stages. It is crucial to establish honest and effective communication to provide a positive candidate experience for the job seeker. Be clear if your expectations, interest in the role or compensation expectations have changed. A recruiter needs to know all the details before they start negotiating with the client. Hiring managers also want to hear constructive feedback from the candidates regarding the interview, so they can ensure the process is being constantly improved for future interviews and candidates.