Recruiting and the Curse of Assumption

Have you ever been guilty of making assumptions? I know I have. During the placement process, there are lots of things you might assume. For example:

  • Assuming the candidate will get good references.
  • Assuming the candidate will prepare for the interview.
  • Assuming the candidate will show up!
  • Assuming the candidate is only interviewing with your client.
  • Assuming you already know what the client is looking for.
  • Assuming the client is using you exclusively.
  • Assuming the client won’t use you exclusively.
  • Assuming the client can and will sell their opportunity to the candidate.
  • Assuming the client will offer the right package.
  • Assuming the candidate will accept the offer.
  • Assuming the candidate will stay in the job once they’ve started.

These are just a small fraction of the many assumptions recruiters make. And we all know what happens when we “ass-u-me.” That’s right – it makes an “ass” out of “you” and “me.”

The real danger of making assumptions is that inevitably some of those assumptions will prove to be wrong. And when your pipeline is based on false assumptions, you’re going to lose deals – deals that you might have closed if you’d had more accurate information.

That’s why Big Billers test their assumptions by asking questions. Even when their questions have been answered, they double and triple check just to make sure that nothing has changed. And they keep asking questions until the money is in the bank, and the guarantee period has elapsed.

Instead of accepting things at face value, dig a little deeper. Challenge your clients, challenge your candidates, and most importantly challenge yourself and your own assumptions. When you are open to the possibility of being wrong, you’ll discover the truth much more quickly. When you take nothing for granted you will automatically become a better recruiter.


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