by Bill Radin
More Tips for Recruiters
Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
That was Then, This is Now
It was 10:00
PM and Audrey was elated.
She had just spoken to her candidate, who told Audrey she would accept her
client's offer. All Audrey had to do was call her client the next day,
receive the formal offer and extend it to the candidate.
Everything went according to plan. Audrey got the offer at noon, and
immediately called her candidate.
"Great news," said Audrey. "You got the job!"
"Hmm," said the candidate.
"You don't sound too excited," said Audrey.
"Well, there's a problem," said the candidate. "I can't accept the offer."
"You're kidding," said Audrey. "Last night, it was go, go, go. Now
you're saying no, no, no. What happened?
"At nine this morning, I got a call from a company I interviewed with six
months ago," the candidate explained. "The position I really wanted was put
on hold, but now it's on the front burner. We set up an interview for next
week, and I can't make a commitment until then. Sorry."
Change You Can Count On
Audrey did everything right—until the moment she extended the offer. She
forgot to ask the question, "Has anything changed?"
Had her facts been updated, Audrey's could have advised her client to fill
the job with another candidate. Instead, she presented an offer the
candidate would most likely dangle in front of another employer.
As recruiters, we're often challenged by facts that change and circumstances
Take the screening interview, for example. A common mistake is to set in
stone the salary the candidate says she would accept should the right job
fall into place.
Later on, when an offer's in the works, the candidate's salary needs
sometimes take on a northern drift. So we dig in our heels and try to shame
the candidate into taking less, by pointing out the contradiction in what
she said a few weeks earlier and what she's telling us now.
Given the situation, this tactic would seem appropriate. But before you put
on your "bad cop" hat, you might want to ask the candidate, "What have you
learned about the job that's changed your salary needs?"
For all you know, the candidate has a perfectly good reason to ask for more
money. Certain aspects of the job, such as travel requirements, additional
responsibilities or an absence of benefits may have recently come to light,
and couldn't have been foreseen.
I've found that when a hypothetical converts to a reality, a decision is
likely to change. And since you can't fight—or ignore—the facts, you might
as well learn to deal with them.