Takin’ them to the edge…

You’ve been there before… it’s D-Day… (well actually it’s today, but let’s not split hairs)… after a painfully long process the offer has finally come through from the client. It’s a good offer… actually a great offer. You got the salary your candidate wanted & a clear career path. The client will invest in professional development and they have even pre-approved the holiday your candidate has booked next month (and only told you about two days ago). You feel a huge sense of relief. Your manager has been piling pressure on you to close this one for weeks. You can almost taste the celebratory beer… almost. You pick up the phone to your candidate… and this happens.

edge1‘Hi Jimmy it’s Craig from Watson Collard here.’ I begin. ‘I’ve got some fantastic news for you! I just got off the phone with Bev from Aardvark Corp and they would like to formally offer you the role.’

I wait for his elation to smack me from the other side of the phone… the joy of acceptance pulsating out of him like an alien in… well… Alien™… but nothing…unless you count the sound of crickets as something… was that him just saying yes? I press the phone closer to my ear. No… still nothing.

‘Jimmy?’ I question. ‘We must have a bad line mate… I can’t hear you…’

‘No… I’m here.’ He replies.

I feel a little dread induced vomit begin to rise in my throat… I slip into panic mode…

‘Don’t worry about your employer counter-offering…’ I stammer. ‘We’ve had that conversation.’ We have had that conversation… haven’t we? ‘And resigning… I can help you through that…’ I frantically reach for my initial interview notes. ‘Remember the reasons you were… are… looking to leave. You wanted more money, a clear career path, training and a mentor… Aardvark is offering all that…’

‘It’s not that.’ He counters. ‘It’s just…’ Oh God he’s accepted another role hasn’t he?

‘You’ve accepted another role haven’t you?’ I accuse. ‘I’ve been speaking to you every day and there’s been no mention of other opportunities…’ I can hear the desperation in my voice… but I just can’t seem to stop it.

‘No…’ he says. ‘It’s just that I need to speak with my wife about it. I want to go through it with her over the weekend…’

Wife? Wife? He never mentioned a Wife before…

To cut a long story short, Jimmy did accept the role in the end. It took him another week though… there were questions around the employment contract…from his wife… and then we did have to go through the whole counter offer thing.

All of this could probably have been avoided though… or at least tackled earlier…

There is a point in every recruitment process when the candidate should have a feel for the client and know whether they would work for them (if the package and conditions were right). It is at this point when the recruiter should take them to the edge.

edge2It’s scary… yes. It means you have to force the issue. It will affect your pipeline (maybe positively… maybe negatively), but it also means that you will know where to focus your time and energy.

It sort of goes a little like this… and happens after the first or second interview.

‘So Jimmy. You met with Aardvark today, and you’ve told me that you really like the business, the manager and the team. They have met you with the full knowledge that you are expecting a minimum of $80k plus super. You are looking for clear career progression, investment in professional development and a mentor.

So, my question to you is… If they come back to me with an offer covering all of that off… can I accept the role on your behalf?’ Then silence… that’s right don’t speak… wait them out…

There is going to be 1 of 2 responses only… ‘Yes’… or ‘No.’

If it’s ‘No’ ask why… Methodically go through the reasons with them. You will find out about the wife or any other barriers here and you can deal with them… or… if the barriers are too high… end the process and focus on something else.

Pretty easy hey? Ask the question. Take your candidate to the edge and start controlling the process…

That’s it… that’s all… try it and let me know how you go!!!

Craig Watson



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