…reading and believinng your own press clipppings

Dan hasn’t looked for a job for 15 years. He’s been with the same firm for that period of time and has risen rather rapidly through the ranks. Along the way, his company gave him all kinds of kudos and recognition and continually told him how great a contribution he made, how wonderful he was and how they couldn’t do without him, blah, blah, blah.

It is true that his performance was excellent and that he had been promoted a number of times. He always had all kinds of people in the company and outside the company telling him how wonderful he was. He reached the level of Regional VP and all of these accolades started going to his head. The first blow to his ego was that he didn’t get as big a raise as he thought he should. The second, and biggest blow, came from the fact that he lost a promotion to one of his peers that he was certain he was going to get. The selection committee wasn’t courteous enough to tell him why he didn’t get promoted, but he felt like his meteoric rise was now slowed, if not stymied. “After all,” he thought (and what he told us) “… I’ve given sweat and blood to this company. I got an MBA. I’ve had fantastic reviews. Everybody tells me I’m wonderful and the company could not get along without me and that other companies would feel very lucky to have me.” (My sense is he imagined this last part more than someone telling him that.)

His family didn’t help either. His father, upon hearing the story of Dan’s plight, agreed that Dan deserved the promotion and that the company wasn’t appreciating him. Dan’s wife totally agreed and kept telling him that he should quit because there were boatloads of organizations that would love to find talent like his.

So, Dan quit. That was six months ago and Dan is still looking for a job. He had absolutely no idea how difficult it would be to find a job. Dan was believing his own press clippings. He thought that since his company thought he was so wonderful and his family just knew he could not only replace his job but find a better one, all he had to do was quit and go look for one.

Dan was saying a lot of what we hear from people all the time, “Every company needs really good people…( especially like me).” They each quit their job thinking that companies are simply going to fall down in front of them to get them on board. They do no research on how many jobs like they’ve been doing exist and what their probability might be of getting a job like that even if they could find the opening. Dan even made the comment that his professors in his graduate program were certain, that with an MBA from their school, he should have no problem finding a new job. Of course, they have absolutely no idea what the job market might be like for what Dan does either. (That’s why they are in academia. Besides, that’s what they’re supposed to tell students who just paid $100,000 to get an MBA from their school.)

Dan had a few interviews, but they were more courtesy interviews from friends, colleagues, etc. He is shocked, depressed and demoralized that he hasn’t easily found a job. The problem Dan has run into is very common. He had absolutely no idea what the market might bear for his experience or background. Just because he had all of these people, his company, his family, his professors etc. telling him how wonderful he was didn’t mean that he was going to find a job. The majority of jobs like Dan is looking for are promoted into from within. It’s rare for companies to hire someone like Dan off the street. It has nothing to do with his ability or his performance. It has to do with the availability or should we say, lack of availability of the kind of job he has done.

The lesson is, don’t believe your own press clippings. Just because all of the people you work with tell you how wonderful you are doesn’t mean that people are going to immediately hire you. Do some “market testing” and find out how easy it’s going to be to find a job. Don’t think that just because you’re so damn good and everybody just knows it, that somebody’s going to instantly hire you.

Dan is now considering going back to work for his old company. He’s going to have to take a position that is one or two levels below where he was before. He’s not sure what he will do. Our recommendation is that he swallow his pride and go back to his old company.  Now, if he wants to look for a job while he’s got one, that’s probably the better idea. Right now, he needs to get back to work.

Don’t believe your own press clippings.

 

….making a job offer part II (for employers)

The formal offer

If the conversation goes well, the best hiring authorities meet with candidates as soon as possible. They know that any candidate they might want will be wanted by others. Most importantly, the longer they put off this meeting after the above conversation the more indecisive they appear.

We can’t tell you the number of opportunities to hire a good candidate that have been lost because the hiring authority felt the job offer was simply a formality and the candidate was going to accept the job and postpone the formal meeting because regular business got in the way. They assumed a done deal, prolonged the time to formally meet, made it appear that the meeting wasn’t all that important, and lost the candidate. (We once had a hiring authority who postponed the offer meeting for two weeks so she could go on vacation. Lots of love, huh?)

