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Games candidates play – and why should they not?

Recruitment is more complex than just people search. We share our experiences about the dynamics of hiring in today’s world.

If the opinions of professionals on media platform is to be believed, the war for talent is going to become fiercer. As the job market turns in favour of employees, multiple prospective employers will be chasing the same candidates, some employees will make quick job changes and have a steep rise in their career graph and many employees will have more than one job offers in their pocket at any given time! All conventional wisdom about career planning, ensuring the right fit etc. will be forgotten for the time being.
Well, this article is not exactly about how employees or employers should navigate these exciting times ahead, yet something quite close to the topic. It is about typical candidate behaviour and its implications for employers and recruitment service providers. The behaviours under focus do have a negative connotation about them. However, these are often shaped by the treatment meted out to them by their employers and ‘blue chip’ corporates are no exception. While this article is written in the context of the Indian construction and real estate industry, many of the issues discussed here may be typical to other industries as well.

1. Getting CV written by someone else

The first step in recruitment processes followed by most of the corporates is screening the CV. A well written CV is therefore important for the candidate to pass the first test. Many professionals get their CV written by professional CV writers. While there is nothing wrong per se in this, the problem arises if the CV projects a very different and unauthentic image of the candidate. It is not difficult to see through this trick and many so called professional CV writers do not invest in understanding the person before writing her CV. What turns out is a CV full of cliches, job descriptions copy-pasted under different employers and use of very general terms. A discerning reviewer of the CV can see through all this, cull out the relevant information and thus screen only the deserving candidates.

2. Window dressing the CV

This is a more serious problem than getting CV written by someone else. Common tricks employed here is to take credit for teams’ performance, inflate achievements, omit short duration employments altogether etc.

3. Making unsubstantiated claims about current CTC

It is not uncommon for candidates to show inflated current CTC on the job portals and on their CV. Some employers make part of the salary payment in cash and in such a case the pay slip does not match with the claimed CTC. In other cases, some allowance which are really not a part of CTC but are essential expenses for discharge of duties are also clubbed under the CTC. As an example, gratuity which is payable only after an employee completes 5 years with an organization is also shown to be a part of package. A part of the problem is attributable to the current employer and not the candidate herself.

4. Offering candidature with ulterior commercial motives

It is not uncommon for many employees to apply for a job despite having no intention to join the new organization. Their motive is to obtain a job offer with higher salary and use the same to negotiate better terms with their current employers. This behaviour is often a result of a sense of injustice felt by the employee in her current organization or their lack of assertiveness to seek the compensation that they think is justified. Such candidates stop responding to the recruiters once they receive the offer letter and this means a great deal of time and effort wasted by the recruiter and the new employers

5. Backing out at the last minute

This is even more frustrating and damaging for the recruiters than the previous issue. Typical notice period is about one month, so if the candidate does not turn up on the committed joining date, the search process has to start afresh. Not only does it lead to wasted time and effort, but also impacts actual performance of the job for which the candidate was to be hired. Unless something changed at the last minute from the employer’s end, such behaviour reflects the candidate’s indecisiveness. If it is a result of receiving a better offer elsewhere or their current employers taking corrective action to retain them, it reflects a lack of professionalism. In either case, one should feel relieved that the candidate backed out rather than have such an unscrupulous person on board!

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