This means that when recruiters interview you, you should increasingly expect more detailed questions about your job, your colleagues and your employer.
Why recruiters in Asia are getting pushier – and how to cope as a candidate
You meet a recruiter about a new banking job in Asia but you instead spend most of the appointment being grilled about your current position. And that’s not all – the recruiter wants to know who’s in your team and whether your bank is gearing up for any hiring or firing.
As we noted earlier this year, cost-conscious banks in Hong Kong and Singapore are demanding more from their recruitment agencies, tasking them to produce talent maps of rival firms and to boost their efforts to filter out unsuitable candidates.
This means that when recruiters interview you, you should increasingly expect more detailed questions about your job, your colleagues and your employer. While this may sound annoying, as a rule you should be as forthcoming as possible when answering recruiters’ probing questions. Here’s why being more open with recruiters in Asia can work to your advantage. Share on twitter
Demonstrate commercial awareness
“Too many candidates in Singapore only focus on their day-to-day job and don’t pay attention to the big picture,” says Kyle Blockley, managing partner at KS Consulting in Singapore. “Asking general questions about your current employer gives us a feel for how ‘commercial’ you are and therefore how well you will do during an interview with a client.”
Explain your reason for leaving
“We also need to know what’s happening in your company because it helps explain why you want to leave. We need to know if your function is reducing headcount, being offshored etc as this gives us better information when we market you as a candidate to potential employers,” says Blockley.
Show you’re the right size…
“We will ask about the size of your current team, size of your portfolio, revenue size, growth last year etc,” says Adrian Choo, a partner at Boyden Global Executive Search in Singapore. “The purpose is to ascertain whether you’re the ‘right size’ for the role or whether you’re too junior or too senior. A candidate now handling a $10m business may not be able to handle a $100m portfolio.”
…but don’t give the whole game away
“Be as honest as possible without sharing any sensitive or confidential information,” advises Choo. If asked about your portfolio size, for example, you could say “between $100m and $150m”, or “last year’s growth rate was above market expectations”.
Prepare yourself for the real deal
Most of information that recruiters want is the same as what their clients want – in fact the bank may have specifically tasked them to elicit certain facts from you. “Consider meeting a recruiter a practice run for a real interview with a hiring manager,” says Ben Batten, country general manager of recruitment firm Volt in Singapore. “If there’s information you’re reluctant to share – perhaps you’re worried about how it will be perceived – discuss it with your recruiter first and get feedback so you can nail the question in an employer interview.”
Reveal your communication skills
“If you don’t open up to us, it tells us you may not be a good communicator,” warns Blockley from KS Consulting. “These days most roles require a rounded skill-set – you must be strong technically but you must also be able to communicate with your stakeholders.”
Help them map the market…
Recruiters aren’t only interested in your candidacy – any insights you provide into your current employer might help them spot future opportunities to recruit for (or from) your firm. “Market information from candidates is very valuable as it lets us know if banks are upsizing or downsizing, making internal promotions etc,” says Blockley. “And if you develop a good relationship with your recruiter by being clear and transparent they will make sure they promote your interests ahead of your competition.”
“Be cautious of consultants who appear over eager and more focused on market mapping than you as a candidate,” says Batten. Choo from Boyden Global Executive adds: “It should be a quid pro quo – for every bit of information you’re asked about your company, you should ask the recruiter at least two or three questions about the new role. If they’re unwilling to divulge information, why should you?
To see the original report, click here.