 

The best hiring authorities have a formal offer written for the candidate. When they meet to discuss the offer in detail, they assume the candidate is going to have lots of questions and have prepared the answers to the questions the candidate had in the pre-offer phone call. The best hiring authorities take as much time in this meeting as they need to and are patient with any questions or discussions the candidate may have. They realize how important this meeting is to both of them.

Discussing a formal offer over the phone is nowhere near as effective as meeting face-to-face. It simply doesn’t have the same emotional camaraderie and the “we care about you” feeling. If a company’s HR department has to issue the offer letter, the best hiring authorities will still meet with the candidate and discuss the offer in detail. The best hiring authorities do not let anyone in the company discuss the offer with the candidate except themselves. They leave nothing to chance.

How much time should the candidate have to decide?

If everything has been done correctly 75 percent of the time, the best hiring authorities will get the candidate to execute an offer letter and set a start date during this meeting. However, if the candidate asks, “When do I need to let you know?” the best hiring authorities will explain to a candidate that they need to hear from them within 24 hours about their decision. Maybe under extenuating circumstances they may offer a little more time, such as if the candidate is traveling and needs to discuss it with their spouse, but 99 percent of the time the best hiring authorities tell the candidate they need to know within one day.

The best hiring authorities already have a feel for what the candidate is going to do. The best hiring authorities know that a decisive candidate is going to be able to decide quickly. Anything beyond 24 hours usually indicates that the candidate is going to use the offer to leverage another one, and the best hiring authorities don’t seem to tolerate much of this.

If the candidate insists on more than 24-hours, the best hiring authorities explain that they can’t do that, that they have other candidates they are going to pursue. They reinterate that they need to know within 24 hours. If a candidate cannot do that, the best hiring authorities explain to the candidate that they will therefore pursue the next candidate. End of story! The candidate is either in or out. It’s that simple.

By the way, if the formal offer is written after this meeting, the best hiring authorities review it to be sure that it’s consistent with what was discussed. 15 percent of the time, when offer letters are sent after a formal offer discussion, especially when they are written by the HR department in some far-off city, they aren’t the same as what was discussed in the offer meeting. It’s a quick and easy way to lose an excellent candidate

Set a start date

The best hiring authorities set a start date as soon as possible. They know that the further out the start date is from when the offer is accepted, the more things can happen that are adverse to the situation.

The best hiring authorities never assume anything in the offer meetings. If the candidate accepts the job and sets the start date, they simply prepare themselves for that. If the candidate, for some reason, turns the job down or claims that they can’t decide within the 24-hour time limit, the best hiring authorities are gracious and unemotional about it. Getting upset or angry with a candidate who turns the job down is unwise. The best hiring authorities know that they may try to recruit a candidate again somewhere down the line. They know that it pays to always be nice.

Oh, my! A no show!

No matter what level of position, from the CEO on down, 15 percent of the time  a candidate who has accepted an offer is going to call and renege. Sometimes they will do it with grace and style long before the start date. Unfortunately, they sometimes just plain don’t show up with no notice at all. (We agree that’s totally pathetic!)

The best hiring authorities know this kind of thing might happen. One of the ways they prepare themselves for this possibility is to explain to the #2 and maybe the #3  candidates, “We’ve offered the position to another candidate and it’s been accepted. It was a very close decision and you were certainly an extremely good candidate. We did what we thought was best for our organization. The new hire is supposed to start on (date). We expect everything to go well, but if, for some reason, something happens that he or she does not start, I’d like to give you a call. If we might still be a consideration for you, we can pick up the conversation again, if we need to.”

The best hiring authorities hope they won’t need this contingency plan. But just in case, they’ve prepared themselves for it. The #2 and #3 candidates may not be available should this happen, but at least a hiring authority may not have to start all over if it does. We can’t tell you the number of phenomenally successful employees we’ve placed who got hired this way.

…CBD story continued..

 

We interrupt last week’s blog to bring you up-to-date on the CBD oil story I wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s going to be hard to believe what you’re going to read here.

If you will recall, our candidate got “temporarily” eliminated because he failed a drug test because he had been using CBD oil. He had barely failed the drug test our client’s company had him take and the people that gave the test called him and asked him what was going on. He explained that he had been using CBD oil for his joints. The testing lab told him that they had old equipment that couldn’t tell the difference between CBD oil (from hemp) and the THC that is a result of smoking marijuana.

