A Letter to Recruiters: There are NO Perfect Candidates

I’ve had my share of on the phone interviews with recruiters as well as in person interviews. Throughout the years, there has been somethings that stuck out to me that I wish I could tell recruiters myself. Because not only am I non confrontational, I have a blog and what a better way to lay it out there than to say my piece here.

It’s funny when you apply for a job, you get turned down, only to find out the company is still looking to fill the position three months later. This particular company turned me down because they said I lacked “quota carrying experience”, which I don’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the interview. To me, the reasons they tell me they’re turning me down are not the real reasons. They flat out lie because they want to let you down gently. To that I say, give it to me straight. No harm in telling me the truth. If anything that can help me for when I look for the next opportunity.

If a candidate has experience, education, may or may not be bilingual, has a history of meeting and exceeding career goals, has outstanding references, may already be working in your company and you turn them down because they don’t have MORE experience? That’s bull.

You will never find the PERFECT candidate. Just like when you’re dating, you are never going to find the perfect soulmate. You have to compromise and overlook certain things that could have room for growth and give that person a chance.

What’s more is that the candidates you’re looking for may already be worn down with that same role, so why would they make a lateral move to do the same thing? When managers and recruiters stay in their comfort zone, that shows that they’re not risk takers. And why can’t they be? Us, candidates, are risk takers because we are looking to join your company even if we don’t know 100% what really happens until you’re there. The reciprocation is lacking and it’s blatantly obvious.

I can’t even tell you how many thank you letters I’ve sent after my interviews, only to get shut down once more. The last let down the recruiter said they found a group of individuals that were a better fit. A group? Sounds to me like a group of college graduates that you’d rather pay less because an experienced person like myself deserves more pay. That’s just my own speculation though.

When a recruiter sees that someone may be lacking in something that they’re looking for, help us out! Ask us if we were in a scenario where this would happen, how would we handle the situation? Even if we don’t have experience in a certain area, when you ask scenario questions, it will allow you, the recruiter, the chance to see how your candidate thinks.

But to shut someone down completely because they don’t have such and such experience you are looking for is absolutely useless. That just means that you did not do your due diligence and are not quite understanding what the role requires to see if someone you are interviewing has that spark you need. Of course this doesn’t apply if you have to be certified and licensed in a profession. I’m simply talking about qualities and experience that may help a candidate in their next role.

One last interview I had last month took me by surprise and not in a good way. This was a startup and at the end, the CEO told me to apply at a big company. I almost wanted to laugh because I was in complete shock at the disrespect. I pivoted by saying that I can see why he would say that, but I feel that working for a big company you can get lost in the shuffle and are not guided like when you are with a smaller company.

That experience alone taught me that you can say everything right, but if someone already has it in their mind they don’t want to hire you and you need to convince them, then that’s not the right job for you. It’s really disheartening when these experiences happen though. I do my best not to let it get to me because I wear my heart on my sleeve, I am a sensitive person and can take it personally. But then I remind myself that this person was not open minded and maybe I reminded them of someone they didn’t like, maybe they’re biased, maybe they’re having a bad day.

At the end of the day, I will keep doing my best everywhere I go and grab every opportunity that presents itself. Regardless of how people act towards me, I know I have what it takes to kill it wherever I end up. I just haven’t found the right fit yet. Just like dating, I haven’t found my husband, but he’s out there somewhere.

If you’re also looking and keep getting turned down, don’t fret. That only means that something bigger and better is coming your way. You just have to keep at it and put your chin up and say NEXT. No means next, thank you next.

All that to say is this. Recruiters, there are no perfect candidates so please stop this. Learn your craft inside and out, go outside the box and dig for that diamond in the rough. If you’re just looking for something that sparkles and has all the marks on the checklist, it’s not going to last because they may or may not work out in the end. Stop overlooking talent that deserves to be given a chance. This is not a presidential run for God’s sake! If it was, anyone could be president.