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When a 360 Recruiter has to pull a 180

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by Shell Bongares

3 months ago

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In this tight job seeker market in New Zealand, reading a great resume is sometimes like a needle in a haystack, so it is imperative to snap up those quality job seekers before they disappear.
 

Just recently, I was super excited about a job seeker’s resume I had come across. There were great qualifications, solid tenure and great experience and I knew I had to ring her straight away.

Over the phone she was confident, knew what she was talking about and successfully highlighted the relevant experience from her resume. Unfortunately, she resides outside the Auckland region, further down the North Island, with no definite plans of moving to Auckland yet. Additionally, her work visa was set to expire in three weeks. Despite this information, with my rose-coloured glasses on, I had booked her in for a face to face interview the next day. As soon as I hung up the phone, I thought: “uh oh, did I make a huge mistake?”

When I discussed the situation with my colleague after a few minutes of simmering in my inner turmoil, she confirmed my exact gut instinct, which was: yes, yes I had. See, having only started in recruitment this year, I know I have yet to learn many things and knowing how to backpedal on a promised interview was definitely one of them.

She kindly highlighted to me that even if we were able to successfully interview her and secure the role for her, how quickly would she be able to relocate and moreover, with her impending visa expiry, will she even be able to renew it in time? I had put myself in a bit of a pickle, really. Maybe for a more seasoned recruiter this could have been an exciting new challenge to take on board to test one’s skills, however even so, the chances of following the entire process and succeeding is very, very slim given the time frame. We need to avoid setting up unrealistic expectations and instead look at the bigger picture with clearer lenses.

So, I had to swallow my own words, pick up the phone and call her right back to let her know the reality of the situation. Coming from a call centre background, I’m accustomed to receiving the worst and most negative reactions when customers don’t get their way, but miraculously she was very understanding and even wished me a good day! She realised that it wasn’t a lack of desire on my part to help her, but that realistically it would have been a waste of her time and she appreciated me for being so upfront.

As recruiters, in an ideal world, we could help everyone and anyone, but realistically, that is not always the case. We have to remember that we are humans too and have our own limitations.

You have to be realistic, and most especially always be transparent with job seekers. They will respect you the most when you are honest with them.

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