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Recruiter assessments: Opportunity vs. Candidates

Question from my recent post about how technology execs are a combination of tech depth, business depth, and leadership.

Q: "Somer, how do you validate if your assessment of the opportunity and your assessment of the candidate, is accurate (or not)? How do you calibrate?"


I view this as two questions.

1) How do you assess for this?

2) How do you know you’re right?


1) How do you assess for this?

I ask questions very deliberately.

⭐On the candidate side⭐

I start out vague (“where do you add value?” “what are your proudest moments?” “what are you known for?”),

Then later I get into specific questions that relate to the position. (“tell me about a time when…”)

Asking both ways gives me a good lens on what this person talks about, where they lean, but I also make sure not to disqualify good people by also diving in specifically and addressing concerns head-on.

⭐On the client side⭐

I have a similar approach. General to specific. Questions from “why is the position open” to “what roadblocks will this person face” to “how do you define success” are telling, before we get into checkbox questions like “what kind of industry experience is most relevant” etc.


2) How do you know you’re right?

The short answer: through candidate/client interview feedback.


Want more tips and insight?

📘 Check out Search in Plain Sight: Demystifying Executive Search on Amazon. If you've read the book, please consider leaving a review. It helps more people find it. It's geared toward executive job seekers, but recruiters have told me they like it too.

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