Candidate coaching: how it benefits the clients

  • 5 Min read

Candidate coaching benefits to all the important parties of the recruitment process: the candidate, the recruiter and also the client. Today, we will focus on the benefits of candidate coaching for the client. But what exactly is candidate coaching?

Preparing candidates for interviews has a whole lot of benefits: it helps candidates feel more confident, they will appear calm and collected, and will have higher chances to succeed their interview and leave a good impression. While the benefits for candidates are obvious, candidate coaching benefits to all the important parties of the recruitment process: the candidate, the recruiter and also the client.
Today, we will focus on the benefits of candidate coaching for the client.

But what exactly is candidate coaching?

Candidate coaching is when a recruiter takes the time to fully prepare their candidates for an upcoming interview with the client: giving them insights about the company's culture, the kind of questions to expect during the interview, what they need to know and prepare for the interview, and simple tips on how to dress, how to greet the interviewer, and how to close the interview. 
While this seems like a usual procedure for some, not all recruiters are in the habit of investing in candidate coaching. The general benefits are the following: it helps to build a bond and a relationship of trust between the recruiter and the candidate, it creates a better candidate experience, and it reduces the loss of good candidates due to trivial reasons.

The goal of candidate coaching is not to make a bad candidate look good but to ensure that this good candidate will not miss the interview because of a minor error that could have been avoided. Ultimately, candidate coaching helps reducing the loss of good candidates during the hiring process.

Sometimes, the best candidates for a job are not necessarily the ones who will perform best during the interview. You can have an impeccable resume with relevant skills and experience; the reality is that the best interviewees could get the job.
Indeed, how candidates perform an interview can sometimes be more powerful than their resume and profile. 
So, in order to increase the chances that the client will see the right candidate in the best possible light and make the right choice, it is a smart move to invest some time in coaching the candidate. While a good resume always makes a very good first impression and relevant experience is still weighing heavily in the balance, it is certain that what will tip the balance on one side or the other will be the candidate’s ability to perform well and leave the best impression after the interview.

Unfortunately, many candidates are quite busy and are sometimes waiting until the last minute to prepare for an interview: they will only quickly browse the company’s website and miss out on learning about the company’s culture and values. They also tend to forget to prepare some answers to typical questions, or due to pressure, tend to speak too much or too little.

Time spent on coaching candidates can vary of course, and sometimes a quick coaching session on the phone or by email can already go a long way: ask the candidate how they plan to prepare for an interview with the client, tell them what website to check, what to prepare, what to know, advise them to have some relevant questions to ask during the interview, and remind them of the most basic – but important – tips like how to dress, and check the location and possible traffic jam to make sure they will arrive on time.

The idea is to tell your candidates what to expect and to make them feel comfortable and confident enough to help them reveal their real personality, strengths and talent to the client during the interview.

The recruitment process is a long process that requires a considerable amount of time and money for the client. Therefore, candidate coaching also helps avoiding wasted hiring manager time by meeting with well-prepared candidates. Furthermore, it lowers the chances of missing out on good candidates when they do not succeed the interview because of an error that could have easily been avoided with a good coaching prior to the interview.

Here below is a non-exhaustive list of benefits of candidate coaching for clients:

- Candidate coaching can lead to a better performance from candidates during the interview and as much as it is a huge benefit for the candidate, it is one as well for the client;

- Candidate coaching will help the candidates with building their confidence, which will make them  feel more relaxed and authentic during the interview;

- All candidates can feel anxious prior to an interview, especially if they have a feeling that for some reasons they do not belong. Candidate coaching can help with bringing all kinds of good candidates to their best and therefore can help the client with their diversity hiring;

- If the recruiter has taken the time to coach the candidate, they are more likely to know the candidate and can assure that they will be a good fit for the position and the client;

- Proper candidate coaching followed by a successful interview will leave the candidate with a good experience of the hiring process and of the interview with the client;

In conclusion, the purpose of candidate coaching is neither to hide serious candidate flaws from the hiring manager nor to force a placement with an unfit candidate. Instead, it is meant to bring out the candidates’ very best while they maintain their authenticity and honesty: something that clients like to see during interviews.

According to you now, what are the benefits you could have from meeting with candidates who have been well prepared before the interview? Let us know or comment on this article #wecareforpeople.

Kind regards, 

Carole Gerday

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