In your previous job applications, you may have met a recruiter who did not know your profession and its competencies.
Do recruiters have to be more competent than you in your profession?
Of course not!
And yet you have probably questioned the credibility of the person who was assigned to recruit you or to select you for “the next step”.
The same feeling has probably been in the mind of many other candidates who possess specific competencies or expertise. For example, you are in Commerce and the recruiter does not have any commercial experience or competencies.
The reality is, it would be difficult for any recruiter to evaluate talents of different areas of expertise. This is a fairly common situation when the selection process involves selection panels, external recruiters or a consultants.
Having the same recruiter to assess candidates in Finance, Technology, Marketing or Energy would be very challenging in ensuring the perfect fit.
What solution do we have in this situation then?
Possible solutions to support recruiters exist but not without its limitations.
Competency and knowledge tests may give recruiters the insights they lack in experience and competencies, however the integrity of such tests may be of question in the era of internet where answers are just a few taps away.
Then there is also the frequent job hoppers, they have become “experts” in recruitment process and excel at answering questions but do not necessarily have the actual know-how.
In more established organizations, recruiters could have an expert or a specialist from their company to be part of the recruitment process. However, this might not be the case all the time.
Ultimately, reference from previous employers may still be the safest and easiest way to determine a good or perfect fit, especially if they are in the same industry or set up. As for co-optation, it does not always guarantee the quality of candidates.
We are back to the same question in the end – must recruiters have the experience or the competencies of the role they are looking to fill in?
Another food for thought, could an expert or competent professional be a good recruiter?