So, our client was kind enough to convince their HR (Hiring Roadblock) department to let the candidate take the test again because, even the testing lab admitted that they didn’t think it was THC because the percentages of the positive test were so low. So, our anxious candidate goes down and takes it again. Same lab.

Three or four days after he took the test again the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department calls the hiring authority and the candidate and says that the tests were either mislabeled or he took the wrong one and they weren’t sure but he needed to go back to the lab and have a follicle test (hair) done. Of course, we’re asking what about the second urine sample that he gave. Well, HR (Hiring Roadblock) is insisting that they are not going to use the second urinalysis. He absolutely has to take a test using his hair.

So, the candidate drives down to the place where he gave the first urinalysis and he is told that the lab there doesn’t do follicle testing and he has to go to another one of their labs. Okay, so he drives all the way across town to another lab site only to be told that his hair was too short to have a follicle test done. So what now?

Both the hiring authority and his boss are anxious to get this guy hired so they start asking the HR (Hiring Roadblock) what they should do. Almost one week later the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department tells the two hiring authorities that they will go back and use the results of the second urinalysis. The HR (Hiring Roadblock) department tells the two hiring managers that they can’t do anything until they get results back from the lab. So everyone waits and waits and waits. Our poor candidate has now been going through this ordeal for almost a month and he needs to go to work. He’s getting frustrated almost to the point of telling them to shove it.

One week after the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department says they are still waiting for the results of the second test, our candidate goes online to the website of the lab where he took the tests, and sees a “check results here” tab, opens it up and finds that the results of his test were not only negative but they had been posted on the website four days earlier. The company’s HR (Hiring Roadblock) department  says they still hadn’t gotten the results of the test.

I couldn’t make this story up if I tried. So, I get the candidate to send me a picture of the lab report that he took off the lab’s website showing that his tests were all negative and I sent it to the HR (…you  know) department along with the two hiring authorities. One day later the HR (…you know) sends me an email and says “Your candidate can start tomorrow.”

So, the candidate started this week. So far so good. Moral to the story: don’t use CBD oil if you’re looking for a job… try to go to a modern drug testing lab…and make sure that lab not only communicates with you but with the people they have a contract with.

This situation turned out okay, but I wonder how many people have or could lose their job opportunity because they used CBD oil and the company they were applying to just wasn’t that open-minded. Think about it.

….making a job offer – part I (for employers)

You would think that the event of making a job offer to
a prospective candidate would be an easy, logical one.
In fact, you might be surprised to find that we even
have to address the whole idea. Wrong! The fact is that the
actual process of making an offer, once a final candidate has
been identified, can be one of the strangest, riskiest parts of the
hiring process. One would think it should be the simplest part
of the transaction, but it can derail a smooth-running process
very easily. Our sense is that at least 10% of job offers that
should be made and accepted go south because the making
of the offer gets botched, usually by hiring authorities. Very
few hiring authorities will ever admit to messing up a perfectly
good hire because they didn’t give the necessary time and
attention to the job offer.

Just recently, we dealt with a hiring authority who told us
on a Friday that he would make an offer to our candidate the
following Monday. We checked with the candidate, and the
candidate was ready to take the job. By the following Wednesday,
the candidate had gotten an email from the hiring authority
saying that he had gotten distracted by an important project
and just hadn’t gotten around to getting the offer paperwork
together. He stated that his intentions were to still hire the candidate
and the candidate should hear from him in a day or so.
Later on the next Friday afternoon, the hiring authority finally
reached out to the candidate to make him an offer, only to find
out that the candidate had accepted another job the day before.

Our client even had the audacity to be mad at the candidate
for not, “understanding the pressure he was under.” Well, the
candidate was under pressure as well. He actually accepted a
position that wasn’t as good as the one our client was trying to
offer, but the candidate needed to go to work and he felt he was
being strung along by our client.

Time for a commitment

The final step in the hiring process is making an offer. It
can be traumatic for both candidate and employer. This is the
time for people to make commitments. Up to this point, every
interaction between candidate and employer is speculative.
There is minimal risk on each person’s part. True, there has
been a lot of effort on the part of both candidate and employer
to interview each other, but there’s no commitment, therefore
no risk, until an offer is made.

