A ‘Candidate’s’ Time Is A Precious Gift!

by | Feb 9, 2022

‘Candidates’ don’t owe you their irreplaceable time! ⏳

Time is precious. Time is finite.

gif of time flying

And too often, recruiters think someone is a candidate, when they are not.

Because that profile on LinkedIn et al is not a candidate, it belongs to a human who could be on the platform for a plethora of reasons. And that CV in your database or ATS is not a candidate, when it was added ages ago and they’re not interested.


Clarifying the word candidate in relation to hiring

  • Someone you identify on LinkedIn or in your database and contact is not a candidate. Even if they reply and ask for the job description. They’re a prospect.
  • They become a candidate when they express real interest in the role by engaging in a detailed two-way conversation and when they express proper interest in the roles at your company/client.
  • They are an applicant when they formerly send you their CV for a role or submit it via your ATS. A candidate doesn’t always become an applicant though. 🧐
  • They become an interviewee when they enter into the interview process. Some would argue this doesn’t include the pre-screen, I’d argue it does. 🤺
  • They become an offered applicant when you, wait for it… give them an offer.
  • They become dispositioned when you reject them from a role or they withdraw from your hiring process. As Amy says below, they can now go back to being a prospect or a candidate.


I remembered this gem from Amy Miller, right after writing this out! But it also covers OFCCP for my American readers. 🇺🇸


Please don’t complain that people won’t give you their time.

No matter how fabulous you are or how amazing the ‘opportunity‘ is, it doesn’t mean anyone should invest time answering your message or call. No person you’ve identified and contacted owes you their irreplaceable time. ⏳

I get it, it’s a challenging market. It’s a frustrating market. But prospects don’t owe you their time. People who read your message don’t owe you a reply. People who send your call to voicemail don’t owe you a reply. People who reply just to get the job spec, don’t owe you their time.


Want to know who owes you time? HIRING MANAGERS!

Because it is in their interest to invest time with you. Because the more time they invest with you upfront, the more you will save them down the line. Because the more time they invest the better the candidate experience will be and the easier it will be to recruit in the future.

So instead of wasting time complaining, especially on LinkedIn, that prospects won’t talk to you – worry more when your hiring managers won’t!

If your hiring managers won’t give you their time:

  • For a proper intake strategy session (Chapter 5 👉🏻 The Robot-Proof Recruiter)
  • To review CVs – as they agreed to do in the intake
  • For a sensible number of interviews – as agreed to in the intake. (If they won’t commit to a sensible number, call HR – you have a big problem!)
  • To give you feedback – as agreed to in the intake


Walk away! 💨

If your hiring manager won’t give you their time, wait until the pain of not filling that role is greater than their ‘busyness’!

Demand a partnership because:

  • From a proper intake strategy session you get the information you need to stand out to prospects, even if they only want the job description. Then you will have a greater chance of converting them to a candidate.
  • Timely review of CVs means you won’t waste more time discovering interested people have moved on to all the other ‘opportunities’.
  • Not being ridiculous with the number of interviews means you’re fast, keeping up the excitement, and more likely to convert someone into an offered applicant. Not lose them and have to start over!
  • Without feedback you will lose your silver & bronze applicants, and sully your employer brand… which means you’ll waste even more time starting back at the beginning chasing the precious time of a prospect.


TA Leaders: let your team know you have their backs. Let them know it’s ok to pushback. Their job is to bring in the people that make the company succeed and they cannot do that if hiring managers refuse to partner. If this is a problem, contact me about a workshop and together we’ll sort it out. 💪🏻

Recruiters: if you don’t feel empowered or confident enough to slap up a boundary or push back for the greater good, consider joining my Mastermind, which will be opening soon.

Thank you for reading this with your irreplaceable time. ⏳ 💜 🙏🏻



Originally posted on LinkedIn as part of the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter.


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