All posts tagged: candidate

The Magic Question: How to Use 3 Powerful Words to Get Anyone Involved in Hiring to Change Their Mind

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There are no silver bullets to fill a job, but there is a silver lining when someone tells you “no.” Everyone in the hiring process hires is told “no” at one point or another. Hiring managers hear candidates reject rock-solid job offers. HR and staffing pros deal with managers who turn down well-qualified candidates. The silver lining in these situations is that you can ask people who say “no” a magic question that lets them talk themselves into a different perspective.

The magic question helps hiring managers see past their initial objections about a potentially good hire. This powerful query gives candidates the opportunity to consider shifting their point of view. The 3 words that comprise the magic question can even allow HR, talent acquisition, and staffing leaders to change their mind about adjustments to the hiring process.

Those 3 words are

Under what circumstances…

If there are circumstances under which someone will change her mind, she knows what those circumstances are. By letting her do the talking, you’re giving her the chance to convince herself while also informing you of the details.

The magic within these 3 words is this: the person who just said “no” always believes her own point of view. She may not believe yours. Because of this, she is the most qualified person to overcome the reasons why she said “no” in the first place.

How’s the magic question work? Here are four common situations.

Candidate has unrealistic expectations
Brad fit the job but wanted $10,000 more than Ivan, the manager, could offer. Ivan asked Brad

Under what circumstances would you take this job for $10,000 less?

He then let Brad do the talking. Turns out there was a circumstance. One that Ivan couldn’t have anticipated. Brad had a three-week family trip scheduled. He said it would be worth taking 10k less if he could take that trip as planned.

Ivan went on to use this question over and over again with success. When a candidate said “no” because of a long commute the magic question let the candidate talk herself into a flex schedule. Then there was the highly talented individual who objected to some of the job responsibilities. Ivan’s use of the magic question allowed the candidate to talk himself into the fact that every job comes with a mix of desirable and undesirable tasks.

Hiring manager has unrealistic expectations
A hiring manager having pie in the sky expectations had sunk many candidate submissions by a financial services firm’s HR team. That is, until they used a little magic.

Now, every time a manager makes requests that cannot be fulfilled, they ask “Under what circumstances…” about that request.

Under what circumstances would you consider someone with less experience?

Under what circumstances would someone from a different college be okay?

Under what circumstances would you pay a bit more in salary?

Under what circumstances could someone without a degree do the job?

Time and time again, these managers would talk themselves into changing their own mind.

Staffing team is stuck in counterproductive habits
Just because you’ve always done something the same way doesn’t make it right. Cecilia, the new COO of a global staffing company, discovered that many of the challenges of the firm were rooted in ineffective business practices. Many of these business practices, including feature-benefit selling and most placeable candidate presentations, had been in place for years. Even though these practices weren’t working, her management team was convinced it was a bad idea to abandon these “best practices.”

Rather than managing by mandate (“change this because I said so”), she asked the management team the magic question.

Under what circumstances would it make sense for us to change these business practices?

Over the next 30 minutes, the managers told one another, instead of being told by the boss, all the reasons it would make sense to change long-treasured parts of their process. Within 60 days, the ideas from this meeting had replaced the ineffective business practices.

HR or talent acquisition team is stuck in counterproductive habits
“Behavioral interviewing has made our hiring better,” said Gilbert, the VP of HR for a manufacturing company. When pressed for details, Gilbert couldn’t provide them. His department had never measured the impact of behavioral interviews. He believed in this style of interviewing. This and this alone was enough proof.

What happened next? The magic question (no surprise).

Under what circumstances would it make sense to change how your company interviews?

Gilbert responded, “Proof. I’d want to see proof there was something better.”

Proof is what he got during the next round of machinist interviews. One group of candidates went through behavioral interviews. At the same time, another group went through experiential interviews. The result? Gilbert said it best: “It was so clear and obvious who we should hire from the experiential interviews. We could see proof that the people we picked could do the job. Behavioral interviews never provided that kind of definitive evidence.”

