When I posted a recent discussion about changing my attitude in approching the closing of candidates, I got a lot of feedback about whether or not I should have made the adjustment at all. Seems it boiled down to whether or not I was still asking the tough questions - which is of course what we get paid for; the ones that some recruiters simply don't want the answers to, but that good recruiters know are cruicial to the success of a placement.

What we didn't touch on was what those tough questions are. I've been thinking about this since a discussion on the Recruiting Animal Show, when one recruiter (whom I hold in high regard) disliked one of the closing questions that was a staple for me in my consulting days.

The question was "If the manager calls to let me know he/she would like to extend an offer, and the details are what we have discussed, can I accept on your behalf?"

The question served me well, while I never did actually accept on the candidates behalf, if they told me yes I knew my deal was in good shape. But we all know, different strokes for different folks. So..... I'd be interested to learn what some of your tough questions are. How do you approach the close with a candidate? When do you ask these questions and do you ever find yourself not asking them, afraid of the answer? Maybe we can help each other out here with some fresh ideas for keeping us well informed through the recruiting process, without overstepping bounds and being bullies!

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Animal - it is very sad to think you feel YOU shouldn't be trusted. I'm quite certain most of the candidates AND clients that work with me do trust me. Not that trust has that much to do with it. I mean - no real decisions are left solely in our hands requiring complete trust for us to call the right shots.

My goal is not to get the candidate what she wants? My goal is to make a placement...?

If you see our job as "making placements without regard to what the candidate wants"........just how in the world do you do that? Force of will? Run them ragged until they finally agree to take the offer? Badger them into doing the "wrong" thing?

I'm sad.

Recruiting Animal said:
No candidate should ever trust a recruiter.

Your goal is not to get her what she wants. It's to make a placement. Those two goals do not totally coincide.
So when he's telling you what his low number is, he has to know that you're feeding this info to the client - who is paying you.

Sandy has an interesting approach to this problem. She says, "You might be able to get him for the low number but if you really want him, you have to shoot high."

Not all recruiters are like Sandy. And even if they are, may clients will start at the low number and work their way up if they have to.

Steven Levitt in Freakonomics showed that real estate agents urge their clients to accept lower offers than they would themselves because they want to close the deal.

They might not admit it but when their own homes are on the market they leave them there longer.
Hey peter / Jimmy, what kind of information do you want to know more about?
Pam, Jimmy's an ass. But spammers don't usually have a return address.

Since he's got peter's account, however, I thought I would take advantage of that fact and let him know.
Right there with you, Jerry. I think the worst mistake I ever made was trying to shoe-horn a candidate into a role simply in the interest of making a placement. I saw a big, fat, check sitting out there that I wanted and I made it happen. I ended up not getting the placement and had to work very hard to convince that customer to give me another shot. I learned that lesson the hard way, but I've always tried to keep in mind the best interest of both parties (candidate and customer) ever since.

To the point of salary negotiations, I'm with Pam that I want to know whenever possible what the acceptable low end salary is for my candidates. I don't want to do this in order to undercut what they could potentially make, but rather so I can feel comfortable asking for more, yet still having the deal come together if I don't get the full amount I ask for. I equate this to managing expectations. If they want 85K, I may talk to my managers about 90K+. If I get what I'm asking for I make the candidate's day. If I only get 85K, I've done no harm by getting what they asked for.

To me any and all elements of recruiting can involve asking tough questions. Any time I qualify a candidate I prep myself for the idea that I may well get some responses I don't like, but that's why I qualify them in the first place! When the answers don't come back the way I want, I consider them for another position or respectfully part ways. Some of the 'tough questions' I like asking revolve around retention issues or getting hints at their personality. I like some of the following:

"How long could you tolerate being in the role you are interviewing for before seeing a promotion?" This question will help me determine if the candidate really wants to work for my company or just wants the job we have open. It makes a big difference how long they will stay if growth opportunities are not fast and furious!

"Management changes are frequent here due to rotations. How would you handle having a change in management/management style regularly?" Does the candidate have the fortitude to gut it out when they don't like a new boss? This question may help uncover some hints about whether or not they can be flexible or will tuck tail and run when they don't like a manager.

"Have you ever accepted a counter-offer before?" Is this candidate just fishing for another pay raise and using this interview to benchmark his/her worth, or is the interest genuine?

"What reasons have you had for voluntarily leaving previous positions?" I love this question because it can provide good insight about what motivates a person. I might discover that every time they don't like a boss they look for a new job, that they moved with a spouse, wanted more aggressive growth than was available, or just wanted to get out and leave a sinking ship on their own terms.

Obviously none of the above are fool-proof tactics to get answers out of candidates, but often they lead to some interesting conversations!

Jerry Albright said:
Animal - it is very sad to think you feel YOU shouldn't be trusted. I'm quite certain most of the candidates AND clients that work with me do trust me. Not that trust has that much to do with it. I mean - no real decisions are left solely in our hands requiring complete trust for us to call the right shots.

My goal is not to get the candidate what she wants? My goal is to make a placement...?

