Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The 5 Chalices Script to Increase Candidate "YES" Calls

One of the things that all recruiters keep an eye on is the number of calls they make, and how effective each call is each time.  Most recruiters have a goal as they gain skills over time to increase the number of calls where their candidate says YES to their opportunity, increasing their daily effectiveness.

I'm going to detail a script that incorporates my "5 Chalices" that should be helpful in increasing the amount of "YES" calls you make. This script seems to work well with candidates that would be required to relocate - so I've made this script a 'relocation' feature as well, that you may omit if not necessary.

You: "Is this Peter Truro?"
Peter: "Yes, it is."
You: Hi Peter. My name is Jesse, and I'm a consultant with a company called Headhunters R' Us in Toronto.
Peter: "Hi Jesse.  What do you do?"
You: "Well, Peter, I'm a consultant there, but I also commonly go by the names 'recruiter' or 'headhunter'.  I'm giving you a call today because there's a client of mine in Vancouver, BC that has tasked me very specifically with helping them find an Applications Engineer - someone with 7+ years of experience working on large-scale projects with LAMP and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering.  I came across your profile on LinkedIn, and noticed that you've got all of that - so I just wanted to talk with you and see how you were doing at your current company, and whether you might be interested in considering another role."

Peter: "Hmm ... well, I'm really happy at the company I'm with now, I'm not looking for new opportunities - especially not in Vancouver, my family is here in Toronto."

You: "That's fine Peter - most of the people that I call are happy where they are. And what I wanted to do is have a short conversation with you about the different areas of your career where my opportunity might improve on.  There's usually five of them - one which we've already talked about, location - but the others are:
Job, whether you like what you do on a daily basis (and whether you feel challenged enough),
People, whether you like or dislike the people you work with, from your reports to your managers,
Advancement, how quickly - and how well defined - your opportunities for advancement are,
Location, which we have discussed somewhat - and ultimately,  
Money - whether or not you feel you're getting paid what you're worth.

"If we have this discussion, Peter, and we determine that those other four areas - Job, People, Advancement, and Money - are all significantly, or even slightly improved, do you think that might warrant you considering relocating?  Remember, I'm obviously not asking for a commitment - just your consideration."

Peter: "Well, if the job you have improves my career in all of those areas, then yeah, it might be worth considering."

You: "Excellent.  Let's talk about these four other areas - and see if they're stronger than what you're doing right now.  Firstly - bringing all of those four things into your head, Job, People, Advancement, and Money - where would you place your career on a scale of 1 - 100, in terms of how satisfied you are?"

Peter: "Well, I think if I considered all of those things, I might say 60 - 70."

You: "Okay, that's not too bad.  However, if I was to put that on a highschool report card, I'd get either a D+ or a C-.  That's not too great, if you look at it that way."

Peter: Yeah, I suppose you're right."

You: "So what of those four things do you think are the ones you take most issue with right now?"

This type of script works for a few reasons.
1. It focuses the candidate's mind into really thinking about their career, by giving them multiple things to think about - this will lead to more accurate answers.

2. You're giving the candidate multiple reasons to say yes.  One reason to consider a new opportunity is good, two is better - three is usually the tipping point where the candidate does not even question whether or not you might be wasting their time.

3. It shows the candidate your interest in improving their career.  Using this approach is showing the candidate that you are interested first and foremost in making sure that your opportunity is going to be good for them.  This taps into the human being's primal area of motivation - in that a person will only do what they feel is in their best interests. 

4. It increases the likelihood of relocation consideration.  Breaking down the benefits of considering the opportunity highly increases the chances of considering your role over another one in that candidate's city.

Another note: I have a preference to give the candidate the location of the company right upfront, because this ensures there are no surprises there. It brings out the concept of relocation right away, which is a topic that you now can build on.  By giving them the bad news right away, you can lighten their outlook on the conversation as you go, but if you give them all of the strong points of the position, and then tell them where it is - you may be more likely to hear them say no. 

Another note: I've inserted a strong psychological feature at the end of the conversation that highlights a candidate's true satisfaction level with their job, by comparing the number (on a scale of 1 - 100) they give me to a high-school report card.  Nobody likes D's and C's, and highlighting that number in this regard is a strong way to encourage a candidate to keep listening to your role - because now you've given them a good reason to.

Try this script out and see if it makes a change in the amount of YES calls you end up with at the end of the day. :) And let me know what your results are!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Five Chalices of Your Career

I believe that as headhunters / recruiters / HR folk and the like, we can all pretty much agree that in the process of interviewing and hiring candidates, a strong, open form of communication between the company and the candidate is one of the main keys to a happy and successful hire - a hire that, 12 months down the line, the company can still be very glad they made.  Concurrently, bad communication can routinely lead to frustration when hiring new candidates - from the beginning of the process, all the way to the very end, when a candidate suddenly drops out (or worse - is hired, and then quits two weeks in!).

In this regard, and in trying to be a little different from my peers - I make sure that when interviewing candidates (and clients to gain these ideas), I focus on what I call the Five Chalices of Your Career.

This is essentially the five factors that govern how satisfied you are with your career - and the happiest people are at very least extremely happy with at least 2/3 of those factors.  The happiest are usually well-rounded on all five.

Those five factors are Duties, People, Advancement, Proximity, and Money.

Duties: The job you do - on and off your job description.  How satisfied are you with the work you do?  Does it challenge you sufficiently?  Does it serve a purpose higher than yourself?  Do you feel good about it?

People: Do you enjoy working with your colleagues on a daily basis?  Is there a strong level of trust and appreciation between you and the rest of the people in your team / department / company?

Advancement: How quickly can you advance to higher / more senior positions within your company?  Have you been given a specific timeframe, or been told in specific what you have to do and how long you have to do it in order to advance?

Proximity: How close is this position to your house, and how easy / short is your commute?

Money: Ultimately, with the base salary, commission, bonuses, perks and stocks, do you feel that you are being paid what you are worth?

Now, many people believe that money is the most important factor on that list - and it is, but only to a point.  I've seen many candidates slash thirty, forty, or fifty thousand dollars from their salary, just to be employed with a company that is located five or ten minutes from their house. 

Depending on what governs a person's lifestyle, any one of these factors, given the opportunity to be vastly improved, can stir a candidate to consider a new opportunity very heavily.  Even if it's just one.

So recruiters / headhunters and HR Folk: focus on all five of these areas when it comes to building job descriptions, interviewing candidates, and selecting candidates.  Following this model will ultimately lead to better communication, as you're covering all aspects of the candidate's career - and can lead to saving time, attracting a small group of the strongest candidates, and ensuring that the candidates you do find are extremely pleased with the interviewing process and the company post-hire.

Happy Hunting everyone!