……one of the best moves I’ve seen a manager make

Michael was a really good manager for our client. He had one of the best regions in the country and all of his people loved working for him. He was smart, aggressive and relaxed in his own skin. Just a really good guy.

After two interviews with our candidate Michael invited the candidate to lunch with two of his salespeople. Candidate thought things must be really going well and was kind of expecting this to be the final interview before he got an offer. He was elated.

They talked about the company, the job, sports and a number of other things. They had a really great time. At the very end of the lunch, Michael said to the candidate, “I’m really glad you could come today. We really appreciate your time. We think you could do well in our company but fortunately for us, we have another candidate that has some experience that is a little better than yours. We are blessed to have two excellent candidates. We feel like the other fellow has a number of relationships that we really need to cultivate and we’re going to try to hire him. But you need to know that you are an excellent candidate. Should something go wrong with offering him the job, you will be the first we will call. Also should we have another opening in even the near or distant future, I would love to call you. You are a great fit for our company.”

Well, of course, our candidate was very disappointed. He said that it was very hard to be bad because they were such nice people. He said that he had never been turned down so gracefully and so nicely by such a nice group of guys. He seemed to understand that they were going to do what was best for them and he would sure love to work there.

I’m sure it’s happened before, but I don’t remember when in the 45 years that I’ve been doing this that the hiring authority went out of his way in such a nice manner to tell a candidate that he wasn’t going to get hired. Obviously it was hard for the candidate to be mad. But what Michael did was so smart. He kept his company in the good graces of the candidate and, should he need the candidate either now or in the near future, the guy would love to go to work there.

Ninety nine percent of the managers that I work with don’t have the courtesy to even talk to any candidate that they aren’t going to hire, even after they’ve interviewed them. It’s probably the crudest thing that hiring authorities do in the process of hiring. For some reason, they think that they’re never going to run into that person again and act like being rude is inconsequential.

I can’t tell you the number of times over the years that I’ve presented the candidate to an employer only to have the hiring authority tell me that they wouldn’t hire the candidate on a bet because a number of years ago that person was terribly rude to them. What goes around comes around.

I complimented Michael for the wisdom he had in treating my candidate to lunch, just to tell him that he wasn’t going to get hired at least this time. What a smart move. Michael could have openings throughout the next two or three years and my candidate is indeed a very good fit. But even if they never cross paths again, my candidate will always think highly of Michael. And I have to say that it motivates me to help Michael whenever I can.

.Good move, Michael!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….why George (And hundreds of other like him) are shocked that they can’t find a job

There are hundreds of people out there like George. He came to us last week and can’t understand why he can’t find a job. Some of it is plain circumstance, but some of it is self-inflicted.

George is 52 years old and been with the same company for the past 20 years. He had a great ride with them and got promoted a number of times. He was always told that he was doing a great job and getting reasonable raises along the way. In the last three years of his employment at the company, it was bought by a private equity firm and George started to receive all of his stock that he had earned while he was at the company. PE firms are notorious about making things a lot less “family oriented,” and a lot more “what you do for me today, dammit!”

In spite of the antiseptic approach that the PE firm took, George still had a job and was making close to $300,000 a year. He could’ve stayed on, but the culture of the organization had totally changed to be much more mercenary and, since he had been told he had been doing so well he thought, “Y ou know, I’ve got such a great track record and I know so many people in the industry, I’ll find another job.” (Now this is the story that George tells. I’m never sure when I hear the stories, and it took me a few years to catch on to this, if George was the one that decided to leave on his own accord, or the PE firm pushed George out.)

Since the buyout, George didn’t have an enforceable non-compete and he had many contacts in the industry and after all, his track record was excellent. He thought he would have absolutely no problem getting a job. He made a lot of money on the stock and doesn’t need to work, but wants to. He thought that since he had a lot of money and didn’t have to work, companies would love to have him because he wouldn’t be “in it for the money.” He even took six months off to get his IRA accounts and lots of other things “in order.”

