Recruiting Is Like A Brad Pitt Relationship – Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Work Out…

Jason Pankow Always Be Closing, Candidate Pool, Engagement and Satisfaction, Interviewing, Jason Pankow, Recruiting

Being a good recruiter is being a good relationship manager.  You are the point of contact for that special person that is going to join your company to perform that special duty.  ButPittjolieanistonjoke, a lot of times, recruiting is like dating.  Sometimes, you have to break it off.

Hopefully, you have listened to the HR Capitalist when he says you gotta know what the candidate’s salary expectations are before you waste time flying them in for an interview.

Still…sometimes, at the end of the day, you and your candidate are too far apart.  When do you say, “Let’s just be friends?”

First of all, if money is the most important thing for a candidate, they’re not going to fit in at my company.  I side with the lovely and snarky Jessica Lee, here.  Our culture is about more than money.  Candidates who harp on how they are worth more will forever be expecting huge increases and promotions every year.  If you’re worth it, we’ll give it to you.  If you insist on something we don’t want to give, I will shake your hand good night and tell you I’ll be in touch.

The biggest difficulty in ending conversations is often convincing the hiring manager.  Too often, especially after longer searches, they are convinced that this is the only person for them.  We have to give them everything they want.  Here is where we need to give some strong parental advice.  “Honey…there are plenty of fish in the recruiting sea.”  Most of the time, there is another person out there that can do the job just as well, or better.

Look at Brad Pitt (unless you’re my wife).  Gwyenth and Jennifer didn’t work out.  But, he found Angelina.  Now he’s happy with a bazillion dollars and almost as many kids.

Closing a candidate feels great.  It’s the best part of my job as a recruiter.  And, on the flip side, losing one sometimes feels like a personal failure.  But, it’s important to remember that there will always be someone else.  The most important thing, to me, when ending the relationship, is how the candidate walks away from the experience.  Is it one that ended with clothes strewn out in the street outside the apartment?  Or, is it one where you still talk, hang out with friends, and occasionally get together at parties?

Breaking up is hard to do.  But, sometimes…it leads to better things.  A candidate that is afraid of commitment, even if you do satisfy them in the short term, may very well leave you for that guy who drives the Porsche.  If you do break it off, however…make sure to leave the light on for when they realize they let a good thing get away.