The Art of Timing Submission of Your Best Candidate to Difficult Hiring Managers...
August 15, 2018
Drop science now, why not?
You start to sweat and fret, it gets hot
How'd you get into this spot?
Yo, yo, you played yourself...
You know where I'm going with this if you clicked through, right?
Difficult hiring managers. Not to be confused with those who suck. Or maybe that's the same thing - I'll let you decide that...
There's an art to dealing with difficult hiring managers that pride themselves on only agreeing to interview candidates who are a direct match to the 15 things they gave you in the intake meeting. You know how this goes, you work hard, have a decent slate of 3-5 candidates that represents what the market is in the first 7 days - then the difficult hiring manager won't talk to any of them.
That's why you might need to change your strategy with any hiring manager who fits this profile.
Instead of giving them the full slate, hold your best candidate back from your first set of submissions.
The hiring manager who rejects everything but the perfect candidate early usually becomes more flexible later. Once the opening moves in the 30-60 day age range, pressure to get the position filled mounts. The same candidates that were rejected at face value early suddenly become what I'll call "possibly viable" late (also know as grudgingly viable).
If you know specific hiring managers are going to hate everyone early, don't give them everyone. Hold your best back.
Let them cycle through the superiority complex, including the following gems:
--"This is a great job - I need a great candidate"
--"This is a unique opportunity"
--"I think we can find someone who has X, Y, K and Z. But I really need U, N, Q and E also. Let's keep looking"
--"I need someone in the 60K range who has all those things. These people want 75k? Let's keep looking"
If this feels nasty, I get that. But you''re working hard as the HR pro/recruiter on the case. Your work is good. Don't allow it to be thrown in the trashcan if you know someone is going to do that 9 of 10 times with your first round of submissions.
Let the clock tick. Let the pressure mount. Manage the expectations of the candidate you're holding like the card that gives you the full house.
Then at the right moment, put the candidate/card down.
Thanks for this inspiring article. To me it sounds like a great method to convince the hiring manager. However there is one question I can't answer satisfactorily. How can we ensure (while letting the clock tick) that this favourite candidate is still interested and hasn't accepted another offer in the current labour marked where employees are short supply and time is a crucial factor?
Posted by: Nadja | August 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM
It's a great point for sure. Couple of things - I've found that even providing your best candidate in wave two - think second round of submissions - is a more effective spot. Additionally, important not to rev the candidate up too much, because the clock starts ticking as soon as you tell them you love them. Remember, this is for 1 of 15 or even 1 in 20 of your managers.
Thanks - KD
Posted by: KD | August 21, 2018 at 04:56 PM