The Missed Candidate

A candidate dropped out of our recruitment process last week. This was particularly tough as I had approached the candidate directly (we had worked in the same company a number of years ago) and we had a number of conversations on the role which I think we both felt was a good fit.

Truth be told we were too slow following up, and in this market that’s just too long.

Or is it?

Fear of Missing Out

This isn’t the first time that the IT sector has started to overheat, making recruitment challenging. The situation is certainly exacerbated by Covid, not necessarily the virus itself, but the impact it has had on people’s attitudes to remote work and flexibility. There are simply more and more people on the market, but still not enough to satisfy the demand of the market.

To borrow from the property world, it’s a sellers market and, similar to that property market in 2008, it’s leading us all down a bad path.

The surfeit of roles on the market is leading companies to compromise on their recruitment processes, which will certainly lead to poor decisions being made. Candidates, or maybe recruitment agents, have quickly recognised this behaviour and now expect quick decisions on their applications.

The result is entirely predictable, because we’ve seen it before. Companies will rush their decisions, candidates will take roles that actually are unsuitable for them resulting in continued churn in the market.

That churn will cause price inflation that is unsustainable, and in the long run the market will drop. I know this is unpopular as a view, but you just need to look at the aftershocks of the first Dot Com bubble in the 2000’s, the decline of the Celtic Tiger in 2007 / 2008 to name but a few. It’s cyclical and salary inflation is the first thing to reset on a downturn.

Your Very Best Self

I’m often reminded of a conversation I had with a colleague and friend many years ago where he passed on some advice he had received in relation to interview candidates.

You’ve got to think that you’re seeing this person on their best day.

Over the years I’ve concluded that to not always be true; circumstances can lead to the candidate not having their best day, so the role of the interviewer is to help the candidate offer their ‘best self’ in that moment.

But there’s also the other perspective, which is the candidates viewpoint. They have to consider that they are seeing the company on their best day. In point of fact they’re only seeing snippets of what the company might be like.

All interviews are a sales process, where the candidate is the product being traded. On the one side you have the candidate who is trying to highlight their best traits whilst minimising where they are lacking. Similarly you have the company representing themselves as the working equivalent of Shangri-La where all the candidates dreams will be realised.

This of course is oddly normal, but it means that neither party should be particularly interested in rushing the process. Distilling the pertinent information from that which is presented is not a trivial process, and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Where there are so many job opportunities, the consequences of getting it wrong, for a candidate, is not dramatic. But if, as a candidate

Deliberate, Not Reactionary

So here at InvoiceFair, we’re going to stick to our process. We’re going to represent the company and the opportunity as best we can. We’ll put our best foot forward, but we won’t be sacrificing our basic principles and our more detailed approach to making sure that not only is the candidate right for us, but that we’re going to be right for the candidate.

And yes, that means that we’ll miss out on a lot of candidates.

And yes, that means that getting into InvoiceFair will be more challenging than many of the other companies.

But, it also means that should we be lucky enough to get you to join us, we can be sure that the match is good.

What About Bob?*

So, yes I’m disappointed that the candidate; I think we’d aligned on the nature of the role and the real benefits of the opportunity, and I think (hope) they were pretty excited about the role. But until pen gets put to paper, or whatever the virtual equivalent is, nobody’s committed to the deal.

Remember, if we’re a 1 in a 1,000,000 company to work for, there’s there’s 21 other companies in Europe which are equally good for the candidate.

By the way, the candidate reached out to me to tell me that they had taken an other role, which I appreciated. I wished them the best – and I meant it. If we’re not interested enough to want the best for the candidates we’re interviewing, then we probably shouldn’t be involved in the recruitment process.

In the end, sometimes we get there but sometimes we won’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our process needs to change.

* Not the candidate’s real name

5 thoughts on “The Missed Candidate

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  1. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been working with? I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?


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