Hunting High & Low – The Search For The Perfect Candidate

So I guess I’ll be hunting high and low


There’s no end to the lengths I’ll go to

I’m sure that Morten Harket and his band didn’t have recruitment or recruiters in mind when he penned the above lyrics way back in the 80’s. I’m an 80’s child, too young to remember the 70’s and way too old for the new millennium judging by modern popular music tastes. I had the hair (hard to believe I know), the braided leather bracelets and the trademark stonewashed denim but that’s where the similarities ended between me and Oslo’s famous pop band. Sadly all too quickly, I grew up and moved away from home, graduated from college and got a job. But occasionally a song comes on the radio that transports me back to a more innocent time and place and that’s usually the mid eighties, the decade that sinned against fashion on so many levels but gave us some of the best and most memorable music ever.

There are some similarities between the search for the perfect pop lyric and the search for that perfect candidate. For one thing the perfect candidate and the perfect lyric have to fit right in. There’s no point in settling for second best when it comes to either because to shoe horn the wrong candidate into the wrong job could spell disaster. Equally punishing your fans with a terribly judged lyric could be fatal for your street credibility. Anyone for Milli Vanilli? Secondly the best airplay songs are earworms that become stuck in your head on a repetitive loop. When you find that perfect candidate, you can’t think about anyone else. Thirdly the perfect candidate is a bit like a viral music video with memorable catchy lyrics – they both grab your attention for at least three minutes and leave a lasting impression. OK, enough with the pop music parallels.

The search for perfection is a constant challenge among us recruiters. We’re talent finders, talent harvesters, talent sourcers and above all else we get people. What I mean is we understand our clients and candidates and their respective motivations and objectives. Our clients pay us to find the right candidate for them and what’s perfect for one client may not suit another. This isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of job. Equally our candidates trust us to find them the perfect job and what might appear perfect to one candidate might be the exact opposite of what another candidate seeks. That’s why Recruitment is the best job in the world because the variety of clients and candidates you have the opportunity to work with is truly the spice of life.

There’s no better feeling than sourcing that perfect candidate for that client who’s been searching for him/her for the past 3 months. You may not have been the first recruiter they contacted (or in some cases even the third or fourth) but something/someone brought them to your door and you’re sure that you can help them find perfection, even if they’re not entirely convinced that it exists in the first place. That’s why working with a recruiter who implicitly believes in their process and trusts their instincts is of paramount importance when you’re the client or candidate. Our clients expect us to be proactive (not reactive) and to scour the entire market for the best candidates we can find no matter the cost in terms of time or energy.

A bit like the lyricist writing an original composition, employers want an original candidate for their next hire, one that’s “all singing all dancing” at the appropriate time of course, but then our job as recruiters is to ensure this. But how do we go about spotting unique and original talent? Sadly there isn’t a cloning device out there that would automatically replicate the best talent in the market. If there was, our jobs would become redundant pretty quickly and the hiring process would be significantly shorter as a result. But then again clones wouldn’t be original hires and as much as some employers might profess to wanting “another person like Jim/Jenny in Accounts”, their version of the perfect fit is just that – “their version“. What I might see as being perfect from an outsiders perspective might not be at all what they want and consequently I spend a lot of time with my clients attempting to understand their vision of perfection.

There’s no easy path to hiring success and there’s no compass to navigate your way to candidate perfection. You simply have to trust your instincts, hire with your heart & follow your gut and rely on those instincts to guide your judgement. A bit like a sommelier has a nose for a good wine, I like to think that we have a nose for a great candidate and can instinctively differentiate the good from the great within 5 minutes of speaking with any potential applicant. It’s the recruiters “Eureka” moment when we recognise that great candidate that we’ve been seeking and we say “A-ha” there you are, just what we’ve been looking for.

So if you or someone you know is seeking their own version of perfection right now and could use some impartial objective advice, why not have them contact Campbell Rochford today? We promise to listen attentively, ensure that we get as close to perfection as humanly possible and no cheesy pop songs.

Campbell Rochford – Turning Good To Great!

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