Are you looking for ways to boost performance? Here are three tips to help you take control, improve your odds and accelerate the placement process.
Tip #1. Always ask for more.
Buried in the shorthand of nearly every job order, resume and phone call are countless bits of useful information. As seeds of success, it’s your job to find and cultivate them.
For example, don’t settle for the boilerplate contained in a job posting or the superficial fluff found on a resume. Instead, dig for context, back story and specifics. That way, you’ll have a greater understanding of your jobs and candidates -- and a better chance of making a placement.
If a company says they’re looking for someone who can “think outside the box,” ask for a specific example of how someone succeeded in the past from being creative. Or, if a candidate states on her resume that she increased sales, ask precisely how much revenue was generated, the methods she used, and how the income stream benefited her organization.
In addition, you should seize on any and every opportunity to ask for referrals, sales leads, follow-on business and any information that might build your knowledge base, effectiveness and credibility.
Tip #2. Use trial closes at every opportunity.
Making assumptions can cost you dearly. So, whenever you reach a crossroads, check to see where things stand by testing with examples or by running scenarios.
Let’s say the employer tells you he’d be willing to pay a salary of up to $95,000. If that’s the case, it’s fair to ask, “So, if I find a perfect candidate who can be productive on day one but needs $100,000, I should not present the person to you?” The answer will reveal the true upper limit.
Or, after a couple of interviews, your candidate says he’s interested in the job. That’s precisely the time to launch a trial balloon. “So,” you ask the candidate, “if they offered you the job today at the right salary, you would accept the offer, tender your resignation and start by the middle of next month, correct?” Now you’ll know if your candidate is really interested or is just wasting your time.
Another scenario: Suppose you’re faced with a multiple offer situation. You can save time and aggravation by asking, “Is there a salary or set of conditions that would lock this up right now with my company and allow you to shut down all other activity, current and future?” If the answer is yes, you’re that much closer to a deal. If the answer is no, your odds are greatly diminished. But at least you know where you stand.
Tip #3. Schedule the interview. Then start your search.
Most recruiters wait until they find, submit and get approval on a candidate before they schedule the person’s interview. To me, that makes as much sense as ordering a spare part and then waiting for it arrive before scheduling a yet another date to do the installation.
Whenever I take on a new assignment, I assume I’ll find candidates. Otherwise, why would I promise to help fill the position?
My method is to get the employer to pencil in several time slots a couple of weeks down the road for interviews. If need be, we can reschedule. But in the meantime, I’ve set expectations, given myself a performance deadline and frozen out other sources of candidates.
These are just a few strategies that range from merely self-protective to outright assertive. And there are many, many more. Just remember: Anyone who says patience is a virtue never worked a desk.
- Bill Radin
Bill Radin is one of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry, and has trained many of the largest independent and franchised recruiting organizations, including Management Recruiters, Dunhill, Sanford Rose, Snelling and Fortune Personnel. His speaking engagements include the NAPS national conference, the annual Kennedy Conference, and dozens of state association meetings and network conventions, including Top Echelon and Splits.org.