There is a final twinge of fear on the part of the employer
and candidate when contemplating the possibility of an offer.
Employers often become fearful that their offer will be rejected,
that the candidate they’ve courted for weeks and exhaustively
interviewed will refuse their offer. The candidate who has been
pursuing an offer, but also evaluating the firm they are interviewing
with, likewise becomes fearful. They fear that they
won’t get an offer, and if they do, they’re anxious about what
it might be. This step in the process is difficult for everyone.
The offer step in the hiring process should be a simple and
natural progression of the interviewing process, but it gets
confusing when people either lose sight of its importance or
overreact to it. In fact, if the interviewing process is done correctly,
the offer step should be easy.

A pre-offer conversation is a selling opportunity

The most successful hiring authorities have a pre-offer conversation
with a candidate. This can be a face-to-face meeting
or a telephone conversation. The hiring authority explains to
the candidate that he or she would like to discuss what an offer
would look like and also any details about the job that haven’t
been discussed in the interviewing process.
If the hiring authority hasn’t done it already throughout
the interviewing process, this is the time that he or she should
be selling the candidate on the job and the opportunity. This
conversation is the candidate’s opportunity to ask any questions
he or she might have, but it also provides an opportunity
to the hiring authority to find out the answers to any questions
he or she may not have answered. It should be a friendly, calm,
and open conversation.
In this conversation, the best hiring authorities get a good
indication as to whether or not the candidate will accept the
job. In fact, the best hiring authorities actually qualify the candidate
in this conversation. They discuss every aspect of the
job offer. They answer all the candidate’s questions. Then, they
simply ask the hard question of the candidate, “I’m ready to get
together for a formal meeting to offer you the job. Can you see
any reason that you wouldn’t accept it?”
If for some reason the candidate hesitates or gives noncommittal
answers like “Well, when I see the offer in writing, I’ll
know better,” or “I’d have to think about it,” or anything that
isn’t a positive like “I would accept it,” then the best hiring
authorities may rethink making the offer. If they get these
kinds of answers, they simply ask a candidate what they’re
thinking or what might stand in the way in order to find out
why they are hesitant. It never hurts to be blunt and ask, “Why
are you hesitating? I don’t want to make an offer unless I know
it’s going to be accepted.”

And It’s hard to give a blanket strategy for all things that can
come up at this point of the process. The best hiring authorities
are prepared for just about anything and they always have
the salvation of backup candidates. They always have several
other people in the queue in case their #1 candidate falters.

More to come next week…

 

…S-I-M-P-L-E, simple as can be, It’s just that simple, S-I-M-P-L-E

Simple as can be ——Florida Georgia Line

I wish every hiring authority would listen to this song by Florida Georgia Line before every time they interviewed to fill a position.

What brought this to mine this week is that I was speaking to a vice president who said he needed a hire a first-line manager. He said, “you find this the right person and we can do it in three days!” I said, in amazement “…three days!???” He said, “yes, three days.”

“I was in the CIA for a number of years and I know good talent when I see it. I interview the person either in person or over Skype. If I like what I hear I have him or her interview with one other officer of the company (… Either in person or over Skype). I then have them talk to my boss as soon as possible, usually within a day or so and then we either hire them or we don’t… Pending of course reference checks, etc. We can do it all in three days if we have to.”

Of course, I asked this guy to repeat what he said, because I thought he was kidding. He said that he wasn’t kidding. He said that they just do it that way and he has had phenomenal success this way for 20 years. He said, “look, hiring is really simple. It isn’t easy, but it is simple. If you ask the right questions and get the right answers, the candidate is either in or out. Yeah, I’ve hired a few mistakes over 20 years, but for the most part I’ve been very successful doing it this way.”

Now, his interviews can last anywhere from 15 minutes… If he’s not interested… To two hours, if he is. But the point is, he keeps it simple and the candidate is either in or out.

Why don’t most people have enough courage and confidence in themselves to keep it S-I-M-P-L-E.

