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Unsure about interviewing a candidate? Meet them for a coffee.

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In recent months we’ve noticed a rise in initial coffee meetings prior to clients putting candidates through a formal recruitment process.

There has definitely been a shift in mindset whereby clients are becoming a little more open to understanding a candidate’s experience over a coffee as opposed to disregarding them completely if they feel hesitant to invite them in for an interview.

Here are a few points to consider.

CVs do not reflect personalities

As recruiters we meet all sorts of candidates, we often meet candidates who come across fantastic in person and have so much potential but do not have the best looking CV.

On the contrary, you could have an impressive CV that ticks all the boxes but the candidate may lack social skills which is normally a requirement for advisory focused roles.

If you have been recruiting for a role for some time (3-6 months+) and struggling to find suitable candidates – it’s likely you’re being too picky!

When recruiting for a role, it’s important to have an open mind and provide some level of flexibility on the requirements of the role. Perfect candidates are rare!

A CV is a great tool but shouldn’t be the only tool that creates your judgement on a person.

You could be unsure about their CV – decide to meet them for a coffee – love them – hire them – job done!

‘This candidate is too jumpy’.

Rather than rejecting them because they are ‘too jumpy’ let them actually explain their reasons for leaving each role to you – more often than not they have a genuine reason as to why this happened and can explain any gaps on their CV.

It can be a little harsh to reject a candidate because they made a wrong career move, they were mis-sold a position, they had to deal with health issues or family problems etc.

We are only human and these things happen – this isn’t a true reflection of how committed they will be in their next role. In fact, it’s more than likely they are more driven to change their situation and are willing to work hard if they are given the chance.

Candidates find out more about you

It’s a great opportunity for clients to really sell what they do. Even if you decide that the candidate isn’t right for the role, hopefully, they will have positive things to say about you and your firm in the market.

It also allows them to see whether or not the firm would be the right fit for them, coffee is a little more relaxed than a formal first stage interview – it’s a better way to get to know someone and have a more open and honest chat.

Overall, if you’re struggling to find the right talent then it’s worth considering coffee meetings to help broaden your possibilities.

After all, a coffee (or a tea) can only help the recruitment process.

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