Business, Columns

Career Corner: Looking in the Mirror

To quote Michael Jackson, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” | Courtesy photo by Min An from Pexels

By Angela Copeland

If you’re a manager, you will sometimes be in the market to hire someone new. Have you ever found yourself in this situation, but there are just no good candidates? Everyone you’re interviewing is a dud. Does that sound familiar? If so, it may be time to look in the mirror.

If you’re relying on recruiters to find the best candidates (and you’re having trouble), there may be something you don’t know. Don’t get me wrong. Many recruiters are amazing. They can sift through stacks of resumes and find just the perfect candidates.

Then there are the other recruiters. They are doing you and your company a disservice, but you’d never know it. Why not? Well, because as a candidate, if you complain, you’ll be eliminated. Nobody wants to hire a complainer and if you (the candidate) complain after you’ve been eliminated, then you’re just the sore loser.

So, what could go wrong that it might impact hiring? The biggest issue is that some recruiters are unwilling to take the candidate into consideration. Their opinion is that if the candidate wants the job, they’ll make themselves available. A recruiter may contact the candidate with only an hour or so of notice to request an interview or they may call with no notice at all.

They believe the company and the hiring manager are very busy people. The candidate should cater to them. In many ways, this is true. But a great candidate is not available all day, waiting for interviews. Successful folks have things to do and they have commitments to their existing company that they need to keep.

As a hiring manager, how would you feel if the recruiter expected you to interview someone with only an hour of notice? That would be a little strange, right? Now, imagine you weren’t just asking questions; you were answering them.

Very often, recruiters are also late to interviews or they miss them completely. They expect the candidate to understand that something came up. It’s also not uncommon for a recruiter to interview a candidate without ever having seen their resume.

Add to this list illegal questions. It’s not uncommon for a recruiter to ask the candidate about their marital status or whether or not they have kids. The candidate rarely objects to these questions, but I can assure you that they take note.

Candidate experience is real. More companies should give candidates a way to give feedback on their experience. Instead, candidates are never asked about how they felt. I do believe a candidate should be as flexible as they can. They’re selling themselves after all. But if you expect the candidate to drop everything multiple times, you’re going to end up with the candidates who don’t have much going on professionally. You won’t be happy with the selection.

If you can’t seem to find good candidates, it may be time to look in the mirror.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

October 22, 2020

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Angela Copeland

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