Monday, 5 December 2016

How Valuable Are You To A Recruiter?

The value of an item is determined by how much money (or resource) it takes to acquire such an item. That is why a 24 karat gold necklace is more valuable than a gold plated necklace. Ironically in HR and recruitment, the value of a potential employee isn’t determined by high cost, but low cost. Let me explain.

A few years ago, a friend invited me to a Friday evening hangout at a local bar. I had a plate of pepper soup and 2 drinks. He took up the bills. The next Friday, he invited me again to another Friday evening hangout. While chatting he said he enjoys hanging out with me because my ‘company’ i wasn’t expensive, unlike some of his friends that will drink bottles of beer and order extra plates of pepper soup. He judged my value based on how inexpensive I was.

That is how recruiters think. Nowadays, the most qualified and inexpensive candidate gets the job. Really? How?

  • Requisite experience and training: Recruitment exercises, On-boarding and training new employee costs money, so HR naturally will wants the most qualified candidates requiring the least amount of training and ready to hit the ground running. Say there are two equally qualified candidates, and one happens to have knowledge of the updated version of a particular industry application, guess who HR will hire? The one that doesn’t require extra training - the inexpensive candidate.
  • Marital status: I remember attending an aptitude test and the examiner noticed a candidate with a wedding ring and asked if he was married. The candidate answered in the positive. The examiner nodded and carried on with the test. Within me i knew it wasn’t a good sign and it might affect his progress to the next stage. Turned out he didn’t make it to the interview stage. An unmarried candidate is inexpensive when you consider the cost of healthcare for a married employee and his family. That is why Nigerian banks love candidates not older than 26.
  • Salary: In a situation where remuneration is determined solely by negotiations, the most qualified and cheapest candidate (lowest negotiator) will get the job. That is why it is important to research salaries and be prepared to negotiate strategically.
  •  Place of residence and distance traveled to work: It is common-place for recruiters to indicate preference for candidates residing in towns close to the workplace, especially when salaries are lower than industry average or the company’s staff bus has a specific route. In such a scenario, recruitment decisions will be based on the most qualified candidate who stays the closest to the office or along that specific bus route. It sounds ludicrous, but it happens.
 It is arguable that your value as a candidate is determined by how cheap you are to the recruiter at least in recent times. So it is important to be qualified, but also important to be strategically cheap.

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