Learn to use inside information to contact past employers of candidates you recruited in the past, and how to spot hiring triggers that you can fill quickly.
- Think of everything candidates share with you during interviews. They give you the inside information on their current employer sure. But do you ask about past employers? Candidates know the good, bad, and ugly of their former employers. They can give you information you're not going to find online or by reviewing the company's website. And that's information that can help you position yourself as an expert. An expert with the solution to prospective clients' problems.
We interviewed a candidate who had been recently laid off from a technology company. He told us the new IT director had cut people who didn't have the most updated skills. Now we know that when a new IT director is hired, they normally spend over one million dollars in hiring during their first 12 months. That's a hiring trigger. Add to it the fact that the company was now needing to find people with different skills sets. And we knew it was time to reach out.
Originally we were told that they were laying off, not hiring. We then shared the information that we learned from our candidate and the company admitted they were hiring off the record for several positions. We ended up placing 15 full-time employees and 10 contractors over the next six months. When you're interviewing candidates for information on past employers, ask why they decided to leave and get specifics. Ask for what the five things they would have changed about their job if they had been their boss.
This type of information reveals challenges and issues at their past employers. Then ask what they enjoyed about their employer. And get as much specific detail as possible. Now your first call to a prospective client can be a warm call rather than an uninformed cold call. When you reach out to the past employer and say "I just interviewed one of your past employees "and was compelled to reach out to you." Most employers are curious to hear what is being said about them and will return your call.
Begin by sharing the positive. Everyone likes to hear compliments. In fact, if your candidate was extremely positive about their past employer, you could say "I interview candidates every day "but it's rare that I hear a candidate "talking so fondly of their past employer." Be ready because employers will often inquire if that past employee would consider coming back. Don't commit right away, ask what type of job they have in mind, and then talk to your candidate to see if this is something they would consider.
When you put a past employer together with a past employee it often ends up being one of the fastest and easiest placements you'll make. Finally obtaining inside information on past employers differentiates you from your competition. You'll make a great first impression by knowing facts about the company before you've reached out to them. You'll be able to focus on what's most important to them, and reduce the time it takes to develop a profitable working relationship.
So after you interview candidates, take time to contact their past employers. Armed with this inside information, you will be able to develop rapport very quickly. And eventually send candidates that will be hired.
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