Easy Scripts for Candidate Control

Robert Frost wrote that good fences make good neighbors. A clear and constant boundary line helps instill a sense of order, stability and mutual respect.

The same rule applies to your professional relationship with candidates. By setting simple ground rules, you can minimize many of the problems associated with out-of-control behavior. And good fences will help screen out those who might otherwise waste your time. Here are six easy scripts designed to meet your candidate-control objectives:

1. Explain your function. I work on behalf of my clients to fill critical positions. If your background is a match or you can make a contribution, Ill do everything I can to make sure you get interviewed. And if you and the employer are interested in working together, Ill do everything I can to generate an acceptable offer.

2. Manage expectations. The employer has a thoughtful process for screening, interviewing and capturing high-quality talent, and their goal is to move as quickly as possible. That being said, scheduling conflicts can often gum things up. So if a delay occurs, I want you to be patient and not take it personally. Can you do that?

3. Set ground rules. Its very important that you and I work together as a team. To get the best results, Ive got three simple rules. First, you need to give me good information and not tell me what you think I want to hear. Second, if anything changes on your endan interview with another company, a change in your job function or salary, or even a change of heartyou need to let me know right away. And third, all communication with my client needs to be cleared by me. If theres something you want to say, email or Tweet, youll need to check with me first. Got it?

4. Understand your candidates motivation. Ive found that when a person wants to make a job change, it boils down to one of two reasons: Either theres something at your current job that drives you crazy and will never get better; or theres something you desperately want thatll never be available. Does either of those scenarios describe your situation?

5. Assess the risk of a counteroffer. Lets suppose you interview with my company and they make you an offer, and in good faith you accept the offer. But when you go to resign, your current company offers you more money to stay. Im curious: What would you tell them?

6. Put the brakes on turn-downs. I just want to let you know that its my clients policy not to extend an offer until youve signaled through me that youre ready to accept. If there are any sticking points or loose endsin terms of salary, benefits, duties, responsibilities or reporting relationshipswell iron those out before the offer is made. Are you okay with that?

While its impossible to monitor or control everything a candidate wants, thinks or does, it is possible to provide structure to your relationship and command a greater level of respect. That way, youll prevent dysfunction, eliminate surprises and, in the process, fill more jobs.

By Bill Radin
 BlackDog Recruiting Software Inc.
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