6 types of candidates and how to deal with them

1st May 2019


Your job as an in-house recruiter plays a major role in shaping your company.

Every time you fill a role, you help a company build a workforce that can either dampen their productivity or help them deliver life changing products or service.

During the process, candidates of the “soft-kind” will grace your chair and the “hard-nut-to-crack” won’t be far from you either. Who knows? The complex one might be the best man for the job, but you can’t find that out if you don’t recognise his personality and understand how best to deal with him.

In this article, you sure will learn 6 different types of job candidates and how to effortlessly deal with them.

The demanding candidate

During a period when a candidate has several offers, they might come off as overly demanding. Usually, they demand a salary above their market value, silly benefits, and working conditions. This situation can be really delicate – the company might be unable to afford the demands and the candidate on the other hand (who happens to be highly skilled), remains difficult. Here’s how to manage such candidate:

  • First of all, be sure that such candidate, wouldn’t ruin your reputation with his stubbornness
  • Tell him the best you can offer
  • Run through their CV again and allow them to prove their worth. If they fail, show them the industry standard salary. If they excel, you can table his worth before the job owner. Let them decide if they can afford such talent or not.

The over-confident candidate

For obvious reasons, an over-confident candidate is similar to a demanding candidate. While the demanding candidate isn’t forward, the over-confident candidate is. He sidelines the introductory questions because he thinks he’s way too experienced for it, answers your questions with another question, quotes a huge salary and finally, wants to automatically know when he can start.

This is the time to play tough.

  • Remind him he still has to impress you by throwing him some really tough questions. This will humble him to an extent.

Fortunately, if he succeeds in impressing you, congratulations! You just landed yourself a go-getter!

The shy or self-belittling candidate

These candidates are actually excellent! The problem is they’re shy, give extremely short responses and lack the ability to sell themselves. What do you do?

  • Don’t bombard them with too many questions at once
  • Ask questions that require more than one-word reply
  • Try to find out what interests them and throw soft questions about it

The chit-chatter

As a result of nervousness, this candidate talks too much and barely allows you to complete a sentence. Shunning them immediately will kill their spirit, do this instead:

  • Smile and be calm with your speech, it might ease up the stress
  • Tell them to be calm

If this doesn’t work, you might be on the verge of employing a perpetual talkative. Regardless of his skills, the habit will make him unpresentable and unproductive in the long run.

The clingy or needy candidate

While sustained contact is crucial to making a candidate feel valued, you still need to draw a line at some point. You know these candidates – they’re so eager to get the job so they practically stalk you on every social media platform and send you frequent emails. Truth is, they mean well, so don’t shut them out rudely.

  • Reassure them they were good and state a time frame to expect an email from you.
  • If such candidate persists, even after you have provided the information you have, then quit replying their emails. Eventually, they will stop.

The rude candidate

Depending on how far you’ve gone in the recruitment industry, you should have met quite a number of rude candidates. They are proud, have the most condescending tone and might even shoot you a terrible look that makes you question your power to say NO or YES.

Not too worry, you still have that power and can use it to your best advantage.

Firstly, the individual might be great for the position you’re offering but then, you can’t overlook the rudeness, can you? Also, they might be completely oblivious of their attitude but if they seem to know the job well enough, taking time to figure out the reason behind their character might be worth it. So what do you do?

  • If you actually chased them for the role, they might feel too important, so stop. Don’t try to impress them anymore and see if they come back with a better attitude.
  • You can simply point out their mistakes
  • If their rudeness is a reaction to your rudeness – could be your facial expression or a derogatory question or remark, you should apologise.

When you try to play nice and they still remain “rude”, you’re free to use your exclusive VETO power!

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Read also: 5 ways to build a successful data-driven business culture

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Oluwatobi Ogunrinde

A passionate writer hoping to educate people with her work. Oluwatobi enjoys writing about entrepreneurship and work culture. When not writing, you will find her reading about international politics.

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