You’ve probably heard the old customer service saying, “The customer is always right.” In today’s hiring landscape, we must ask ourselves a similar question: “Is the candidate always right?” 

With an abundance of talent in the labor market, it can be hard to give hyper-individualized attention to each candidate you interact with. But the importance of developing and delivering positive recruiter-candidate experiences still hasn’t changed. 

So how do we answer the question in today’s climate? 

Determine what you really want 

Focusing on the candidate can sometimes put talent acquisition in a precarious spot. There are really only two answers to the question — Yes or No — and the latter might mean your role remains unfilled. 

Identifying the correct option for your organization means determining whether or not the candidate is the correct person for the job. That means asking, “Do I want the candidate?” 

When the answer is no, the candidate journey ends. It doesn’t matter how qualified they are or what they have to offer your organization.

If they aren’t your choice for the role, they aren’t likely to be right — no matter what they bring to the proverbial table. However, when the answer is yes, the whole game starts to change. 

Make the process fit your candidate

Having decided on the affirmative road, you will need to adapt to the candidate. Meet them where they are in terms of communication, personality and maybe even the job itself. 

If they’re really the one, you’ll be willing to reschedule the next interview at their request; re-evaluate the position’s specifications to meet their background and qualifications; and even consider deviating from your established remote work policy. 

No request will seem too outlandish, provided it doesn’t go against the organization’s morals and ethics.

In doing so, you will also start to evolve your hiring process, making additional accommodations for the candidate experience as you go. 

Though no two candidates are ever the same, you will start to realize what it takes to source, engage and hire the right ones. Certain themes will appear again and again. 

For example, we know from the annual Candidate Experience Awards program that providing immediate feedback pays off, as candidates who receive feedback on the same day as their interview are more likely to increase their relationship with an employer. 

The sooner you answer the big question, the quicker you can give candidates insight into where they stand (and how much you’re willing to follow their lead).

Know when to say ‘yes’

In short, recruiters may need to bend for the right candidate. 

Sometimes that means making the initial decision about them earlier in the process than you might like. 

Sometimes that means staying open-minded and adapting to the candidate, rather than making them fit in with your preferred format. 

When it’s right, it’s right — and going the extra mile will pay off in the end.


William Tincup is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Indeed.