Wagging Tail Syndrome...fatal or is there a cure?

I woke up this morning with my dog sitting next to my bed, waiting for me to open my eyes.  His tail was going everywhere.  Everywhere.  And it reminded me of a conversation that an old co-worker and I had about "Wagging Tail Syndrome".  If you haven't heard the expression, here is the definition:

Wagging Tail Syndrome (WTS): When your salesman gets off the phone without all of the job requirements saying they have the best order in the world.

Sure, we all have done it...when we were Jr. Sales Reps.  What made us get over it?  Experience...that's what.  What I mean by that is we were burned at some point by submitting the wrong candidate to the role, or we gave it to the recruiting team and they could never come up with a candidate...but our competition did, or your recruiter got a great candidate only to find out the need wasn't real...the list can go on, but the common error is that the sales rep got off the phone too quickly.  So, how do you get through this?

Slow Down -- You may notice the signs/symptoms when it starts to happen (if you are an in-the-trenches manager)...your sales reps starts to qualify...but only asks 1 or 2 questions before they start to say things like "We will get right on this for you."

This is where you need to tell that sales rep to SLOW DOWN.  You can be excited, but it doesn't help if you qualify a bad order...because it means nothing unless you close the deal.  Check lists can help, putting a sign in their cube that says Slow Down with a picture of some crossing guard blowing their whistle at you...anything.  Get that sales rep to slow down and make sure they take a full order.


Team Work -- Sometimes, well, most times our Sales Reps are not technical gurus (if you have read my previous blogs...I do IT Recruiting).  Not their fault...they are better at selling than programming.  These types get the WTS so quickly it makes their heads spin.  So, what we will do to get around that is have them get the "buyer" on the line...once they have a need ("Why yes I need a web developer!"), then we have them say "Mr. Manager, I want to get my technical recruiter on the line to get the details from you so we know exactly what you need and nothing gets lost in translation."  Haven't had a single manager say no yet.


These are just a couple of ways to cure/treat WTS.  If these don't work...consult your doctor :).

Views: 252

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 2, 2012 at 2:32pm
Great post and probably what makes the most difference in success with both clients and candidates. I blew one yesterday because I went through an interview too fast and failed to ask if the candidate had any conflict with working evening hours. I asked if she could work a flexible schedule. She said she could so I left it at that. What transpired was that she disclosed in the interview that she has a contract for one year for a part time evening job several days a week. I got in a hurry and didn't clarify or dig deep enough about any conflicts.

A rookie mistake. She apologized for not telling me and I had to apologize for my lack of clarity. Haven't done anything that dumb in years. Just got in a hurry. Dumb recruiter!
Comment by Zachary Sines on March 2, 2012 at 2:44pm

It works on both sides of the business.  I have had it happen when recruiting candidates for hot orders...get excited.  I can say this, the second I lost those deals I changed my habits.

Got to learn from the mistakes you make.  The 2 hard parts of that are 1) Identifying where the mistake was made and 2) actually taking the advice!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 2, 2012 at 3:42pm
I call it a post morteum of failure and talk to myself very harshly when I do something dumb.
Comment by Zachary Sines on March 2, 2012 at 4:10pm

When I talk to myself it is usually packed full of 4 letter words too.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 2, 2012 at 5:43pm

LOL, if anybody else called me what i call myself when i mess up there would not be enough left  of them to blot up with a small paper towel.  I normally only make a mistake one time then i get it.  The problem is there are so many different mistakes.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 2, 2012 at 6:11pm

it happens in corporate too.. I get a great candidate, go running off to the hiring manager bragging about my mad recruiting skills only to discover I forgot to check for some key skill or previous experience - or yes Sandra, find out if they can actually work the hours needed. :) Nice to know I'm in good company.


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below



RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

Recruiting Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2018   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service