The first staffing lesson I learned was, “Candidates do stupid things”. My boss at the time was a tough and cynical agency recruiter (headhunter) with 10 years experience. Wally had been rode hard with had plenty of stories to prove his point. That lesson was driven home yesterday in a most painful way.
On Wednesday last week, Intelligent Decisions was awarded a contract at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The contract has 13 positions ranging from Project Manager to entry-level administrative support personnel, with 4 of those positions to start this Wednesday, AS IN TOMORROW! In order to make that deadline, I had to have signed offer letters to the hiring manager NLT 3pm Monday.
With all but 1 position filled by Friday, I was feeling pretty cocky (never a good sign if you believe in karma). But after spending the weekend scouring my database, Monster, and the web, I had several resumes that looked promising.
With a growing sense of urgency, I hit the phones first thing Monday morning. And after several unsuccessful conversations with other candidates, I connected with John Doe (name changed). He had the right credentials, experience, and seemed willing to accept the salary. Notice the operative word here; ‘seemed’.
When I explained the salary was “$___ per year”, John heard, “$___ per HOUR”! You crunch the numbers, it makes a huge difference.
Believing we were G2G, I pressed forward with an expedited application process, confirming John’s credentials & clearance, crafting an offer letter, submitting the offer letter for approval through my chain of command, and finally sending John the offer. By the time he received my email, it was 2:45. That was when he called and said he wouldn’t take the position at the salary.
Ever hear the expression, "One aw crap wipes out a thousand atta-boys"?
Was John stupid for hearing an hourly rate, or was I stupid for failing to ensure he heard me properly? Well, I’m the guy who spent 5 hours yesterday spinning my wheels, so you tell me.
Here’s the take-away, don’t ever assume (yeah, I know) the candidate understands all that you've said. Sometimes they hear what they want to hear.
Ask, and then ask again.
Make it a GREAT day!