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Setting Expectations- Part 1- Recruiters

In a job search, setting expectations is pretty much EVERYTHING!  We are going to explore this topic further in a 3-part blog series and look at it this from the three legs of the stool:

  • The candidate
  • The employer 
  • The recruiter

Let’s start with recruiters.  First and foremost, recruiters, please call your candidates back and respond to emails for crying out loud!!! 

I can’t tell you how often I hear from candidates who say “Kingston O’Neill is so responsive and other recruiters NEVER respond”.  We all miss an email here and there, but it is not that difficult to do (but thanks for making us look good)!  If you know that it can take you a few days in general to get back to someone, let them know that upfront so you have set the appropriate expectations.  This also provides a prime opportunity to under promise and over deliver!  

Another area that this concept is super important is around discussing salary expectations.  If your client tells you they are not paying a penny over $150,000 and a candidate tells you they won’t take a penny less than $160,000—-Rip off the band-aid now and don’t assume that your client is magically going to increase the budget!  You owe it to your client, the candidate, and frankly yourself, to tackle that discussion head-on and let the candidate know that the client may not get where they want to be.  This does not mean you won’t make the introduction and that the budget won’t have any wiggle room, but talk about it from the get-go and be direct with your candidate that this might be a show stopper if the company is firm on the dollars!  

The list of expectations that can be set and, in turn, need to be managed from the recruiter seat is seriously a mile along, but just remember this—you are the facilitator between employers and prospective employees.  Whether you realize it or not, almost everything you say and do is setting an expectation in some way, shape, or form!  So follow through on what you say, be straight forward, and know that you carry a lot of responsibility in the process!