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
"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.
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.