Tales From The Cold Call: When Working Under Assumptions

A few months ago Recruiting Daily debuted it’s first installment of ‘Tales From The Cold Call‘ . A number of readers emailed us stories of things they encountered as a recruiter making phone calls. We will share these over the coming weeks and encourage RD readers to keep them coming. The following was sent to us anonymously, but I am sure we all can agree you are only good as the questions you ask. And sometimes even that is not enough;

A candidate of mine, recently moved back home to Florida and was temporarily living with his parents. He expressed interest in relocating to the greater Chicago area. After nailing down the specifics around his qualifications, his desired salary, etc. the only detail remaining was Josh’s family situation – if he was married, in a relationship, if he had children, etc. Since topics such as marital status, family situation, age, etc. are things we can’t ask by law, I asked if there were any other factors or circumstances that would influence his job search. He answered no so I began my search.

A short time later, I came across a great job so I called the candidate to give him the details. Knowing that he had moved in with his parents, I wasn’t surprised to hear a female answer. I assumed she was my candidate’s mom so I introduced myself and asked if I could leave a message for her son. There was an awkward pause after which the women replied, “My son? ???? is my husband. And this is all news to me.”

With limits on the questions that recruiters can ask- it is hard at times to not find yourself working under an assumption. The scenario  above if anything illustrates the lack of partnership between recruiter and candidate. If the candidate is not going to provide all the information needed for the recruiter to best represent them, than sadly situations like this will only continue to occur.

Here a few other helpful links when it comes to recruiters and assumptions;

Costly Assumptions
15 Unwise Assumptions That Recruiters Make
Assumptions About Unemployed

Have an interesting tale from a cold call? Share it with Recruiting Daily readers by emailing me at [email protected]

Tim Spagnola


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