Great Expectations: Recruiters and Candidates


Although I’m not a lonely old woman locked away in her spider-web adorned mansion wearing her wedding dress, I can be the key to your future success and fortune-your benefactor of sorts. However, Pip had to uphold to the high standards of elite London society before he could come into his fortune, just as candidates have expectations they must fulfill when working with recruiters. Likewise, recruiters have standards they need to maintain with their candidates.

As Pip learns, achieving nobility does not only include mastering the mannerisms and frivolities of the upper class but also maintaining one’s integrity and personal values. Both sides of the equation, the candidate and recruiter, expect trust and sincerity to achieve their goals. Unlike the mystery behind Pip’s secret benefactor, honest communication is essential to a good relationship with your recruiter. In a business world that is as ruthless and exclusive as high society in the Victorian age, there are certain expectations that must be attained in order to succeed.

Candidates should hold high expectations for their recruiter. They should have no doubts or reservations that their recruiter is acting in their best interest and not just his own. A recruiter should listen to his candidates’ needs and concerns. A candidate should trust that his recruiter is making qualified introductions. Many worry about the “square peg, round hole” stigma- the fear that a recruiter will make an unfitted match for his own profit. Candidates must hold their recruiters to high standards of integrity, and choose only to work with recruiters they feel comfortable with. Candidates should also have the expectation that their recruiter will provide some level of “candidate care.” A recruiter should provide a candidate with detailed information about how to approach different interviews, where the interviews are, how to get there and what to expect. And since the recruiter is the middleman, a candidate should expect to hear feedback about an interview within forty-eight hours of the meeting. A candidate should expect open and constant communication with a recruiter until at least the first day on the job. Finally, a candidate should be reassured that all information will be kept confidential within the parties involved.

However, remember that a recruiter’s sole client is the firm. A candidate cannot expect that a recruiter will actively search for and contact companies to hire him. And while many recruiters keep databases of resumes to pull up when a position opens, it should not be expected that they will otherwise keep in touch with a candidate about job possibilities.

A recruiter may also hold high expectations for the few candidates he or she chooses to work with. A recruiter will expect completely open communication on the candidate’s side. A candidate will be expected to disclose whether or not he is working with other recruiters, if he has taken any initiative in the job search himself, and which firms he has contacted so far. In order for a recruiter to make the most successful match possible, a candidate must be honest about his search criteria. Also, it will be expected that the candidate’s resume is an accurate portrayal or his previous education and work experience. Miscommunications or deception will end up harming every party involved in the end. A candidate must continually update his recruiter about changes in his search status. Especially if working with more than one recruiter, the candidate should tell every recruiter if he has any interview and if a job offer follows it. He should also update the recruiter on his current work status, in case he decides to stay in his current position. That way nobody’s time is wasted. A candidate should call a recruiter within forty-eight hours of an interview to debrief and discuss the prospects of the position. Most importantly, a candidate should be forthcoming about any information that could either help or hinder the placement process. This information includes credit, criminal and DMV records, or any other information that might be exposed through a background check. A recruiter should expect a candidate to lay it all out on the table before anything becomes a liability in the future.

Working with a recruiter is like entering a relationship. Both parties must fulfill each other’s great expectations in order to find success.