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Many of us have experienced the logical candidate becoming illogical in a matter of days (or hours) when it comes to making a career decision.   When I was new to the business this happened more frequently than I or my boss liked.  Needless to say I would get pretty upset – never at me of course – but at the candidate who was blowing a career opportunity.  As I matured as a recruiter and as a person I came to understand why candidates would become illogical or irrational - FEAR. 

I developed a routine to ensure minimal turndowns (at least the ones due to FEAR).  I would simply walk the candidate through the feelings they would/could experience throughout the process.   Something to the effect of:

Mr or Mrs Candidate, here’s what going to happen as we move throughout the process.  As we move throughout the process and the closer we get to signing the offer – the more fearful you will get about making a career move.  You will focus less on the reasons as to why you SHOULD  make a move and instead focus more on the reasons as to why you SHOULDN’T  make a move.  You will focus on the unknown.  You will focus on all of the good friends you made at your current company.  You will focus on how comfortable you are at your company.  You will focus on whether or not you were being emotional or too demanding wanting more money, responsibility, upward mobility, etc.  What I’m telling you is that FEAR will try to take control of your decision–making. 

From here I would explain that FEAR can mean False Evidence Appearing Real (I’m unsure of true origin…but have been using for 10 years).  You will start to question your abilities, your motivation, your goals, your desires, etc.   For the most part – every candidate will start to laugh and say “Not me” or “No chance” – but in my experience most candidates will experience a tremendous amount of FEAR prior to resigning.  Next, I take the candidate through a quick exercise - a simple chart that compares their current job to the prospective job.  I break this chart out at prep time, debrief time and most importantly at offer delivery time.  I have found that this chart significantly reduced the number of candidate turndowns due to FEAR.   Give it a try.

 

Current

 

Prospective

 

Title

0

Title

1

Salary

0

Salary

1

Location

1

Location

0

Vacation

0

Vacation

1

Bonus

1

Bonus

0

Commute

0

Commute

1

Company

0

Company

1

Career Progression

0

Career Progression

1

Miscellaneous

0

Miscellaneous

1

Total

2

Total

7

Views: 244

Comment by Will Branning on November 23, 2011 at 2:33pm

Good article and a very useful chart. I have used a similar technique - of course candidates will weigh the factors differently and sometimes weigh things like location and commute much higher than other factors...in general though it does deflate the "emotional fear" from the candidate who is making a career change decision.

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