George figured that since he had such a wonderful track record, was so well known in his industry, had money and didn’t have to work for money, he’d get scooped up any time he wanted. After six months of doing whatever he wanted to do, he decided it was time to find a job. It is now three months later and he is so surprised, and eventually shocked, that this was going to be a whole lot harder than he thought.

He has only had two interviews and those were more courtesy than anything else. He quickly found out that very few people hire VPs off the street and so a month or two ago he “announced” that he would accept a sales job. George has learned that his ideas are real hard to sell to anybody.

The first thing that comes to a hiring authorities mind is, “Well, if George has so much money and he doesn’t have to work, the first time he doesn’t like the way we do things here he can just walk out.” To the vast majority of hiring authorities, “not needing to work” means that the person they hire might not do just that. Most of them can’t afford to run the risk of, if it doesn’t work out, their boss saying to them, “Why in the hell did you hire somebody that really didn’t need to work.” So, George is going to have to change that approach big time.

George, thinking theoretically, that someone might appreciate someone who just works for the love of working is totally miscalculating 99% of the people that are hiring. George has to forget this comment totally.

What George has to say is something along this line, “I was 20 years at an organization and consistently moved up. I loved the job, the company and everyone there. I did a great job and I was appreciated as much as I appreciated the opportunity. When a PE firm bought us, the complexion of the whole organization changed and it was to their benefit to ease out all of the people who had been there for a very long time. Admittedly, it was a different place than it was when I joined 20 years ago or even three years ago when we sold.”

“I know they’re not very many VP opportunities that I would slip right into, but the one I had, I had to work for from the beginning position. I realize that it is likely that I may have to start out at a sales position and work my way up, if indeed that kind of thing presents itself. But I’m just as comfortable at taking a sales position where I can earn depending on my own production. I realize that I may not earn that $300,000 that I was making the first year or maybe even two, but the opportunity to be paid based on my own performance is all I need.”

“I am 52, but as you can see I’m in great shape and I have a tremendous amount of energy. I was a top salesperson before I moved into management and still love selling. Even while I was in management I spent a lot of my time in front of customers and selling. I don’t expect you or anyone else to pay me for the experience I’ve had in the past. All I’m looking for is an opportunity to prove myself, again. Let’s face it, you’re going to get a very mature, experienced salesperson with a lot of energy and a proven track record and everything else will take care of itself.”

“I know you may be concerned that if you hired me for a lesser position than what I was in, someone might give me a call with the VP type of job and your fear is that I would leave for the higher position. Let me share with you that the position isn’t as important as the company, the people and the success I’m having. I know from hiring people over many years that if an employee is happy with what they’re doing and really enjoys the company, the product and the people they work with, they don’t just leave when someone calls them about another opportunity. Look at my track record… I was 20 years with the last company!”

“If we have a good match with what I’m doing and the people in his company, I’m committed for the long haul. I always have been. Once I get into a situation and am experiencing success, I’m not likely to go anywhere. I haven’t before and it is not likely I would ever do it.”

“Now, let’s talk about the opportunity you have here and the way I might be able to benefit you….”

This is the only way George is going to get hired. It’s still going to be very challenging for him to get an interview and get hired, but it is the way he has to approach it. The way he’s approaching it now is going to get him another nine months or more of unemployment.

All those who think that, “You know I’m so good and I’m so wonderful these people can take this

job and stuff it. I can go to work just about anywhere,” need to take a lesson from George.

 

….so, what did we do?

If you read last week’s blog you will understand the conundrum we were in with our candidate.

We decided that we needed to tell the client that the candidate had a felony charge and even though he would probably leave that question blank on his application, we thought it only right to let the company no the situation.

The employer just plain couldn’t bring himself to hire the candidate. Even though the felony was nine or 10 years ago and it didn’t even show up on his state or national criminal record, the employer felt like he needed to be consistent with all of the other people that he had not hired because of felonies, He couldn’t, in good conscience, hire the candidate. Obviously, we wish he would’ve hired the candidate, but it’s the employer’s choice and he did what he thought was best.

We felt compelled, however, tell the employer what we knew.