 

….assumptions

twice this week, I had comments from people that involves their “assumptions.” One, was from a candidate I placed about six weeks ago who found out that the assumptions she made about the financial condition of the company she went to work for were totally wrong. The second situation came from the other side of the desk. A regional vice president whom we placed a senior salesperson with called to say that after six months of employment the company became aware that the candidate/employee had nowhere near the capabilities or experience that they had assumed he had. And he is failing miserably. (We’re going to replace the guy for no additional fee.)

Now, we are all subject to making assumptions. We have to assume that people are telling us the truth. We have to assume things are the way they look to be. If we spend our whole lives questioning and doubting people and situations we would succumb to paralysis by analysis.

In the first case, it would’ve been very easy for our candidate to ask a few deeper questions of a few more people in the interviewing process. A quick check of the company’s credit rating would have given us all a better indication of their financial situation. She is going to try to work through the issues, but the shock of finding out what the company’s financial problems were have caused her to emotionally back up a little bit. She is also now worried about what other things they may not have told her. She admits that she made an assumption that would’ve been very easy to confirm. Other than that she absolutely loves the job and the people.

We preach and advised people all the time that there are always going to be some surprises in a new job. The wise and/or experienced professional expects these kind of surprises. Things from the inside are never quite the way they appear from the outside…sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. (I got a call just yesterday from a candidate I placed who started his new job last Monday. He called to tell me that he is absolutely overwhelmed and afraid that he may not be able to up to the expectations of the people that who him. I laughed! I told him that the last three people that I placed with that company over the last four years called me and said exactly the same thing. I told him he had to expect that drinking through a firehose was going to be very overwhelming. I told him to relax, let the game come to him and give it at least six weeks.)

The second situation is a little more difficult. Candidates/new employees are very much like companies, they may appear to be one thing on the outside but when they get inside they are different. Any employer with any experience hiring knows this. Any hiring authority who claims the candidate they hired is exactly what the expected Is lying. Again, sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised by what we find in a new employee and, sometimes, a bit disappointed.

Most of the issues on both sides of the desk are reasonable enough that most people can work through them and everything will work out just fine. Unfortunately, sometimes the issues are so overwhelmingly negative, a change has to be made, as in the second situation. It is very unfortunate because both parties are really good people but the assumptions our client made about the candidate and his ability to do the job and some of the detailed knowledge the candidate needs to possess to be successful Just aren’t there. We can’t even be sure that this was a mistake of assuming. But, our client believes it is.

Now, again, there’s no way that a candidate can know everything about a prospective job nor can a prospective employer know everything about the possible new employee. But, the answer to this problem is very simple. Each party should sit down and think, “what assumptions am I’m making?” Then write out those assumptions and confirm them or deny them by asking lots of questions of either the candidate, his or her previous employers, his or her references or, in the case of the candidate, asking deeper questions of the prospective employer and/or the people who work at the company being interviewed with.

I know, it’s easy to sit there and say, “will everybody knows that!” But remember the old adage that “when you ass-ume you make an ass of me an ass of you.” Whatever your assumptions are, verify them. It’s really easy.

…CBD oil and your employment drug test

Well, it was bound to happen somewhere along the line. One of our candidates gets a job offer and is told he needs to take a drug test. No problem, he’s 51 years old, three children, one in college, one in high school and one just getting ready to go to high school. He has a stable family, a stable employment background and an excellent track record.

After he takes the drug test, one day later the drug testing company calls him and tells him that he tested positive for a very small minute amount of marijuana. He laughs and tells them that they must have been confused with someone else. They explained to him that it was an extremely minute amount, but nonetheless was there. Then he remembers! He’s been using CBD oil for his sore joints and it has been working very well. He had absolutely no idea that it would show up… or at least a trace of THC…would show up in the test. (CBD oil is derived from hemp and can have very small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC… the same chemical that comes from marijuana.) The drug testing organization explain all this to him.

Now, our client believes him. In fact, even the drug testing organization says that a false positive can result from the use of CBD oil. The hiring authority and even her boss not only researched the issue, but have gone to bat for the candidate at corporate. The problem is that corporate’s HR policy states that the company simply can’t hire someone who has failed a drug test. The reasons don’t seem to matter. The candidate has suggested to them that he take another test with more sophisticated testing tools, but so far, the company is still “thinking” about what they should do. (According to the research, older drug testing equipment doesn’t pick up the different types of things that might appear to be THC, but aren’t.)

