If the client has an opening, get the position! Recruiters often do not recognize the opportunity. For example, after your pitch of a candidate, the client responds:
• “Salary too high.”
• “You must talk to personnel.”
• “I need someone with more ....”
• “Can't use agencies.”
• “You are calling the wrong area.”
• “I know this candidate.”
These are all clues that there is a position! Now you should get some specifics; don't let this person off the phone until you get the following, because you never know when you will be able to get him/her on the phone again (the golden minute).
Questions to ask when taking a position
• “What is the title of position?”
• “What are the education requirements?”
• “What is the salary range?” What is the highest you will go for the perfect candidate?”
• “The position reports to who?”
• “Will the person supervise or lead in any way?”
• “What does the company do?”
• Intangibles: “What would you look for between two people with the same technical, experience and educational background?”
• “What's more important to your group: technical abilities, product experience or personality?”
• Career path, opportunity for promotion, long term opportunities. “How rapidly have people been promoted?”
• “What is the 'drop dead' date for having someone hired?”
• “Does the position require travel?” “Is the travel overnight or same day?”
• “What is the location/address of interview?”
• “Is this a new position or replacement?”
• “What will the person do (describe a typical day)?”
• “How long has the position been open?”
• “Is this a growing company? How many people?”
• “What's the interview process?”
• “How long will the interview last?”
• “Who will interview?”
• “Is there a test/application to fill out?”
• “Who extends the offer?”
• “When does Personnel get involved?”
• Benefits: flex hours, medical, dental, vision, medical for dependents, pension, profit sharing, maternit benefits, parking, lunch program, raises -- when, how much, performance or cost-of-living?
Additional questions for computer field positions
• “What are the required languages and years of experience for each or lines of code written?”
• “Database experience?”
• “Types of applications needed?”
• “Operating system experience, specific computers needed?”
• “Development or maintenance? If maintenance, what is the on call status?”
• “Nature and scope of the development or importance of the system being maintained?”
• “Size of group?”
Additional questions for accounting and finance positions
• “Private or public?”
• “Division or corporate office?”
• “Dollar volume of sales?”
All of the above information should be entered in the position record.
Remember, responses to the above are:
• From the point of view of one individual. This person will be influenced by policies and biases of others.
• The interpretation of the recruiter and represents what was 'said' by the hiring authority. Very often, what people say and what they do are completely different. For example, a hiring authority might say the person must have a degree, and then you find out at a later date that they hired a non-degreed person because she/he had so much experience in a particular area.
• Very often formed by what and how the position questions are asked. For example, “A degree is required, isn't it?” as opposed to “Which is more important, specific experience or education?”
• The ideas, attitudes and perceptions of one individual who can change very quickly. Judgment is a big part of handling a position.
• The more specific information on qualifications, the greater the potential for unfavorable results. Over qualification and pre-judgment by the recruiter often lead to failure. This may sound like an about face but it's not. You can never have too much information; information provides the opportunity for creativity. But specific information on the requirements of a position and blind adherence to them is dangerous because it kills creativity.