Jamie was a passive candidate, and he couldn't believe his luck.
Three weeks ago, a young recruiter called with an intriguing
opportunity. And now, after a furious round of interviews--and a good bit
of haggling--Jamie was riding high.
The company made an offer, but Jamie turned it down. Of course, if he'd
actually needed a job, he would have jumped all over it. But Jamie was
With nothing to lose, Jamie pushed for more. A sign-on bonus. An extra
week's vacation. And a 90-day performance review. Incredibly, the
company said yes. And Jamie was delighted.
Trouble in Paradise
Tina, however, was worried. As a recruiter, she had done everything
right--or so she thought.
She had cold-called Jamie, who was perfect for the job. She set up the
interviews, checked the references and pushed the company to make an
Even after Jamie rejected the initial offer and took over the
negotiations, Tina was optimistic. She sensed the company would meet his
demands, and sure enough, they delivered on every point.
But Tina was puzzled. If Jamie had gotten everything he asked for, why
did he say he needed to "think it over" for a few days? And why was he
dodging her calls?
Tina Creates a Monster
Her formerly passive candidate was now on every job board in sight,
shopping like a maniac. With an offer in hand, he had every incentive to
leverage his position.
Could Tina put the genie back in the bottle? Probably not. She either
had to pray that Jamie would accept the job, or try to force his hand by setting a "drop
dead" date, after which the offer would be withdrawn.
In either case, she seriously lacked control. In 20/20 hindsight, Tina
realized that she had forced the company to make concessions, without
asking for a commitment from Jamie in return.
So Tina made herself a promise. In the future, she would--without
exception--follow a few simple rules:
1.Never let the candidate control the negotiation. To be effective, the
recruiter needs to broker the deal.
2.Close the candidate before the offer is extended. Assuming all the
conditions are met, get permission to accept the offer in advance, on
the candidate's behalf.
3.Get the candidate to take action. As soon as the offer is formally
accepted, instruct the candidate to call the employer to confirm the
4.Generate a letter of acceptance. Add a signature line and an
expiration date of 9:00 PM. Have the candidate sign the letter and fax
it back to the employer.
After four days of nail-biting and fatalism, Tina finally got a call
from Jamie: He would accept her company's offer.
Tina sighed in relief: She had dodged a bullet. But she knew that next
time around, she would close the candidate and get an acceptance--before
an offer is extended.