Finding Each Other’s True Professional Commitment Level 

If you are looking to make a move or for a new candidate, does your professional commitment level match?

As we continue with both tips for a candidate and a client company’s hiring manager, I want to discuss how to test for the actual commitment level of either.  I have found that a multitude of firms and candidates want to explore as many options as possible to determine who is the best fit. How do you test that best fit early in the process to avoid wasting either party’s time?  Commitment is the word.  Are they committed to the procedure?  For the candidate, it’s straightforward for a recruiter to test the prospect’s professional commitment level; however, determining the company’s commitment level is much more complicated.  This blog will look at both, predominately focusing on testing the candidate’s level.  

Are They Genuine Or A Tire Kicker? Find Out The Professional Commitment Level.

As a recruiter, you always get phone calls from professional public finance individuals and bond counsels wanting to know the lay of the land.  Most of the calls are from real candidates who do not want to admit they are looking for a new position. What do they do? They disguise their first call (and rightly so) by asking general questions about the hiring market, etc.  A good recruiter and a hiring manager will see through these screens quickly, after at least a couple of years of recruiting.  A professional recruiter will see through lack of professional commitment levels faster than a hiring manager for a company. Why? It’s simply just due to the sheer number of initial conversations a recruiter has versus a hiring manager has.  There is always a pattern to these questions, so it’s not difficult to decipher the actual calls from the accurate tire kickers.  How do I judge who will constitute a genuine call where we will take further action versus the so-called tire kickers?

Professional Commitment Level Tests…

Testing is the answer to finding the true professional commitment level.  Not the formal test given after a candidate may be in a process where the hiring manager’s human relations department tests the candidate’s ability, personality, or leadership style.  No, not those formal tests. Rather there are little tests that I give my so-called tire kickers to see if they are earnest about having us help them and present them to our client company.  The last thing a recruiter wants to do is waste the hiring manager’s time with candidates who are not serious about looking for a position. Conversely, the last thing a candidate wants is to be serious with a firm, and the firm is not committed to moving the process forward.

Types Of Tests For Candidates

Sticking to the candidate’s side, my test to find the professional commitment level is based on performance.  I will generally ask a candidate to do something for me, such as write an executive summary.  Another option is to give me a list of people I can chat with about them. Sometimes a test is making changes in their resumes where we have talked about modifications that would have them appear more robust on paper.  The list of possible tests go on.  The point is not the activity I propose for them to do; instead, it is about whether they do the activity, how fast they accomplish it, and with what level of proficiency.  The quicker I get a return document and the more they accept my guidance, the more I see that they are not just kicking tires but seriously looking to make a move.

Testing For Clients

As for the hiring manager, the faster they return my inquiry about a specific candidate and provide dates to interview are all signs that they are interested in the candidate we are presenting. When the client company goes out of its way to set the next step in the process, I can quickly tell their professional commitment level.  As well as when I try to follow up after a call, commonly known as the debrief.  These are tell-tale signs of the candidate’s or the client’s commitment to moving further.  Being aware of either the client’s or candidates’ commitment level will be a great way to maximize the timing of moving forward.  Next week will be the last hiring tip as we close the year down and look forward to 2024.


You don’t need a resume to chat with us! If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.