Every recruiter surely knows the answer to the question “When should the candidates’ CVs be submitted?” - “Against the clock!”. Such a short dialogue is a harbinger of problems. Unfortunately, not every recruiter can be just as frank giving away the big “secret”: if a company wants to get the CVs against the clock, the search should have started well before yesterday. The longer the process, the more problems will arise. Normally, an employer keeps insisting, saying, “I am not going to wait for you providing me with CVs of 3-5 candidates. I want to get CVs on a rolling basis!” By consenting to do that, a recruiter makes the same big mistake, which in 99% of cases will inevitably lead to dire consequences. What are those consequences? 

First, a professional recruiter is an expert in the field of searching for the right candidate for a particular vacancy. This recruiter is not a mere headhunter. The up-to-date, trustworthy and unbiased analytical information on particular candidates based on their skills, which will help the client make a right decision, can be provided by the recruiter only after a thorough search within the market (search maps, long lists). Such an approach will let the client make a rational choice. Recruiters will choose between candidates not only in strict accordance with the client’s requirements, but they will also be able to see if the employer’s profile complies with that of a candidate (shortlist). To submit a CV of only one candidate will likely cause lots of headache and complications, which won’t bear any fruits. No level-headed (reckless just as well) decision will be taken in this case, since it is vital to have a choice before making a decision! What conclusions can one arrive at after considering solely one candidate? 

Second, many other “surprises” are lurking around, should a recruiter decide to submit CV’s on a rolling basis. 

Naturally, the best candidates will be chosen right from the outset. There’s nothing surprising about that: having browsed through their database of CVs, having inquired about candidates among their colleagues, the recruiters will quickly find the first top candidate. Little wonder the client will get a nice impression of a “star” candidate, thinking of him or her as of a very strong candidate for the position. However, would they not want to choose from several candidates? The employer will then tell the recruiter to find some more candidates. The latter will spend 1-4 weeks (depending on the position) on finding one candidate at a time. After conducting 3, 4, 5 or maybe even more interviews and playing for time, the client will finally choose the first (or the second) candidate. 

Now, dear colleagues, beware! The “very strong” candidate will meanwhile conduct his or her own research on the employers market, visiting several job interviews. This candidate will not be quick to take a decision until he or she is familiar with all the offers available. Once they do this, they won’t put their decision into cold storage. Hence, until our candidate meets our client, the chance of the former accepting the job offer is much lower than that after their meeting. This means that the candidate is done with analysis. There is no intrigue whatsoever. The choice can be made now. Consequently, when the recruiters phone the desired candidate, whom they haven’t seen for ages, they will find out that he or she had landed a job long ago. I find this situation quite logical. 

It is not difficult to predict the client’s reaction – the recruiter’s performance has been really unprofessional; the recruiter has not managed to “keep” the candidate for me; the recruiter is mocking me. There you have the icing on the cake – the clients will start searching for the candidate they had missed out on before. 

From this moment on, the clients will compare every next candidate with the one they had taken to before. I feel sorry for those of you who think that that candidate was really strong.

Finally, I want to add that the submission of CVs on a rolling basis will not necessarily bring you troubles. However, as Murphy ’s Law has it, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. 

Hence, it is up to you to decide how exactly you will be presenting candidate’s CVs to your client. 

P.S. A possible reaction to the client’s demand “I want to receive CVs on a rolling basis” would be “Are you ready to make a choice based on one CV?”. 

P.P.S. In some cases the submission of CVs on a rolling basis might be justified. I will touch on this later, though.