You didn’t just say that …DID YOU?

January 9, 2017

Businessman with facepalm gesture pop art style vector illustration. Human illustration. Comic book style imitation. Vintage retro style. Conceptual illustration

You would think a senior “super educated” engineer couldn’t say something to a hiring manager that would hands down kill every chance of getting employed at that company right? Think again!

One of my candidates gave me a call after a close to perfect onsite interview which pretty much closed the deal. It went so smoothly that our candidate walked out of that office with his chest puffed up and a swag that no hip hop artist could match.

Naturally, I thought my candidate had sealed the deal, but then he said  “…I also mentioned how Company Y is my first option since that opportunity is so awesome…. just to be upfront.”  Apparently, he was being courteous by being “upfront.”

All of a sudden, I went from flying high to face-first into the ground. Businesses are spending over $126.4 billion on temporary and contract staffing (according to Rebenchmarked data) and this number continues to increase.  My client is one of these businesses that is spending millions to find top talent for their open positions, and the last thing they want to hear is their dollars are being wasted on a candidate who doesn’t even have them No.1 on his list!

Obviously, the hiring manager was so offended that the candidate didn’t think about the time and money spent to interview this person through three rounds which included a phone screen, technical evaluation and an onsite interview. They saw my candidate in a key technical role for years to come.

But what could I have done to avoided this situation? Education.

All of this drama could have been avoided if I had better prepared my candidate to use the simple industry standards of “I’m actively interviewing” or “I’m evaluating all options.”  Oftentimes, we recruiters can forget to prepare our candidates for these scenarios. Candidates expertise lies in their primary function, and it’s our jobs as recruiters to give them the knowledge we have of our industry best practices, including common questions and responses.


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