Understand the real reason candidates will consider a new opportunity.
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- Have you ever interviewed someone and could barely stand your excitement because you just knew they were a perfect fit for one of your opportunities? So you present the job, and then the candidate either no-shows the interview or turns down the job offer. This could be the result of one of the biggest mistakes recruiters often make during the actual interview process. Too often we assume that what a candidate wants to do is exactly what they are currently doing in their job.
When in reality you and I both know most individuals are changing jobs because there is something or someone at their current company that they do not enjoy. Early in your interview process use the phrase, "I take my direction from you," which encourages your candidates to reveal their priorities. During your interview you need to determine two things: What percentage of the time are they performing certain tasks in their current job, and what percentage of the time do they want to perform those same tasks in their next job? There could be an area of responsibility that they don't want to do in their next job.
There could also be new areas of responsibility that your candidate prefers in their next opportunity. Often individuals are not quitting their job, they're quitting their manager, and so you need to determine the type of manager they prefer to work for. When you ask the candidate why they're contemplating a job change, they normally will provide the same basic answers as other job seekers. However, there is one question you can ask that reveals the real reason for changing jobs.
And that question is, "Please tell me the five things "you would change about your current "or most recent job if you were your boss?" If the only thing a candidate would change is money and advancement, chances are this candidate is using you to get a counteroffer. For an individual to go through the trauma of a job change, there has to be something significant going on at their current job that they have no control over. That is the real reason they're talking to you and will accept another opportunity.
Pay special attention to their answers to ensure that the areas they would change do not exist in the opportunities that you're going to present to them. Often candidates change jobs for similar reasons throughout their entire career. Now this can dramatically change if they've had a major life event, like a marriage, the birth of a baby, a death, a divorce, relocation, or other life events that changes their priorities and their monetary requirements. There is another important question that helps reveal the hot buttons of your candidates.
"Why have you accepted positions in the past "and what is most important to you now "in order for you to make a career change?" This question also shows your candidates that you care about what is most important to them, rather than being 100% focused on filling a job opening. This helps improve rapport and trust and will help you make better matches for this candidate after your initial interview. These probing questions do something else. They differentiate you from other recruiters who make assumptions and don't understand what is most important to the candidates that they represent.
It is wise to share the candidates' hot buttons with your hiring authorities to help them attract the top talent they want to hire. This information is especially helpful when your hiring authorities are competing for hard-to-find talent. As a recruiter you will always be judged on your ability to attract and place top talent. When hiring authorities focus on the areas most important to your candidates, you have a much better chance of filling open requisitions.
- Determining the strengths and weaknesses of the current team or department
- Understanding the job specs
- Reviewing patterns, habits, and behaviors
- Mastering interviewing skills
- Addressing inconsistencies and red flags
- Timing interviews
- Competing with other employers
- Preclosing so offers extended will be accepted
- Following up with candidates who could be possible future hires