…true story

Wednesday, September 11- 10:30am

Charles (the hiring manager of a $300 million software firm): “Well Tony, we’re finally ready to hire Melinda. I finally got the okay from the HR department. The director of HR has been in a conference for the past four days and he finally got around to approving everything. I’ve been meaning to call Melinda for the past few days just to let her know what’s going on but I’ve just been so busy with travel and the end of the quarter coming up at the end of the month. But I wanted to call you and tell you that I’m going to call her now and offer her the job.”

Tony: “Oh Charles, Melinda called me yesterday and told me that she was expecting an offer from one of your direct competitors. I’m not sure who it is but I know that they interviewed her on Monday (the 9th) and when she told him she was speaking to you all for the past four weeks, they got all excited.  After speaking to you all, she got pretty excited about the technology and found out one of the people she used to work for works at the company and she called them up. They have an opening available at the beginning of the quarter and so they interviewed her really quickly. She told them that you all were probably going to make an offer and so they moved really quickly.”

Charles: “Well, you know that they aren’t anywhere near as good as we are. I’ll call her and I’ll be sure that she comes to work here!”

Tony: “Well Charles, she seemed really put off by the fact that we have taken so long. We’ve been interviewing her for four weeks now, so I know she was getting real anxious.”

Charles: “I can’t help it that my boss was in Europe on vacation and our process is that he had to speak with her and then the procurement department took two weeks to get you on the vendor program, so that we could pay you. I can only move so fast!”

Tony: “Well, I understand but I think I mentioned to you that candidates these days are moving really, really, really fast and I have to assume that if I get a candidate one offer I can get them a second one and they can get one or two on their own… It’s as bad as 1990. Some of our clients aren’t even looking for resumes; they are simply reviewing candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn and then interviewing them. They are also cutting their ‘process’ down to two or three interviews at most and then making the move.”

Charles: “I know, I know, but I rely on you to keep these candidates warm!”

Tony: “Charles, I wish I was that good. Melinda’s company is failing, her payroll check was late two weeks ago… as I explained to you… and she was motivated to get a new job. I got her three interviews and she got three interviews on her own. I can’t keep anybody ‘warm’ as you say. They are going to move as fast as they can. But look, just give her a call and see what you can do. Make her the best offer that you can and give her good reasons why she ought to go to work there. It’s been a while since you’ve spoken to her.”

Wednesday, September 11 – 2:30 PM

Charles calls Tony: “Dammit. She thanked me for my time and effort, but told me that she had conditionally accepted the verbal offer from our competitor and was waiting for the paperwork that she should get tomorrow. Dammit! When my boss finds out she went to work for the competitor he’s going to really be pissed. I asked her if there was anything we could do to salvage the situation. She said she might consider the opportunity for a $15,000 increase in base and $10,000 signing bonus. That’s absurd! We can’t do that…”

Tony: “I understand, but that is the market. I don’t know what her other offer is because I haven’t yet spoken to her. She didn’t even tell me that she was speaking to your competitor until yesterday. But you can’t really blame her. She needs to go to work.”

Tony: “There was a second candidate that you spoke with, John, who is probably just as strong.”

Charles: “But my boss really wanted a hire a woman and so I never recommended John after my interview with him. But my year-end bonus depends on me having someone in that territory during the fourth quarter…”

Tony: “Well, Charles, I sent you four or five excellent saleswomen and you didn’t want to interview them….”

Charles “Well, they just weren’t qualified…”

Tony: “Well, for what you all are paying that’s what the market bears…and it’s almost impossible to tell how qualified a candidate is without interviewing them face-to-face. Melinda did not fit your specifications either.”

Charles: “You told me that, but I thought it was just recruiter – speak. Why don’t we get John on the phone again?”

Tony: “Let me call him”.

Thursday, September 12 – 4:30 PM

Tony calls Charles: “Well, I finally reached John and it looks like his boss is leaving and he thinks he might get a promotion into the job so he’s going to stay where he is at least till the end of the year.”

Charles: “Dammit! I guess I should’ve interviewed all of those people that you recommended.”