We don’t know what’s going to happen. The hiring authority, her boss as well as the candidate, are beside themselves. Corporate, especially HR, probably doesn’t care at all. From what we understand, the RVP is appealing to the CEO to try to allow exceptions to the company policy. (I wonder what this company does when they try to hire candidates in California?)

Unfortunately, this whole thing is a mess. They’ve told the candidate that he can’t start working until they figure the whole thing out. It’s really sad because the candidate passed up two other excellent opportunities to go to work for our client.

There are a number of articles on the Internet about this kind of effect with CBD oil. Companies are going to have to start using the right kind of drug testing contractors but also make allowances for this kind of thing. If you’re a candidate, quit using CBD oil while you are looking for a job. Our candidate was totally shocked by the whole situation and had no idea that any of this could happen.

Learn from the other guy’s experience.

 

….your potential employer… doubt uncertainty and fear

Every candidate looking for a job should be aware of just how darned afraid of making a mistake companies are… especially if they’ve had problems with a particular position they are trying to replace.

One of our clients is a $200 million services firm… not real big not real small… over the last two years they had two very, very unsuccessful first line managers in their Dallas office… the first one was a local guy who was hurriedly hired by a regional director who, in hindsight, was leaving the company and didn’t really care who he hired… after that guy failed, the new regional director, out of California, tried to hire a new manager using his own “network” … we spoke to the regional director a year ago, he claimed that his company was so good that they didn’t need to pay a fee to our organization and they had plenty of excellent candidates for the job… they ended up hiring a candidate who they moved from the West Coast because,  they told us, “there are no real good managers in Texas”…(oh,brother)

Unfortunately, the poor new manager who moved here from California wasn’t given much time to turn the Dallas district around… he knew nothing about North Texas… didn’t even know where LBJ was and probably didn’t even know who LBJ was… companies don’t really know how treacherous it is to move a manager here, who has no idea about the area and expect results quickly… needless to say, it didn’t work out.

The regional director out of California was so “desperate” to find a good candidate this time, he not only used his own “network”  but  allowed us to refer a number of very qualified candidates…along with saying that he was so surprised that we could come up with such quality candidates who were not in his “network”… (duh!… I mean, we are here and he is in California… if we couldn’t come up with better candidates than he would know, being from California, we wouldn’t have survived since 1952…)

We found them an absolutely stellar candidate and… and this is important to know… since they had  made such a poor decisions over the last two years they decided that to make sure this was the “right”  candidate they would put him through a number of interviews… and this is where it gets so rather absurd.

Keep in mind this is a first level managers job… certainly an important job and one that would usually require one, two or maybe even three people to interview the candidate… but the past hires had been such debacles they decided they wanted to be “sure”… so after two interviews with the regional director they flew the candidate to the home office… he spent all day interviewing with CEO, the vice president of human resources, the vice president of services, the vice president of marketing, and another vice president of operations who even stated to the candidate that he didn’t know why he was interviewing a candidate, but since he was asked he would oblige… and, oh yeah there was another interview with another vice president whose role the candidate still isn’t quite sure of… at any rate, he went through eight hours of interviewing with six senior managers.

They all seem to think that the candidate is excellent so noooooooooooooooow they are going to send him to California next week for one last interview with another VP … all this for a first line managers job… crazy!

When companies make mistakes in hiring they do all kinds of things to protect themselves the next time around… this gross number of interviews for one candidate really isn’t going to make their decision any better… it’s absurd… but saying so isn’t going to change their approach… if you’re a candidate looking for a job you need to be aware that the people who are interviewing you… especially if they have made a number of mistakes… are going to do everything including a proctology exam to be sure they don’t make the mistake… it isn’t going to do any good to complain about this… it isn’t going to change… fortunately our candidate has been very understanding and is rather amused by the whole thing… he’s a good natured guy and is going to make them a hell of a manager.

Doubt, uncertainty and fear!

…..Sad, unfortunate reasons for not hiring good candidates… Hiring managers!!! please listen up!!

