A successful interview is based on transparency, from both the candidate and the recruiter. For the latter, however, some truths are best left behind. What exactly should or shouldn’t a recruiter disclose? Guy Larivière, CHRP, Director, Executive Search at CFC Dolmen answers.
What degree of transparency should the employer adopt during the recruitment process?
Guy Larivière: Information about other candidates should never be disclosed. [The Association of Certified Human Resources’ Code of Ethics states that its members are subject to professional secrecy and confidentiality of people’s records]. It has happened that two people from the same company have been solicited by the same recruiter. This is dangerous for candidates if there is a lack of confidentiality.
It is extremely important to highlight the reality of the corporate culture. You should show what kind of organization it is, what it takes to climb the corporate ladder and the challenges that will have to be faced. Some companies have a highly individualistic culture. It's not a bad thing. But it is better to say so upfront, because it’s not good if the candidate isn’t able to operate in a highly competitive environment. You should be as transparent as possible about the values of the company.
How can you avoid mistakes?
G.L.: The interviewer must make sure that it is his mandate to say certain things in an interview. When recruiting a Chief Accountant, for example, it is good to first check what financial information may be declared, especially if the company does not publish its figures. It should be made very clear with the organization’s leaders.
What’s the proper response for candidates asking how many are being interviewed for the position?
G.L.: You may mention that several candidates are being interviewed, but it is better to remain vague on this topic. It is not very motivating to know that a candidate is the tenth to be seen. After the second interview though, you could say that he is a top three finalist.
How should one react when the candidate proves too insistent in his questions?
G. L.: You can refrain from answering. For example, if the candidate asks whether the company has received complaints of bullying, I would say this: “I can not answer you. But if I find that you should make a second interview with a person of the company, you can ask your question at this time and that person will be able to better respond.”