What not to ask when hiring high-performing recruiters

By GSR2R Admin | 28th May 2024

STOP asking this question in interviews if you want to hire high-performing recruiters!

Here’s what not to ask when hiring high-performing recruiters.

Ever met a recruiter in an interview who you were certain was going to be your next superstar, someone who might challenge your high performers and give them something to worry about, only to be disappointed six months later when they’ve become an underperformer or, at best, average, draining your resources, money, and time?

It’s a frustrating and all-too-common scenario in the recruitment industry. You may wonder what went wrong or whether there was something you missed during the interview process. Often, the culprit is a specific interview question that many hiring managers rely on, thinking it will reveal the candidate’s true potential:

Tell me about yourself.  Another version used is, Give me an overview of your career.

This question, while seemingly innocuous, is fraught with issues that can lead to hiring the wrong candidate. Here’s why you should stop asking this one question if you want to hire high-performing recruiters:

  • Encourages Generic Responses: Most recruiters are prepared for this question and have rehearsed answers that sound ambitious and aligned with the company’s goals. However, these responses are often generic and don’t provide real insight into the candidate’s motivations or capabilities. High performers might give the same polished answers as mediocre ones, making it difficult to distinguish between them.
  • Lacks Evidence in Their Answers: The question is too broad and doesn’t elicit specific examples of past performance or situational responses. High performers distinguish themselves through concrete achievements and problem-solving abilities.
  • Poor Management of Time:  The answer to this question can dominate the interview, taking up a high proportion of the time allotted. This can lead to decisions based on likability rather than the candidate’s actual ability to do the role.

What to ask instead

To identify high-performing recruiters, you need to ask questions that uncover the following:

  1. Drivers/Motivations: Understand what drives them to be an overachiever.
  2. Character/Values: Ensure their values align with your company culture and this will help them achieve success within it.
  3. Present Skill Set: Gain evidence of their recent achievements and skills.

The key to hiring high-performing recruiters lies in asking the right questions. By moving away from vague, future-oriented questions and focusing on specific, performance-based inquiries, you can better assess a candidate’s true potential and avoid the disappointment of hiring someone who fails to meet expectations. Remember, it’s about understanding what they’ve done and how they’ve done it, not just where they see themselves in the future.

Hiring high-performing recruiters

Hi, I’m Cheryl, and I help recruitment businesses attract, hire, and retain the best talent in recruitment directly.

Want to know what else to ask when hiring high-performing recruiters? You’ve come to the right place

If you would like a short video on how to best assess high performers at interview, reach out today.

Cheryl Wing

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