Some of you are going to read this and think, “Tony, you are all wet..these are perfectly good reasons NOT to hire someone. They are a reflection of how the candidate will do in the job.”

Just this week we had candidates eliminated at the initial interview for these reasons: (these were not kids… They were pretty senior, experienced professionals)

  • He put his phone on the desk next to him and even though it was turned to silent, it kept vibrating.
  • The candidate was 20 minutes late to the interview, even though it was raining and she was given the wrong suite number
  • The candidate’s phone goes off in her purse during the interview
  • The candidate couldn’t remember what he earned five years ago
  • The (engineering candidate) wrote a very poor resume

Well, there were probably a lot of these kinds of things with lots of other candidates. Unfortunately, interviewing and hiring authorities have a tendency to come to conclusions about candidates and their abilities to be good employees based on very small and often, very few things. Each one of these candidates was eliminated because of these things they did.

Most of these folks were experienced professionals. Okay, maybe they are not real good at interviewing, or they simply make mistakes. I submit to you that these are not good reasons for

them to get eliminated as candidates. Maybe their interviewing capabilities aren’t so good, but we are trying to hire professionals that are going to help us run our business. We aren’t hiring professional interviewers.

I know these kinds of things will annoy most people that are doing the interviewing. They annoy me when I’m interviewing. But it isn’t smart to judge the candidate’s ability to do a job or their track record based on mistakes like these. In most all of these cases, the interviewing/hiring authority totally dismissed the candidate after these things happened.

Maybe our guard should be up when things like this happen. But to totally dismiss the candidate because of these kinds of things is not only unfair, it’s just not smart. So, let’s all give candidates the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like this. Let’s analyze their track record, find out how they have performed in the past. Let’s all dig deep into their background, find out their successes and failures, what they can or can’t do for us.

(The engineer graduated from A&M with a 4.0 average in engineering. He had 10 solid years of experience with one firm and had been promoted three times. So, in the eyes of one person he’s a lousy resume writer, but an excellent engineer.)

 

….the cost of not using a recruiter..

 

I guess all people businesses can tell some strange stories. Just this week I spoke to a friend of mine who has been a hiring authority over the past 15 years, as well as a great manager. He moved to a new company about a year ago and has been needing to hire a salesperson for nine months. I called him two or three times since he had gone to his new firm but never had the chance to speak with him.

He’s one of the most successful managers that I’ve dealt with in all the years I’ve been in this business. He hasn’t hired all that many people, but the ones he has have absolutely loved him because he’s helped them make more money than they ever have. Once I got them on the phone and found out he had been looking for a salesperson for nine months, I asked him why he didn’t call me. He explained that his corporate “recruiting department” won’t allow him to pay a fee and that they are supposed to be getting him good candidates. I asked him how many candidates you’d seen in nine months. (It’s not surprising that he may not have hired someone, because he’s very picky and very careful.) He told me that in nine months he had only seen three candidates.

He admitted that he was phenomenally frustrated. He was not going to hit his numbers this year because he was one salesperson short and since he was covering the vacant territory, he couldn’t help the other five salespeople that he had. Each salesperson’s quota is right at $1 million, and the vacant territory he was covering had only sold $450,000 with three weeks left in the year.

So, his company doesn’t want him to pay a $20,000 fee and yet they are willing to let a very experienced…expensive… first-line manager trying to manage five salespeople forfeit close to $450,000 in sales as well as become very, very, very frustrated with his company. He told me that he had told his boss that he absolutely had to find a salesperson before the new year began. He told his boss that he just didn’t think he could go on like this.

I often wonder how many managers out there go through this kind of frustration. My friend’s corporate recruiting function is in New York. There is absolutely no way…short of a miracle…that they would ever be able to find the same quality of candidate in Dallas as we could. I interview two to three candidates a day…and have for 45 years. I have more than 100,000 candidates in the database that I’ve interviewed face-to-face. How are three twenty-something year old recruiters in New York going to find a better candidate in Dallas then I would even though my client is very picky. I know that I can find him what he needs. Can you imagine how much money this is really costing them?

If my hiring authority has to go through the same agonizing experience at the beginning of the year, I imagine that I will have another excellent sales manager as a candidate. The cost of not paying a fee can be very high.