Published On: July 26, 2022,Categories: Articles,

How to deal with difficult candidates

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As a recruiter, your relationships with your candidates are at the heart of your job. All the best candidates are in high demand, but that doesn’t always make them the easiest to deal with. To be the best recruiter you can be, it’s important to identify the root cause of your candidates’ problems – if you can figure it out, you can help solve them, making your life a lot easier.

The Over-Confident One – Sometimes, when every recruiter wants to be your best friend, it can go to your head. It can make a candidate egotistical, complacent, arrogant even. The key here is to try not to make snap judgements. Don’t take it personally – this candidate is a product of their environment, and recruiters and employers before you have had a hand in this candidate’s attitude today. Try and be patient, empathetic, and try and find a way to relate with them. Spend some time discussing non-work-related topics and share something of yourself with them too. Once you’ve found a more human side to your candidate, dealings will become that much easier.

The Demanding One – Often these candidates will be at the point in their career where they are just realising their worth. But now they think they can ask for the moon and more. Having a frank but open conversation about this early on in your relationship will help nip this in the bud. Of course, you’ll need to reassure them that you’ll always do your best to get them everything they’re asking for, but it’s also worth delivering a dose of realism with that too. Try and help them identify a few priorities – focusing on these will help the candidate see past some of the more minor shortcomings of an opportunity. 

The Nervous One – Perhaps not as easy to spot on the phone, but if you can hear the repeated clearing of the throat, the shaky breaths and a constant stream of ‘ums’, then you can bet there are red faces and sweaty palms there too. Even a video call will make nerves apparent, so work with this candidate on making a good first impression. Interviews can be stressful, and your candidate is nervous because they care. That’s not a bad thing, but you must help them channel that energy into something more useful. Practice will help here. Provide constructive feedback, run mock-interviews, and engage them in conversation on their specialisms. It will all help build confidence.

The White-Lie One – We’ve all been there, wanting to use an accolade to impress, but sometimes your candidate may just be over-egging it. Buzzwords and jargon may flow from them aplenty, but you’ll need to make sure they can walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Spend some time really chatting with this candidate, play dumb and get them to explain their jargon so you can really understand the depth of their knowledge. If they can’t explain clearly, you’ll want to consider if they’re actually worth the risk.

The Clingy One – No, not a limpet, but yes, will be sticking to you as though they were. This candidate may be anxious, needing to feel in control, or simply may feel at sea with their career at present. It’s important for you to be calm but firm when dealing with them. You’ll probably be the one steering the ship in this scenario; make sure you’re drowning out the distractions for your candidate while presenting their options with a clear ‘pros’ list. There may be excessive phone calls and emails – reassure your candidate that they are top of your priority list and that you’ll report back to them as soon as you have any updates. 

Being the best recruiter isn’t just about growing your billings. At Talent Ticker, we provide an all-round solution that will help you save time, grow your network, and take the hard work out of recruiting. We even impart decades of industry knowledge to help you at every step of your career and in every aspect of your role. Interested in stepping up your recruiting game more? Check out these tips for screening candidates or identify some new opportunities here.

What next?

Want to know how else Talent Ticker can help you improve your billings? Using our database of 650 million real-time contact profiles, you can search for the latest numbers and emails for outreach, ensuring higher connect rates and more productive conversations. You can also use our powerful automations and highly personalised multi-touch campaigns to increase engagement. You can even sync your tech stack and email to our platform, too. 

With the Talent Ticker Chrome Extension, you can also gather key insights, vacancies, and valuable contact data directly from company websites and LinkedIn profiles. Not only that, but you can also connect with prospects or candidates directly through the plugin and bypass your InMail and connection request limits.

Find out what else we can do

Interested in seeing how else Talent Ticker can save you time and improve your effectiveness? Book a quick 15-minute call with our team to see how you can spend less time doing business development, and get more time to build stronger relationships with candidates and customers. 

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