That was then, this is now

It was 10:00 PM and Audrey was elated.

She had just spoken to her candidate, who told Audrey she would accept her client's offer. All Audrey had to do was call her client the next day, receive the formal offer and extend it to the candidate.

Everything went according to plan. Audrey got the offer at noon, and immediately called her candidate.

"Great news," said Audrey. "You got the job!"

"Hmm," said the candidate.

"You don't sound too excited," said Audrey.

"Well, there's a problem," said the candidate. "I can't accept the offer."

"You're kidding," said Audrey. "Last night, it was go, go, go. Now you're saying no, no, no. What happened?

"At nine this morning, I got a call from a company I interviewed with six months ago," the candidate explained. "The position I really wanted was put on hold, but now it's on the front burner. We set up an interview for next week, and I can't make a commitment until then. Sorry."

Change You Can Count On
Audrey did everything right-until the moment she extended the offer. She forgot to ask the question, "Has anything changed?"

Had her facts been updated, Audrey's could have advised her client to fill the job with another candidate. Instead, she presented an offer the candidate would most likely dangle in front of another employer.
As recruiters, we're often challenged by facts that change and circumstances that evolve.

Take the screening interview, for example. A common mistake is to set in stone the salary the candidate says she would accept should the right job fall into place.

Later on, when an offer's in the works, the candidate's salary needs sometimes take on a northern drift. So we dig in our heels and try to shame the candidate into taking less, by pointing out the contradiction in what she said a few weeks earlier and what she's telling us now.

Given the situation, this tactic would seem appropriate. But before you put on your "bad cop" hat, you might want to ask the candidate, "What have you learned about the job that's changed your salary needs?"

For all you know, the candidate has a perfectly good reason to ask for more money. Certain aspects of the job, such as travel requirements, additional responsibilities or an absence of benefits may have recently come to light, and couldn't have been foreseen.

I've found that when a hypothetical converts to a reality, a decision is likely to change. And since you can't fight-or ignore-the facts, you might as well learn to deal with them.

By Bill Radin
 BlackDog Recruiting Software Inc.
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