How to replace unsuitable candidates

How to replace unsuitable candidates

We’ve all been there. With the best will in the world, you place a candidate that either the client is unhappy with, or they themselves are unhappy with the placement and all you can do is replace them. Even with the best intentions, the most thorough gathering of information, the most rigorous of checks, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

But how do you replace unsuitable candidates? We explain how.

How to remove candidates in permanent placements

In permanent recruitment, replacing candidates can be a very tricky minefield indeed. Although the contract is between your client and candidate, they may still ask for your advice or even for you to be involved in the process of terminating the contract. So what do you do?

You’ll have to remain staunchly unbiased in this situation, and very carefully find out the reasons why the client feels the candidate isn’t suitable. Any advice you give needs to be in guidance with current laws and legislation so tread very carefully.

Often in these cases, once you know the reason for a client deeming a candidate unsuitable, you are equipped with additional information which you most likely didn’t have when you were recruiting for the role in the first place. This is the silver lining to the situation as you are able to arm yourself with an additional key selling point as this new information will enable you to carry out an improved candidate search when finding a suitable replacement.

How to remove candidates in temporary placements

For temporary placements, the legal implications are far less daunting and contracts or placements can be terminated by either the client or the candidate with very little notice. But it’s worth referring to your company’s contract with the candidate to ensure you are working within their guidelines.

For temporary placements, your recruitment agency is the active employer so unfortunately you’ll have to get your hands dirty in the liaison between the client and the candidate. On occasion clients and candidates will take it upon themselves to have the discussion directly, although naturally many will prefer not to when they can ask you to have those tricky conversations for them.

It’s important to be honest with your candidate. If for example the client doesn’t want them back in the next day, that is exactly what you need to tell them. Having an unwanted candidate show up to work again is less than ideal! That situation could potentially harm your relationship with your client much more than the placement of an unsuitable candidate in the first place.

How to replace unsuitable candidates

As for replacing the unsuitable candidate, always keep the details of any candidates that are suitable for the role but you did not put forward.

You should always have reserve candidates available in case a placement doesn’t work out. Of course some candidates may not be available by this point, which is why it is especially important to keep track of all your applicants.

If you don’t have any reserve candidates, sadly it will be back to square one meaning either re-advertising or returning to your database to search for candidates. This obviously isn’t ideal and takes up valuable time, but it can reap good results as the timing of your adverts may attract different and more suitable candidates than before.

Always remember, even when you have time pressures on you, make sure you don’t skip any of your usual thorough candidate vetting/registration process. It’s better to be honest and realistic with the client about the time you need to do your job efficiently. Lack of preparation can lead to the exact situation that you’re trying to rectify, and in the worst case scenario, having to replace a candidate twice is definitely more than twice as harmful as doing it once.

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