Clients and candidates must be clear with one another to get the right results; this is essential in the recruitment process and in the workplace as well. Let's tackle a few of the issues both sides are often less than transparent about:
Candidate skills and experience. Resume padding is a dangerous game to play - the candidate should be forthcoming about skills and qualifications. Keep in mind that you don't always have to match 100% of qualifications. You might catch their eye in other ways and be able to prove your ability to catch up and surpass. Misrepresenting yourself though does far more harm. People say that trust isn't built overnight but I find that isn't true. People believe what you say until they find out it’s untrue. It's re-building trust that isn't overnight, and in a professional setting there's no obligation to that effort. You're immediately disqualified if the potential employer catches a lie; you can be terminated if they find it later. It isn't worth the risk.
Compensation and job expectations. Employers need candidates to be forthcoming about background and skills, that's a given. Likewise, candidates need their potential organization to be upfront about compensation and what they're looking for. “Commensurate with experience” without at least a range listed isn't very straightforward, and “you'll need to talk to HR/the CEO/my cousin Earl about the salary” is a waste of time. Candidates have bills to pay too and need to be adequately compensated. Vagueness about the job is a red flag that tells the candidate they'll either be free-falling without a net in the role or they'll be doing too much for the time and financial constraints of the position.
Luckily, these communication conflicts are where a recruiter comes in. The recruiter knows the questions to ask and information to obtain from both parties and is a somewhat impartial mediator to get both what they need. There is a negotiating process to be sure but this is essentially a matching process - what do you need, what experience do you have, what are your goals and values - here is the perfect match.
Communication is the key element for both clients and candidates and always with the recruiter as well. Candidates may be back in a few years with more experience under their belts and clients will often have multiple roles to fill. Another key element - be easy to reach! Answer your phone, always call back, keep your voicemail empty, monitor your inbox.
Candidates should make recruiters aware of current and forthcoming interviews, potential or concrete offers, and any interview feedback they receive. Likewise, the client should provide the same information. The recruiter her- or himself is not immune to this back and forth of information and should provide whatever non-private information they have. If the job is difficult to fill, pinpoint and explain why.
This transparency we seek in the job hunt and HR world in general is vital. Employees spend most waking hours on the job and need to know what to expect. This avoids confusion about the job description and salary, experience, and skills, needed and offered. The client has a brand to build and the candidate has a career to develop and bills to pay. The right job is a benefit for everyone involved and builds a relationship of honesty and full engagement. Transparency creates a healthy work environment - and that leads to a robust brand and a promising career!