Today's Ask Dem: The Covert Strategy Email

Hi Dem,

I have a fantastic candidate that my client is VERY excited about and who has been through their entire process including tests, background checks, etc. We expected to have an offer 2 weeks ago. Suddenly everything has gotten very quiet yet they insist she is still their "top candidate". The fee is just under R120K so I would obviously hate to lose it, plus the candidate has other opportunities on hold, which is getting harder for her to do.

In your experience, what do you think is going on and, is there anything you would suggest that I do in terms of communicating with the client? I have a direct line to the HR Director and the Senior Sales Manager (to whom this person will report) as well as the HR Recruiter, so communication is not a problem. I just don't know what to say anymore!

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This would fall under the Rookie Seminar principle I try to drill into the novice recruiter’s brains when they come to me for training: TIME KILLS DEALS.

You ask me what is going on? I have no clue exactly what is going on, but I sure as hell know something is going on.

Insisting the candidate is still “the top candidate” is meaningless. No offer has been made. My guess is they have another candidate they are considering and your person is a viable back up, but who knows? Here is what we do know. You calling for the umpteenth time and using the time- honoured and beat-to-death ”come on, you’re going to lose him/her” falls on deaf ears. They don’t believe you. You are a recruiter with a big fee riding on this. You need to 1) make it personal and 2) document it...

Here’s the plan:

First, a candid conversation with the candidate explaining we need to execute some covert strategy to flush this out. Then the two of you have an email exchange that goes like this:

EMAIL from Candidate to you:

“I’m sorry to say that given the delay, and the risk that I will not receive an offer, I have decided to pursue my other opportunity. I’m so sorry for both of us because I know you (recruiter) worked hard and I did think it was the best job. But I’m a mature person and when 10 days go by clearly I am not the number one choice. Please pass on my best wishes to [CLIENT], who I admire very much and would have enjoyed working for. No hard feelings”.

Above EMAIL Forwarded from you to Client, simple subject line:

"FYI…looks like we lost [CANDIDATE NAME]". [Send with high importance].

Leave a voice mail or sms that you forwarded an important email.

Then you wait. If they are going to hire your candidate, they will respond. If they don’t respond to this, the email becomes reality and you both move on.

Good luck!!

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