Tony: “Well, it really wasn’t all that many. Just four. But this market is crazy…”

Charles: “I’ve never had this kind of problem before.”

Tony: “Well, this market hasn’t been this difficult in 10 years. We are telling our clients to interview four or five people just to be sure that they have backup candidates. But that doesn’t mean that those backup candidates aren’t finding jobs.”

Charles: “Well, I’ve got to be out of town over the next two days. Call me on Monday and tell me who you might have so that I can interview over the phone.”

Monday, September 16th – 10 A.M.

Tony phones Charles: “Well, I’ve got four candidates for you. When can you interview?”

Charles: “Well. let me look at the resumes first then pass them through our HR department.”

Tony: “Charles, we should line them up for this Wednesday because they were very hard to find and recruit. I spoke to almost 15 candidates in the past two days just to get these.”

Charles: “Well, you know how careful my boss and my company are. They better meet the standards.”

Tony: “Charles, all I can show you is what’s available on the market… I can’t do anything about what the market will bear. Your base is about $10,000 lower than others are paying. Remember what happened with Melinda…”

Charles: “Okay, okay, line them up for Wednesday.”

Charles emails on Wednesday morning: “An emergency has come up and I won’t be able to interview the candidates. Can we line them up for Friday?”

Tony emails back: “Well I guess!”

Friday, September 20th – 9A.M.

Charles emails Tony, “I can only interview two of these people today, because something has come up.”

Tony emails Charles: “Okay I’ll get the one for 2 PM and the one for 3 PM and move the rest to Monday. Okay?”

Friday, September 20 – 5 PM

Tony calls Charles and leaves a message. Both candidates spoke to Charles and both of them felt like their interview went well.

Monday, September 23 – 3 PM

After calling Charles for most of the day, Tony finally reaches him: “What did you think of the candidates?”

Charles: “Well, I guess, okay. Nobody really wowed me. When can we speak to the other two. I really can’t do it until Wednesday or Thursday.”

Tony: “Well, one of the ones you spoke with  said she was close to another offer. Let me see if I can get the other two for Wednesday or Thursday.”

Neither candidate can make it on Wednesday so Tony arranges for Charles to speak to both of them on Thursday, one at 1 PM and another one at 2 PM.

Friday, September 27 – 10 AM

Tony calls Charles: “Well, how did it go? Both candidates really liked what they heard. What did you think?”

Charles: “Well, I don’t think any of them are as good as Melinda is.”

Tony: “That might have something to do with the mere fact that Melinda got away.”

Charles: “Dammit! My boss was on my butt today about how we hadn’t got this thing filled. We were supposed to have someone there in the middle of July. My HR department… the recruiters… only came up with two candidates in six weeks and one of my old bosses suggested that I call you. My HR department pitched a real fit because we’ve got all of these internal recruiters and we are still having to pay a fee. I should’ve called you in July…”

Tony: “Well, we hear that day in and day out especially in today’s market. You still have two months’ worth of quota that you have lost. I’m quite confident if we just started this in the beginning of July we could have done it by that month’s end. You would have well recovered your company’s $22,000 investment.”

“I interview two to three candidates a day, face-to-face. (and have for 46 years.) Our average recruiter here in our organization…and there are 20 of us in different departments…has been doing this for 16 years. And they see the same number of candidates I do daily. There’s no way an internal recruiting department, whose average age is 22 or 23 years old could come up with the numbers or the quality of candidates I can find. The idea that internal recruiters actually ‘save money’ is a fallacy. But that is neither here nor there. We need to get on with helping you.”

Charles: “I’m probably going to miss my number this quarter because I spent so much time screwing around with recruiting. Pick the four best candidates you’ve got and I will come into town next Thursday and interview them.”

Tony: “Charles, if I can come up with six good candidates you should interview all six of them, because the same candidate you want everyone else wants too.”

Charles: “Okay, I’ll call you Monday and tell you where I’m staying and I will come to your office and meet all of your candidates…… I wish I would’ve done this in July.”

Charles says he’s going to be here on Wednesday. We hope he can make it. That will be October 2. Charles needed to find someone in July…the beginning of July. So, he is three months behind. Maybe hiring isn’t as much of a priority as he says it is!

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