Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

There’s No Mystery: The Best Candidates Get Picked

Part of how recruiters earn their fee is by determining who are the best candidates for the client’s job opening.  Some candidates may feel a little put out when they are not selected to be presented to a client. 

Understanding what qualifies as the best candidate for a job may dispel any myths or mysteries about the selection process recruiters use.  An article I’ve written for gives an objective description and some guidelines for job seekers.

Click here to read the article.  Please share your comments/questions using this blog post.


October 5, 2009 - Posted by | Candidate Selection, article, Working with Recruiters


  1. Jeff,
    Once again, a pragmatic and thorough overview that dispels the ‘mystery’ of how recruiters ferret candidates for their clients!

    I often hear: “If only the recruiter would just listen to me, I would sell myself,” despite not having required degree, experience level.

    By understanding some of the square peg, square hole requirements (i.e., Form) — perhaps as black/white as specific college attended or bare minimum years of experience in XX — a candidate may be better equipped to accept decisions regarding their candidacy.

    As well, I love your reference in this article (and as is your mantra in other blogs and audio messages) regarding ‘Fit’ where unwritten expectations are addressed. What a perfect opportunity for candidates to shed light on nuances of their personality that directly propel their performance; i.e., passion, an ability to influence and turnaround tough personalities, a drive to tackle complex challenges (particularly where others have failed or derailed), and so forth.

    Great content, Jeff!

    Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

    Comment by careertrend | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. What a great article on how we go about determining A+ candidates for our client’s positions.

    For example, I am working on two jobs that from the outside appear to need the exact same type of candidate. They will be performing similar job functions, require similar education, require similar skill sets and even require similar size of company experience.

    However, the personal “Fit” for these two companies is completely different. One really emphasizes Team, they want all of there directors and managers to operate that way and make decisions using team philosophy and input. The other company is completely hands-off and wants someone to make quick decisions, to give them an initiative and know that this person is going to need little or no input to carry it through.

    The cultures are completely different. “FIT” is extremely important in both cases, and I have interviewed numerous candidates and realized that they “FIT” either one place or the other.

    Fantastic content!
    Jennifer Bruton

    Comment by thejobawfultruth | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Jeff,

    I have been coaching someone having a difficult time finding a job that “fits”. This post is very timely and I’m going to forward it to her because I couldn’t say it better myself. I’m going to favorite this. If it were a page in a book I’m sure it would get dogeared quickly – candidates need to know this..

    Again you rock,


    Comment by Karla Porter | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Good tips, Jeff. First, sell the recruiter. I would add that if you don’t have a recruiter who’s enthusiastic about you, move on!!! Someone else will be. You want an advocate, not a gatekeeper.

    Set your intention to work with and for people who really value you & what you have to offer. When you set the intention and stay focused on it, life has a way of lining up for you.

    Comment by Katjaib | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. Form should be called – Must Haves (eg. designation)

    Fit should be called – Workstyle (Culture or Personality)

    Function should be called – Experience.

    Jeff tells job hunters to only apply for jobs for which they have 90% of the requirements. No one is going to listen to him as they have little to lose by gambling.

    Also, they always think they are more qualified than they really are.

    Comment by Recruiting Animal | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  6. Jeff,
    The content provides a clear and concise description of the process. My only observation is that the title is a bit misleading; it would have been better stated as: “The Search Firm Selection Process” or something along those lines. There are a few reasons that I say this. One, you indicated that the “Form” requirements may or may not be highly correlated with job performance but they are client “musts” so by definition someone who doesn’t have them may be as good as someone who does. Then we come to “Fit” which is usually better determined in a discussion but we all realize that there is not always time to have these discussions so it is often done by quick resume review. Finally, we come to “Function” and that is where most of the candidates that I have dealt with are frustrated because they believe that they can function in the job as well or better than anyone.In some cases they are correct but we all realize that they will not be selected anyway. Thus, it is not always the “best” candidate that is selected but the one that is closest to what the client believes that they want.
    Pete Meluso

    Comment by peter meluso | October 14, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the comments, Pete. Certainly, it all boils down to how one defines “best.”

      Comment by jefflipschultz | October 14, 2009 | Reply

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