 

….what is the right thing to do

 

Okay, so what do you think we should do? We have a client who has interviewed our candidate and really likes him. After two or three interviews, the client asks us to check the candidate’s references and to do a background check. Of course we agree and start the process. The employer also asks the candidate to fill out an employment application and of course, one of the questions is, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

Of course we tell the candidate what we’re going to do and he tells us that a long time ago he had a DWI felony (more than three in a period of time). But he tells us that it doesn’t show up on any of the background checks that are done. Of course, we don’t really believe him. We have never known a felony not to show up in a background check. And now of course, we know he has one.

The candidate tells us that he got the last job with his company having done a background check and they didn’t find anything. He also informs us that he applied for and had his professional engineering license renewed and, from what we understand, a criminal background check is done when an engineering license is renewed.

We do both a state and national background search and nothing shows up. The felony he says he has is not reported by either the state or national criminal check. The candidate says, “I’m good to go. I’ll take the job!”

But he still has to fill out the engineering firm’s application which asks him if he has ever been convicted of a crime? He intimates that there is no reason to answer that question because the crime doesn’t show up on his record.  What should we do?

Keep in mind, now, that the client did not ask us about a felony. The client asked us to do a criminal background check and of course we obliged, both with a state as well as national check. We sent those to the employer. Again, what should we do?

Think about it…. Let you know next week!

 

…..resume on a napkin

For those of us that remember recruiting and placing people in the late 90s, we can remember candidates metaphorically having one interview, writing their resume out on a napkin and getting hired all in the same interview. Some recruiters…who are no longer around for these reasons,…thought it would last forever. Get a candidate  an interview and get a placement.

Many of us with any brains or who had seen a number of recessions knew that it wouldn’t always be that way. Hell, in the year 2000, I personally billed $4.3 million. I did think I was pretty good, but in my heart I knew that I wasn’t that good and that I was taking advantage of a very unique technology expansion in the DFW area. I still bill better than $1 million every year, but I have to work even harder than I did back when I did the 4.3 million.

“It’s the economy, stupid,” as coined by James Carvell for President Clinton. But that’s what it was…the economy. There is a tendency for recruiters to think that when they do real well it’s because of how good they are. By the same token, it’s really easy for all kinds of professionals to think that they can get a new job or change jobs really easily because they didn’t before when the economy was really good. Every week, I have a candidate tell me that they would like to get back to earning the kind of money they earned a few years ago. They say things like, “are you kidding me, I made that kind of money 10 years ago!”

Times change and economies expand and contract. We’re in a better economy than we have been in many years and, for the most part, it’s easier to find a job or to change jobs and make more money. But even in my discipline, high-tech sales, the 90s and 2000’s  produced a ton of salespeople who are now more numerous than the market will demand. Looking back on this profession since I got into it in 1973, every expansion and contraction of the economy has created “runs” in certain industry verticals that will never come about again. I remember  interviewing a sales guy in the late 70s who made $100,000 a year selling diodes and resistors (if you don’t know what they are, look them up).

For most of us, we are very blessed with this economy. It too will come to an end somewhere along the line. I just hope it doesn’t all collapse at the same time like it did in 1986 when real estate, oil and gas and banking all went on there butt in Texas and we had a very rough time for a few years

Our economy, especially here in Texas, is a lot more diversified than it was then. We’re especially fortunate to have a very diversified economy and therefore able to withstand an economic downturn more easily.

Employers need to move on hiring candidates a lot faster now than they did even 18 months ago. Having a protracted, drawnout interviewing process is going to lose candidates to your competitor. I just had a client tell me today, Friday, that he could have a candidate that I presented him hired by next Tuesday. A year and a half ago the same client told me that it would take him one month to hire anyone because of the process they have to go through. Hardly a week goes by that, even with our explaining what the market is like, we don’t have three or four clients that miss hiring a candidate because they just take too much time for their “process.” Today, it even happened that one of our clients got mad at me because his process was taking too long and that I should know how to keep the candidate from taking the job he took from his competitor because our client was taking too long to hire him.

Napkin, anyone?

…reading and believinng your own press clipppings

 

Dan hasn’t looked for a job in15 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.