So it seems that al-Qaeda is struggling to find a new leader.

It is apparent that all interviews have gone well, until the last minute when the candidate has asked

“So…how did this vacancy come about?”


Asking the right question at the right time is the difference between taking on a great vacancy and taking on a dog. A dog, will lead you all over the place, take you up the garden path and then leave an awful stench when it goes wrong.


We have all failed, usually in the excitement of getting a vacancy from a new client to take proper details of the vacancy or even mis-read the situation.

What do you do to make sure you don’t take on a dog?.... Discuss

Views: 53

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 20, 2011 at 1:53pm

Hilarious opening but it makes the point!


This specific question (to determine the reason for the opening) is a standard part of my initial conversation with a client. I also find a way to tactfully determine if there are any skeletons/landmines (PR situations, morale issues, excessive attrition, etc.) that might present challenges down the road.


I make a conscious effort to convey a sense of transparency in all aspects of my dealings with clients and candidates. This tends to foster a climate that encourages them to reciprocate. The approach I use is similar to a diagnosis conducted by an objective and non-judgmental clinician..."I need to know everything you can share with me in order to represent you effectively in the market and help achieve the best possible outcome." If there are any glaring issues, this is a good time to have a consultative heart-to-heart to discuss mitigating strategies (but these strategies should never involve glossing over material facts or hiding negative information).


Even then, it's important to remain observant throughout the process for little clues about things that didn't come out in the early stages. For example, I took what I thought was a very thorough and candid job order from a client recently. Later, a candidate told me of a potentially unflattering comment that the hiring manager made to her about the company, during the interview. The candidate was rightfully surprised by this. My advice was that she take it as a good thing that she was getting an unvarnished perspective about the team now rather than later. Sometimes, reminding the candidate that candor is empowering has the effect of defusing a situation that might otherwise cause concern. No company is perfect and it's always better to have more data points than fewer when evaluating a position. While some might see this as putting a project at risk, I see it as a good way to challenge the process and thereby improve the chances of achieving a solid result and an informed decision by all stakeholders.


Back to your original point-- sometimes a dog is a dog and it's necessary to find a professional way to disengage and let that puppy run. My best advice is to rely on a methodical approach when taking the job order and to remain vigilant for gremlins throughout the process.


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