How do you keep candidates from flaking out? You have to realize that at the end of the day, they will do what is in their own best interests, and that's all that counts. As a professional recruiter, you can't fight this. That's why search firms that still teach "candidate control" are depending upon manipulative tricks instead of building authentic relationships to position themselves as the "trusted advisor" to the candidate.
How do you do this? How do you show these candidates that YOU are the recruiter they should trust compared to everyone else?
You have to let the relationship grow organically. Now, there is a system to this and you can quickly build a quick relationship by following certain steps, but it has to be authentic. And with every relationship, you have to give up control. Here's how you do it.
Once you have recruited that candidate and you have just told them about your client, confirm that they want to meet with your client. Then this is what you tell them:
"From this point on, my role is to facilitate the process of you and my client getting to know each other. We are going to proceed through a series of meetings, and if at any point you don't feel my client is the right fit for you, then just tell me that. This is your career, and you need to only make those decisions that you think are in your best interests. And if you think that my client is not the right fit, then just tell me. I am okay with that because I am here to help you do whatever you see is best for you."
Once you give them control, they trust you. And they will confide in you and share with you their concerns. At that point you work with them to overcome those concerns instead of them disappearing on you, because they know that you are trying to help them. And if you do this, you'll never have to worry about flaky candidates again.
- Scott Love
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