Is Your Candidate Really Available?

It’s still a candidate’s market and that means it’s imperative to understand your candidates’ intentions and remember they have alternate options.

Here’s a real-life scenario that I experienced with a client recently.

A company was looking for a Vice President in their Operations organization. After going through the normal hiring process they narrowed down the field to their top choice. The candidate made it all the way to the finish line and the company offered them the role, only to learn the candidate took their offer back to their current company and negotiated a retention bonus to stay in their current role.

This happened not once, not twice, but three times.

And this is not the only one of my client’s who this has happened to recently. Is it a strategy on the candidates part or just the company’s bad luck?

Neither. It’s the market and as a company looking for a superior performer who will be a great match, this is an element you must take into consideration.

Here’s an extreme (but accurate) comparison. Try to put yourself in this situation:

You are on a business trip and sit down at a bar to grab some food. Another business professional at the bar offers to buy you a drink. You thank the person and strike up some small talk. The added attention is nice and you appreciate being noticed. However, you’re happily married and have no interest in anything other than friendly conversation. That doesn’t mean you don’t participate in the conversation and see what comes from it.

I realize this is an extreme example, but it’s one that paints a similar picture. If a candidate is unemployed and applying for a role you should consider a different approach than if you’re courting someone who’s gainfully employed and looking for different opportunities.

A few weeks ago I shared three interview questions you should be asking. If you have a candidate whose employed and looking for alternate opportunities, wouldn’t it be nice to know why they’ve left each role they’ve had up to this point? If your candidate is not currently working, wouldn’t it be nice to know why and for how long?

These seem like no-brainer questions to get answered, but you’d be shocked at the number of candidates who make it to the final stages of the process and remain a mystery.

Want help identifying a process that works for hiring and takes into consideration the true availability of a candidate? Let’s chat!

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