I recently received a nasty email from an HR professional telling me how unprofessional it was for me to gather selling points in trying to sell a candidate on an offer.
Let me give you the back story . . .
A candidate really likes the company with which they’re interviewing and has a lot of questions. The typical process is for the candidate to communicate the questions to their recruiter, and then the recruiter finds out the answers. I am NOT a “control freak,” but the candidate in this transaction definitely wanted my advice and guidance.
Fast-forward a week, and the company goes completely rogue and makes a very insulting offer. Again, part of my job as a recruiter is to act as the broker in this transaction. Had the HR person talked to me first, I would have encouraged her to “sharpen her pencil” before making the offer to the candidate. That failed to happen.
As a result, the candidate was surprised by the offer. It gave him the impression that they weren’t excited about him coming on board. Here’s an analogy: you ask your fiancé to marry you, but rather than “Going to Jared” for a nice diamond, you go to Wal-Mart and get cubic zirconia. The problem is the message that is sent. This did not make the company look good—especially since the unemployment rate in the Information Technology job market is hovering around 3% or so.
The offer process went from a typical offer/acceptance situation to a week long back-and-forth negotiation.
This NEVER should have happened.
Since I am accustomed to going above and beyond for my clients, I reached out to the HR professional to talk through the offer. I did not receive a return call or email. I then tried the hiring manager to see if he was aware of the offer and that this hire was now at risk. (Another back story: the hiring manager has encouraged recruiters to reach out directly with questions or concerns about the positions. I figured an insulting offer warranted a phone call.)
As a result of that call, I received awesome information on the process and selling points for the candidate. The candidate then accepted the offer. I coached him through submitting his notice and dealing with potential counter-offers. In my mind, all was well in the world of recruiting. Until I received the “nasty gram.”
What is the point of this post? Mainly, to provide insight on how good recruiters view their role. We are brokers. Companies pay us money to identify top talent for them. As a result, this requires a good working relationship and communication.
Our job doesn’t stop once a candidate is submitted. There is so much that happens behind the scenes, including prepping the candidate (which involves selling the company’s opportunity) and talking through questions and concerns after the interview. A good recruiter takes this a step further and helps with the transition to the new company.
Companies pay us a lot of money to make them look good. Whether you’re an HR professional/recruiter or a hiring manger, we want to help you secure the top pick for your team. We can’t make you look good unless you communicate with us. From my perspective, an offer should NEVER be made without consulting with the search firm first. A good recruiter will know exactly where the candidate will say “Yes” and where he/she will say “No.”
I am not Siri. I don’t have “programmed responses.” I won’t necessarily tell you what you want to hear. If the offer is insulting, I will tell you. If I think the candidate is at risk for accepting a counter-offer, I will tell you. If I can give you advice that will ensure the candidate feels welcome at your company, I will tell you that, as well.
The bottom line: if you want to work with the best recruiters in the industry, it will require communication and collaboration.
Save Siri for another day.