It was a beautiful day in Atlanta, the sun was shining and my partner and I were just about to present an offer… You know the story-line…
I’m a recruiter and …that’s my job.
Okay. Here’s the deal… You are really excited (jacked) about the candidate of choice and the pending offer you are about to receive. No question about it — she’s the one!!! All clear on the references (remember I’m in the retained search business and we get this out of the way pre-offer). Education verification checked out as suspected (once again…done in advance). The really cool part is that she was available immediately (like ASAP), and given her status as VP of Marketing in a competitive technology marketplace – there was little doubt in my mind that corporate would send down the security guard to her office with an empty box around 5pm the day she decided to resign to help her pack.
No need to worry about which files she would need to take with her – they would all be staying with the company. Just the few personal items like photos and the shrine she built depicting her perfect life outside the company would ever make their way "inside the ‘box". Once she indicated she would be bailing – everything else would stay… Sorry – it’s company policy.
Let’s face it — she knew too much and keeping her around for all of the gala departure parties and good-bye lunches will be much far too painful to watch, and the drama would result in the morale of the team she will be leaving behind sinking… So, I thought, before we make the offer, so she can resign, I need to (once again) trial close her as the finalist so there will be no room for any surprises — and leave little doubt that we are closing business after a ‘lay-up" offer.
Not so fast, Mr Executive Recruiter… Not so fast.
So… Let me walk you thru the "end of the offer" in slow-motion, so you can re-live the moment with me. I presented the offer to my star verbally (in advance of sending the written offer) to leave no doubt as to the stellar package being offered by my client. The salary and bonus were above the upper end of the range we discussed early on in the process. No relocation required (which is AWESOME in today’s environment). It all came together as planned. Then… my star candidate told me she wanted to make sure that the offer was equal to what she currently had on the table. Equal-????
She went on to inform me that the current company reimbursed her monthly for the "5-Series" BMW ($550/mo) and also happily paid the expenses for the executive office down the street from her home ($800/mo). She just "assumed" that would not be a problem for the new employer.
"OUCH":-( Sixteen Thousand Two Hundred Dollars and 00/00 cents.
That was a surprise.
In the end, we made it work – but not without lots of creative math and some delicate negotiations. We did not succumb to paying for the car lease or the office space, but it complicated things at the end of what was supposed to be a natural and exciting process for the client and the candidate.
The lesson here is to dig …dig a bit more and then dig some more. You must have the facts early in the process to avoid a ‘blow-up" at the end. I’ve found that if you don’t ask…in many cases, they will not tell. A detailed and thorough/methodical process will usually save you big bucks and headaches at the end. Make sure you always ask plenty of questions. To quote Dragnet’s Joe Friday and add something appropriate, I should have asked her "Just the facts ma’am – But all the facts"…