The Recruiter's Dilemma: Quality or Quantity

Steve Lowisz

Moving from Quantity to Quality

For the average recruiter, striving to please the hiring manager is of utmost importance. Not only does it make life more enjoyable, it allows you to keep your job. However, many are at a loss for what a hiring manager truly wants.

Most recruiters are under the impression that hiring managers desire a full list of candidates who fit their requirements on paper. Such recruiters do a quick LinkedIn search, determine the candidate’s experience and education, and then add them to the growing catalog of names. Perplexingly, the hiring manager still does not seem satisfied.

When it comes to recruiting, the general rule “quality over quantity” applies perfectly. While a long list of names might yield a quality hire, the hiring manager must jump through hoops to determine which candidate fits the role. On the other hand, providing a short list of qualified, vetted, and culturally fit candidates is likely to put the hiring manager at ease.

Put frankly, your long list of names means absolutely nothing if they are terrible candidates.

In order to narrow down the list of qualified candidates, thereby relieving the hiring manager of extra duties, recruiters must consider the following:

Thoroughly Check the Resume: While resumes are certainly helpful in determining education, experience, and qualifications, many recruiters fail to thoroughly investigate its claims. Alarmingly, 70% of college graduates claim that they would lie on a resume to get the job they want. Verifying past experience is a very basic prerequisite for narrowing down the qualified candidate list.

Build a Relationship: While building relationships with candidates should be a basic recruiting building block, its benefits extend beyond selling the position. Personal interaction allows the recruiter to determine whether or not the candidate is a cultural fit for the company in question. Is the candidate professional? Casual? Relaxed? Uptight? These answers can only be determined through phone conversations or face-to-face interactions.

Prioritize Wants/Needs: When determining the requirements of a candidate, communication with the hiring manager is necessary. Request that the hiring manager list all of his/her wants and needs for the candidate and then rank them by importance. In this way, a recruiter can begin narrowing down the candidate pool based on alignment with this list. Which candidates fulfill the greatest number of prioritized wants/needs?

Vouch for the Candidate: Rather than handing a stack of resumes to the hiring manager, recruiters must learn enough about the top few candidates to vouch for their eligibility. In what ways does this candidate stand out? What would make him/her a great addition to the company?

Using these steps, recruiters can begin to narrow down an otherwise lengthy, frustrating list of meaningless names. It’s time to “wow” the hiring manager with filtered, verified, and quality results.

After all, a happy hiring manager leads to a happy workplace.