The Magic Question That Can Prevent a Falloff or Turndown

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Jan 21, 2015

Dear Barb:

We have deals blowing up more now than ever before. Our IT candidates know they are in demand and constantly change their minds, disappear, and turn down offers. Our clients don’t want to hear our excuses when we explain we have no control over what our candidates ultimately decide to do or not to do. How do we make our clients realize they need to be more realistic with their expectations, and also have to realize we’re dealing with people who often change their mind? We’re not miracle workers, we’re recruiters.

Stephen Z., Dallas, TX

Dear Stephen:

You can’t make your clients lower their expectations. They will never be happy with candidates who turn down offers or disappear. If they are providing you with orders, contracts or temp assignments that are “mission impossible,” you need to be more consultative in showing them what changes would make their business workable. This does not sound like your problem.

You need to review how you interview, match, present opportunities, and follow up. Every conversation should begin with, “Has anything changed?” because things do change when you are dealing with people on both sides of your sale. Pay special attention to your ability to listen and determine your candidates’ hot buttons. If you only send your candidates on one opportunity, they will find other interviews on their own. The internet, social media and websites have made it much easier than ever before for your candidates to find opportunities.

Continue to re-interview your candidate throughout the entire process. Early in the interview process, candidates’ answers can be guarded because of a lack of trust. As trust and rapport improve, answers get more thorough and honest. Continue to pre-close to make sure you understand and focus on the priorities of each candidate.

Implement these ideas and you will greatly reduce unpleasant surprises that can sabotage your deals.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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