June 23, 2018

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Effective Candidate Rebuttals

This is the best way I’ve ever been able to get a candidate who tells me he or she is happy to consider another opportunity. Read last week's article for the first half of how this call goes. That phrasing will give you a step-by-step model of removing the candidate’s barriers and it works to get the candidate to at least consider that there might be something better for them.

Remember, pitching a job or a hot opportunity is the worst way to win them over. First, you have no idea what motivates them. Second, it makes you sound desperate and too ‘salesy’. Instead, consider a ‘consultative sale’ when recruiting a candidate.

This is what you say, after they agree that there might be some other opportunity out there that could possibly be better than their current situation.

"Then let me make a suggestion, Joe. Let’s spend a few minutes together so that I can find out where you are today in your career, hear about where you’ve come from, and find out where you’d like to go in the future in your career. Then, if my client’s opportunity fits your career ambitions, I’ll tell you everything about them and you can decide for yourself if you’d like to go to the next step. I’m fine with whatever you decide to do."

Remember, relationships are built on deposits and withdrawals. The old way of recruiting was all about the recruiter and not on the candidate’s needs. When you call a candidate at work, he or she really doesn’t care about you or your great client. They only care about themselves. Let’s just admit that principle and see if we can use it as a way to get the candidate to the next step, and the next step, and the next step. . .

Here’s the problem with most recruiters and why they stink at recruiting. They want the candidate to agree to a complete stranger that they are willing to make one of the most stressful life changes after just five short minutes of considering it.

Instead, lead them to a little ‘yes.’ Just like I wrote about in last week's article, all you have to do is get the candidate to the first little ‘yes.’ And then get them to the next little ‘yes. And then the next one. And then the next one. And the next one.

And finally, a few weeks later, they are turning their notice in and leaving their employer of seven years, all because you took the time to follow principles of human behavior instead of pitching a job to them. And because you did it in this fashion, at the end of the placement, the candidate will actually thank you for bringing them to that new opportunity.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2005 Scott T. Love Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms and staffing agencies. His training website,, has become one of the largest free internet training sites for the industry. To have him show your staff how to produce more than they thought possible, call him at 828-225-7700.