"I have a few questions I would like the answers to before we go forward," says the great candidate for the job. I recruited the individual for a position down the road. I interviewed, qualified and re-qualified. Felt good about the answers.

Person came back with questions -typed an email even - they seemed legit and I liked the effort. Questions you might have, questions we hadn't covered yet - "Why is the job open? What is the bonus structure?" I knew most of the answers but just needed to clarify a few details with the client. The candidate was worth getting the specifics for and I like to prove I am different from other recruiters -so...bottom line - I had enough doubt I just wanted to make sure on a few things. I went and got the answers.

I had already failed at this point.

You may know where this is going. Let's cut to it. I get all the answers, we review them and then, " I AM NOT INTERESTED." (definitely all caps from my recollection) I pretty much heard a game show buzzer and a large WTF? appeared on the wall in front of me. I was rather miffed... but not really. Honestly, this had been an exhaustive search and I was more disappointed in my recruiter optimism than anything. I was lacking a wise perspective at this point - more pissed than miffed. Maybe miffed but from the pissed sort of genre. Ah..emerging clarity.

The real clarity on this conflict came on Saturday morning from my 3 year old. My wife had taken the 7 year old to the American Girl Store in Chicago that weekend so it was the least I could do to take my 3 year old on a similar outing. We chose Dunkin' Donuts. Seemed like a fair response to the shopping spree in a Dad sort of way. Between the two outings, we spent $304.99.

You take the 3 year old for donuts - you know you are all about assorted donut holes, varying sprinkles and chocolate milk (see Donut handbook). What you don't expect between the donut hole collage and chocolate milk bottle repeatedly teetering on table's edge is a recruiting mentor to emerge? The colorful sprinkles needing wiped from her mouth, mouth full of cake donut, chocolate milk drip on her chin and all in a milk throat kind of voice - my Lucy says, "What else you got, Dad?"

I had come full donut circle at the teachings of Lucy Skrentny Leffkowitz. The candidate's emailed questions were crystallized into one gigantic question -
"What else you got, Recruiter?"
Big time learning from the smallest recruiter trainer. Look for her training modules soon but don't expect candidates wielding this concealed question to resign in the near future. While the 3 year old in her discovery ASKS the question - the wannabe masks the question with tire kicking, counts a healthy bonus potential that hasn't paid out in 3 years as income and clings to unreciprocated loyalty with a value system that worked well for his parents.

I failed because I should have re-re-qualified him specifically for his seriousness level - I did not - those darn unvalidated assumptions. I wish good blog posts came from the victories and not all these learnings. Now that you know the official question of the unrealistic - You need the song of the unrealistic because I know you wannabe a "JobStar!"

Views: 245

Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on August 16, 2010 at 11:13pm
yup..forgot where I heard it but it's true: " the longer the candidate's demand list is, the more likely he'll break your heart when it's decision time.

My favorite response to the "list o' candidate questions that must be answered or else" is this; "that's a great question to ask the hiring authority" ..if the candidate isn't willing to talk to the hiring authority, and deal with him head on, he gets flushed pronto...I want a resume, and I want salary info, and I want to see an eagerness to engage in conversation..if mr. super candidate decides he's gonna drive my bus,and call the shots, the "takeaway close" is rather effective in this line of work..I want adults who want to better their lives, not babies I have to spoon feed. I'm not burger king, and they can't have it their way.
Comment by Bob Petersen on August 17, 2010 at 11:31am
I've always had the position that if a candidate asks for all the extras, I need to hammer more on the interest in the job and am more willing to drop them. If the candidate has a lot of job duties questions, that's a good sign.


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