Managing Expectations:A Prerequisite to Successful Hiring

Heidi Clark, COO, CHO (Chief Humanity Officer)

Heidi Clark, COO, CHO (Chief Humanity Officer)

By Heidi Clark, COO, CHO


One of the key competencies of an executive recruiter is that of setting expectations, yours and mine.

The recruiter is out there acting as an emissary for a company. She must embody the corporate values and ethics of his client, she must create enthusiasm and motivation for the opportunity. When reaching out to both potential candidates and professionals who may refer the next candidate, the recruiter is representing the company brand. The better the collaboration and communication between the hiring manager and the recruiter, the more successful the process.

The recruiter must understand the business unit’s goals and the staffing strategy, and be able to effectively communicate with the hiring personnel involved. The recruiter must be able to review the job specifications and set realistic expectations regarding the pool of candidates and competitive compensation arrangements. The hiring process and timeline as well as a talent search feedback loop must be clearly established as well.

The recruiter emissary’s role in the candidate experience is critical. Candidate experience directly affects the return on investment of not only the recruitment company, but also of the client company. The candidate experience affects recruiting effectiveness, candidate quality, and retention of the hire.

Candidate quality and retention is what distinguishes recruiters. The ability to recruit and onboard top performers makes a huge impact on the client company’s productivity and bottom line. Whereas bad hires and poor performers lead to productivity loss, loss of customers, damage to the brand equity, legal liabilities, and separation costs.

Great recruiters set up the expectation of communication and collaboration from the get-go; and they simply won’t work with a company that doesn’t understand the importance of this relationship.

Having established expectations with the hiring manager, the recruiter must now do the same with the candidates when screening them, and throughout the hiring process.

The recruit will go find active and passive candidates with the skills required and the cultural fit necessary to be a successful employee within that organization. The recruiter must establish a rapport with the candidate and a set up the expectation of a relationship of open and honest communication.  If a candidate will not be forthright about their salary or will not be candid about their job search, this relationship will not work well, and most likely the candidate will be ruled out immediately.

Effectively screening means pruning the potential candidate pool down to the most qualified and best suited. The final cut of candidates will need to be prepared to move forward putting their best foot forward, and with their eyes wide open. This is done by discussing the candidate’s needs and motivations, the role’s responsibilities and requirements, the fit with the salary range allotted, the career potential, the company culture and the management style, among other things.

The recruiter will strive to ensure that the candidate’s expectations are in line with the whole package a particular opportunity offers, and advise the company if there are issues which could present a challenge. Making sure that an opportunity is win-win for all parties is at the heart of any successful business arrangement, and this cannot be done without managing the expectations of all involved.

Expert Author:

Heidi Clark,
COO, CHO (Chief Humanity Officer)

Heidi Clark’s extensive sales background paired with in-depth knowledge of non-profit organizations allow her to bring a wide range of experience and insight to the design and implementation of the corporate culture and philanthropic efforts at Redfish.