If you see our job as "making placements without regard to what the candidate wants"........just how in the world do you do that? Force of will? Run them ragged until they finally agree to take the offer? Badger them into doing the "wrong" thing?

I'm sad.
The process from greet to hire is one of mini-yesses and this "getting to yes" is what many recruiters miss. If the step from A to B isn't a yes, then more work, more questions, more time needs to be put into the process.

Unless at the final step there's a competing offer where one critical variable is far higher in one of the options (happened only once to me...$94K versus out-of-whack $125K) then you should close the deal nearly every time. BTW, I don't have any foolproof questions other than, "What are the realistic details of an offer that you would accept."
This has been a fascinating discussion. i have often considered the dichotomy that a recruiter faces. We are paid by the employer but are trying to gain the trust of the candidate. So who do we really represent when we broker these deals? Unfortunately "follow the money" applies. My main objective is to never have a client make an offer that is rejected - this is part of my value add. in order to do that i ask candidates "so if they offer $$ i should reject it?" this usually gets a yes or no. My one nod to impartiality is if the employer offers a number higher then the candidate - i keep this as secret. if it's low, i tell them. no offer is made until it' already acceptable.
I am interested in knowing what would be your follow up question, if the answer is "no" to the above question.
Maybe its because I'm in my touchy-feely mode this fine Sunday morning but early on into my relationship building with people I ask this question...

What would you do for the sheer joy of doing it even if you weren't being paid to do it?

Ask yourself this question and you'll see what I mean - if you can honestly answer it you'll be smiling. This is my recruiting barometer - no matter how tough someone is, having this information means we can have a critical discussion about the position relative to total compensation.

Mind you, I don't believe any recruiter can have a reasonable talk about comp without knowing the content of local and national salary trends, cost-of-living data, and impending local and state legislation (this is how NY state will drive away business).

But the larger question to ask yourself is how well do you really know your candidate?
How about asking......"would you take the job?". Or, "what would prohibit you from accepting the job?". It's the same thing. I always preclose my candidates prior to extending an offer. I'm sure most of us do if we're doing our job well. I always state the exact amount that we are "potentially" going to offer and then ask them, "would you take the job?" If they hesitate or won't answer my question, then I know I have more work to do and it's not about unearthing the money portion of the offer, but usually other extenuating circumstances that have been left unearthed and are not on the table examination. Until we clear those up, we can't move forward. Sometimes it works out. And sometimes I don't end up extending an offer because it's pretty clear the answer is going to be no. If I don't dig down deep enough into someones value system and miss critical keys to why they will or won't make a job change, then going to offer with someone is a mute point unless I'm almost certain that I have all the road blocks sitting clearly out front for both of us to see and either move beyond them or not. It doesn't always work out and again, it's rarely about the money part of the offer. It's usually always something else. And it's the something else that I need to know about in order to have a successful offer portion of the recruiting process. Right?
I thought you shall accept his offer. But you when accept his offer you give a slip of condition about your work
to your manager. Because every person does not perfect in all works. Every person has perfect in his own field. I think your manager can accept your proposal.

so i tell you please accept managers proposal.


Mark Jones


online Job--------online Job

Being afraid of the answer is a critical stumbling point for many in our business. Even though I have never done full cycle recruiting (only the front end piece of phone sourcing) I have some experience with this phenomenon. As a newbie phone sourcer, I found that asking one too many questions sometimes did one of two things:
1) Turned the Gatekeeper south on me
2) Gave me an answer I did not want to hear
I must confess here to a third result before I go on - sometimes, once in a while - miraculously! It gave me the answer I was looking for! As I became a better and better phone sourcer it gave me those right answers a greater percentage of the time. I believe it's because I learned the better questions to ask. That's experience talkin', though I know that's a taboo subject 'round these parts.
Anyhoo, asking questions seems to be another TABOO subject in our society. It's as if all the riff about privacy extends into the very hearts of our being able to do business. There are some questions that are designed to exact revenge - sure - we all know "How old are you?" will cause the ice to break beneath you but what about the more innocuous "What does your spouse think of you accepting this job?" - a question sure to elicit a response that will give you a pretty good idea how successful this hare-brained concept of yours regarding this "potential placement will be. Oh, is that prohibited too these days? Hmmm...let me go to something I know something about: phone sourcing

When I haved a songbird* on the line and I'm pressing info out of her like wine outta' grapes the last thing I want to hear is "Oh, he's a new hire fresh out of school" when I'm looking for senior folks or "We don't have anyone in this group with less than ten years of experience" when I'm looking for junior folks. But sometimes, that's exactly what my customers are looking for and that's what I have to find so asking these difficult, albeit delicate questions sometimes brings forth answers I really don't want to hear but in the divining of the information that comes off the tuning fork that's exactly what I must be prepared to hear.

*Songbird: Any person whose vocal organ is developed in such a way as to produce various sound notes that translate into names or information that leads to names. The cant normally sounds like music to your ears and usually requires prompting to elicit.
For other sourcing terminology visit here.
Our goal is to save you time and help you succeed.
Yes of course the questions asked must be such that they give required information. They must be according to the requirements.
Online Job--------Online Job

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