Hi All,

How far would you go to persuade a reluctant candidate? The market is very much a candidate's market at present and quite often the "good" ones either have multiple offers (if they are looking out) or they are just not keen to move from their comfort zone. 

 

How far would you push to get them to sign up? Which would be your worst case and does it really work out in the long run? Or does it become a case of "bring the horse to water, but can't force them to drink" ?

My recent cases seem to suggest that it is better to drop a candidate if he or she shows resistance at any stage rather than go through all the hoops and have him/her decline the offer at the last stage. Worse, if s/he just doesn't show up or resigns within the guarantee period. 

 

However, hope springs eternal and I am currently persuading a reluctant candidate that after 10 years in his current company, he would do well to move on (and please, jump into my client's company ). Should I try and persuade or after 3 tries, drop it?

 

Would love to hear your view points on this.

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Ritu,

I actively pursued and finally landed a prime candidate after a two year effort (I'll relate that story here on RBC someday)--so I'm probably the wrong person to ask about how long you should stay in pursuit of top talent.

The answer to your question is actually quite simple:  How badly do you/your client want a particular candidate? A secondary question is:  How accessible is the candidate in question?  Some are immovable so don't waste your time.  But some are approachable and because they are approachable--they are movable...with the right approach of course.

the important thing is to keep the relationship alive.  Be the guy who doesn't "force him to drink", but is always willing to show him the way to the water supply.

Thanks @Valentino, would love to hear more about the 2 year pursuit...gives me motivation to keep at it  :) The client is not particular about getting "this" guy only but has liked him and would like the candidate to meet other stake holders. Which is where my candidate is hesitating wondering whether he really wants to move or not..... :( The thing is, he is very accessible and always takes my calls, but is not sure whether he has the time to meet the client and is delaying the next rounds. Hence my dilemma....

Thanks @Amy, trying very hard not to push him so hard that he balks and scoots! (Even when I feel like holding him down in said water! lol!)

When i have a candidate like this who is not sure if he wants to jump i always tell them that "My old daddy told me never to say no until i heard the offer."  He is under no obligation to do anything but meet some people.  They haven't made him an offer yet so he is worrying about something that might not even happen.   It sounds like to me since he is not avoiding your calls he needs to know that nobody is going to be upset with him if he says no after the interview.   You have a nervous nellie on your hands.  It sounds like he has done one interview so i would find out if there was something in the first interview that made him cautious.  Find out what it was that he picked up in the first interview that has made him unsure.  Sometime candidates get squirrely when they get an impression that is not a fact.  Since he is not sure i would tell him that the only way to be sure he doesn't want to move is do talk with them again. Then he will  know for sure. 

 

He may however be interviewing some place else and is slow playing the next rounds to see what happens with another company that he thinks he may like better, so tell him if he is interviewing someplace else and doesn't want to get himself in a corner you will help him balance the time frame to be sure he has the time he needs.

 

I am not an arm twister and i point blank tell my candidates that it is their career,their life, and their decision, not mine.  My only pressure point is to make sure that they have the opportunity to interview and find out everything they need to know, then if they say no , we move on to the next one.  All i ask of them is that they do the interview then make the decision without any press from me.  In fact if they want to tell the client no after they complete the interviews, i am happy to handle the no so we don't close the door in the event he wants to open it at a later date.

 

Oh and go find a couple more candidates and get them in the loop.  Sometimes a nervous nellie gets a lot less nervous when they don't hear from us for a few days and start wondering what happened.

 

I placed one two weeks ago who turned down an offer two years ago, took another job but when i sent him an email about another opportunity the time was right, the night was right and the wine was right.

Thanks Sandra, several good points! I'll check with him for what turned him "off" during his initial meeting with the client and I am about to call 2 back up candidates so that nervous Nellie gets a cooling off period. :D

Thanks so much!

It is amazing how we, collectively, will get all worked up about what might happen down the road and I keep an eye open for that behavior from my candidates.  Your line about your "old daddy" is a great one, Sandra.  I often ask candidates how they can make a decision without all the information, and let them know I won't be angry if, after careful consideration,  the opportunity isn't right for them. I say that interviewing is a process of "gathering information" and my job is to help them have all the knowledge they need to make the best decision for them. How can they make a good decision without all the details?

 

Seems to help.  But, as always, the price of admission is full disclosure and communication.  I can't have them thinking I work for free.  ;-)

 

 

 

 

I'll make this quick.  Once someone has told me they're not interested - and I have a clear understanding of why that is (and it makes sense to me) I tell them "Thank you for your consideration.  Hopefully we'll bump into each other down the road."

 

I'm not here to talk anybody into anything.....but feel free to do so if you want to spend your nights wondering if your candidate is really going to accept............really going to resign...............really going start...................really going to stay........

 

 

 

 

I agree, if someone has told me they are not interested and their reasoning makes sense, I move on (after asking for a referral of course!). I've seen recruiters who 'persuade' candidates to take a job often finding that the candidate either doesn't start or doesn't stay.

Thanks Lisa, Jerry and Pam.  With this case, it wasn't that he was not interested, he was just, as Sandra rightly said, a "Nervous Nellie". I didn't want to push as I was scared of staying awake all night, thinking all the things Jerry has pointed out, hence my query :D

Thanks all, really appreciate your inputs. Love this forum!

In dealing with reluctant candidates, you need to open their vision, their imagination. This can only be done from their world. Your world must fade. 

Questions are the key to open vision. Preparation is the key to asking good questions. Your questioning strategy must evolve in an organic way, one item building on the last. The hard work is in the thinking.

If you are unable to open their vision, either because of lack of skill on your part or lack of interest on their part, you must move on and show No Need. You can always return.

 

Good luck.

This is No Need in action.



Jerry Albright said:

I'll make this quick.  Once someone has told me they're not interested - and I have a clear understanding of why that is (and it makes sense to me) I tell them "Thank you for your consideration.  Hopefully we'll bump into each other down the road."

 

I'm not here to talk anybody into anything.....but feel free to do so if you want to spend your nights wondering if your candidate is really going to accept............really going to resign...............really going start...................really going to stay........

 

 

 

 

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