Vetting Candidates

Recruitment 101: Vetting and Qualifying a Candidate

Recruitment 101: Vetting and Qualifying a Candidate
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Updated August 17, 2022

Job seekers entrust recruiters to guide them through their search for new opportunities. With the emerging candidate market, it’s up to those in the recruitment industry to help candidates feel like more than a skillset checklist with an expensive price tag to potential employers. Yes, the vetting process should be focused on matching requirements and experience, but at the core, it’s about making long-lasting human connections that help reshape the workforce.

It takes the right amount of strokes to create a masterpiece, and the same goes for the art of matchmaking. Knowing what to look for, the right questions to ask, and what to avoid takes a lot of prep and planning.

What is Vetting?

As you can imagine, vetting is a research process where you carefully examine the suitability of an option you’re considering taking. Now, digging deeper into what vetting means when it comes to recruitment, this is the part of the hiring process where a company or a recruiter evaluates a candidates’ background and skillset to narrow down the most qualified professional for the job.

Since hirings are an investment for companies, they need to ensure their onboards are the right fit. Basically, a vetting process means getting to know if the candidate you’re targeting is worth your client’s budget and the time it takes to fill the position. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind while vetting candidates:

  • Begin by confirming the facts included in the candidate’s resume (skill and experience)
  • Establish the specific criteria of quality for your job order 
  • Vet candidates as potential investments using the due diligence process 
  • Make sure to check every box in the vetting process before making a final decision

As you can see, vetting candidates involves different stages of the hiring process. Knowing what position your client is looking to fill will allow you to set the parameters for qualifying each candidate. When it’s time to start the interview process, you’ll have to pay attention to any details or interactions that match this criteria; after that, it’s time to do some research, and here are some things you can check:

  • Resume and cover letter: Though this may seem basic, since these are the first two elements received, make sure to put them under the microscope to make sure there are no inconsistencies between them. 
  • Professional social media profiles: A candidate’s LinkedIn profile can tell you a lot about a candidate’s experience and professional preferences when you look closely. Their posts, interactions, and updates are things you can check to get an extended view of your prospects. 
  • References: Last but not least are the references. When you chat with them, follow up on any questions you have about your candidate’s expertise or skills to verify the consistency of the information you have. 

How to start the vetting process?

There’s no paint by numbers

If only the vetting process were so easy. But the truth of the matter is that there is no “one color fits all” when screening candidates. Knowing if someone will make a good fit on a client’s team or in their culture takes more than skimming resumes. Help paint an accurate picture of what a candidate has to offer by having a genuine conversation about their work history, professional accomplishments, and what they’re looking for.

Though not every client wants the same type of candidates presented to them, there are some general factors or qualities that most hiring managers prefer to avoid. Red flags such as instability with previous employment, inability to take direction or guidance, or even something as simple as poor workplace relationships keep clients from moving forward with the interview process.

Save candidates, clients, and your time by understanding what both parties need in order for your matches to last. Dig deep by having a handy set of questions ready to assist in uncovering invaluable information.

Sketch beyond the basics

Anyone can draw a line between what makes a candidate positively and negatively stand out on the market, but that’s just the starting point when it comes to vetting. Here’s a pro tip: it’s ok to adapt your vetting process the more you talk to and learn from candidates and clients.

Enhance how you vet and qualify not only to learn, but also to spread the word about what you have to offer. One-on-ones are an excellent opportunity for marketing your expertise, services, brand, and company. Job seekers satisfied with your approach and helpfulness will want to refer their friends and peers or even recommend your company’s services down the line. 

Consider a give-and-take approach when qualifying your next candidate. If they’re taking the time to tell you about themselves and their work, you can do more than simply ask questions. For instance, share what makes you reliable and what you can do for them that other recruiters can’t.

To boost your game in this recruitment biz, take all your shots and find the right balance between building relationships and nurturing your network’s growth.

Coloring outside the lines

Mastering recruitment takes time and requires dedication to the craft. This comes with the constant reminder that this is a people business, so recruiters must challenge themselves to see candidates as more than commission. Top recruiters aren’t trying to pull out and plug in candidates whenever or wherever. With the right approach, this industry has the opportunity to grow people and companies.

Adapt, trust in, and take advantage of your vetting process to best present rockstar job seekers to companies who didn’t know such talent was available.

Just so you’re not left with a blank canvas on how to go about stylizing your vetting process, we had a chat with gpac coach Darrin TeBeest to vet his vetting skills. Here’s how it went down:

Q: What are 3 major red flags you’ve encountered when qualifying a candidate? 

A: When there are unrealistic expectations, the urgency isn’t there, and they are too vague or they don’t know what they’re looking for.

Q: What gets your clients most excited about a candidate? 

A: What sets a candidate apart is their accomplishments. Do they save/make their company money, what are the sizes of projects, and do they have a history of stability and longevity with prior companies. 

Q: What is a question you’d ask to gauge whether or not a candidate has the right motivations for making a change? 

A: “On a scale of 1 to 10, where “1” you’re completely happy and “10” you’re out the door for the right opportunity, where do you see yourself?” Follow up with “What’s keeping you from being either a 1 or a 10?” 

Q: What’s the shortest time it’s taken to give a candidate the “green light” of being qualified? 

A: Immediately. If we know our job orders like we should, what’s important to them, their hot buttons, if it fits money-wise and skill-wise, I can vet them immediately.

For more insight from Darrin connect with him here on Linkedin, or for more on the recruitment process, visit our gpac homepage.

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Contributed by Mary Dominguez

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