Articles From the Team

Why do recruiters ask about other interviews?

I was recently talking with a candidate who took great offence when I asked where they were interviewing. I’ve also noticed a growing trend in candidates not wanting to say where they are moving too when they have secured new positions.

I’ve never really understood the reservation about discussing this information and I worry that people’s hesitation is motivated by misunderstanding. Therefore, in an effort to clear things up I thought it was running through the reasons (at BCL Legal at least) that we ask about these things.

Obviously I can only talk about BCL Legal. Recruiters in other organisations may have different motivations.

Just to be clear we’ve got no interest in trying to hijack your job offer, we’re not about to call the Partner you are interviewing with to slag you off and we’ve got too much work from our preferred supplier clients to be trying to be chasing vacancies with firms that have no interest in working with us.

Questions about where you are interviewing are motivated by three things. The first and most obvious is that we are trying to understand your job search. If we believe that you’ll only look at IP focussed roles within a three mile radius of your house but in actual fact you are interviewing for a general commercial contracts role which is a 45 minute commute, then clearly we have missed something. Without all the information we cannot provide you with the best possible service and may not tell you about roles that you would be interested in.

The second is that interviews elsewhere can make an active difference with our clients. We have many examples where a Partner who is on the fence about a candidate is tipped over the edge into interviewing because one of her/ his competitors is interviewing that candidate. Tied to this is the fact that different firms run their recruitment processes at different speeds. It is obviously best for you as a candidate if all processes finish as closely together as possible. If we know where else you are interviewing, we can help to manage those processes.

Finally we all report into someone. When we have you on interview for roles we need to be able to talk to our managers about how likely you are to secure the role and accept if offered.

Questions about where you are moving to (when you’ve secured a role through another source) are similarly motivated by three main things. Firstly if we haven’t placed you into your new role, then we have not provided you with the best service that we could have done. By understanding where you are moving to we can learn and make sure that we do a better job for the next candidate that we work with. There is also a client service aspect because if you have a joined a client, that we have a preferred supplier agreement with, then we need to look at why we failed to identify that client as a potential employer for you.

The second is to garner general market knowledge. As recruiters we need to make certain that our market knowledge is as up to date as possible. We need to understand whose teams are growing, what the busy areas of work are etc. Part of this process is collating information about establishing general market trends etc.

Finally we all report into someone. In instances where candidates register with us and we don’t place them into their next role we need to be able to demonstrate to our managers that we have learned lessons that will allow to provide a better service to future candidates.

Hopefully that all makes sense and next time you’ll take pity on the poor recruiter who is asking where you are interviewing or moving to. After all, we all report into someone….

For more information please contact BCL Legal or call us on 0845 241 0933.

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