Talk is cheap when we’re the ones doing the talking. When we allow others to convince themselves, their words are priceless. Everything they say, they believe. Next time you want a job candidate, hiring manager, staffing pro, or HR exec to change their mind, let the most credible person do the talking That’s them, not you.

Scott WintripThe Magic Question: How to Use 3 Powerful Words to Get Anyone Involved in Hiring to Change Their Mind
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Recruiting and Religion

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageRecruiting and religion share common ground—both require a reason to engage, a belief in what’s being offered, and a conversion experience.

Without a reason to fully engage, an individual is transient, easily swayed the next time something else catches his attention. He needs a reason to believe, be it in the spiritual practices of the religion, or in the promise a new job or assignment may hold.

When there is no belief, he is an imposter, only going through the motions. He may do this to placate a spouse who grew up with those religious beliefs, just as he may do in interviews, acting the part by answering questions, yet, only posing as a viable candidate, wasting the time of the hiring authority.

Without conversion, he becomes a spectator, appearing engaged, but never being fully committed. He will sit and listen to the minister, teacher, or imam, but he is only watching, not fully giving himself over to the experience. After appearing like a viable candidate who interviews well, he will decline an offer for an assignment or full-time job, resisting conversion to a new employment direction.

Redemption occurs when reason and belief lead to conversion, delivering him from previous circumstances into an opportunity for better conditions. The convert has a community and belief system to guide him towards an improved life experience. The candidate turned employee or contractor can now pursue a path that can provide more mental, emotional, and financial fulfillment each day.

While serving different purposes and varying audiences, religion and recruiting employ similar paths to move people to commit to something different or new. For that to work, it’s our job to ensure that reason, belief, and conversion are all present, otherwise, the only outcome will be wasted time and effort.

Religion and Recruiting

Scott WintripRecruiting and Religion
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The Rush to Judgment

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageHow easy it is to apply previous experience to current circumstances. Such was the case when I emailed colleagues last week about a trip to New York I was on as a chaperone for my son’s thespian troupe. I received responses like:

  • “Ugh, teenagers. Good luck.”
  • “How’d you get roped into that?”
  • “Better you than me!”

This trip was one of the most enjoyable in all my travels across the globe. And my time with these teenagers was filled with laughter, fun, and ease. Had I rushed to judgment when I was asked to attend, I’d have missed out on a once in a lifetime experience with an amazing group of kids.

I’ve heard it said that we determine how we feel about people we meet in the first seven seconds. In addition, the relational nature of our brains immediately compares what’s in front of us to our past experiences. Instead of rushing to judgment, I suggest we all rush to openness, allowing relationships to unfold and situations to develop without undue influence of our internal filters. The buyer, candidate or individual we are dealing with may just be part of a once in a lifetime opportunity if we just get out of our own way.

__________

Join me this Tuesday for the Inspired Recruiting Program
Some interactions with candidates almost seem to be divinely inspired, while others feel like you’re trudging through mud and muck-getting nowhere fast. What’s the cause of these very different scenarios? Learn more

Scott WintripThe Rush to Judgment
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The Powerless Approach to Staffing and Recruitment

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageWe are powerless when it comes to making people do what we want. I believe this is one reason parents are given teenagers, reminding them how powerless they truly are over people, places, and things.

Too many people in our business continue to promote the myth of client and candidate control, insinuating that we can or even should manipulate the choices of others. These dangerous, Repetitive Practices (methods which cause harm) do nothing more than perpetuate the predominant, negative reputation of our industry.

Each of us only has power over three things: our words, our choices, and our actions. By acknowledging our powerlessness over everything else, we gain access to true, individual, virtuous energy. By responsibly using these three personal powers, we can facilitate a process where the needs of all parties are met, for we which we are amply rewarded. That’s true power with much less effort.

Scott WintripThe Powerless Approach to Staffing and Recruitment
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Additional Points of Gravity

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Thanks to those who attended the panel I moderated at Staffing World last week in Orlando. I promised 20 more potential Points of Gravity for enhancing your company’s gravitational field in the market. Here those are:

  1. College and trade school recruiting
  2. Providing outplacement services
  3. Contacts from trade association websites
  4. Speaking at events attended by potential candidates
  5. Mining social media sites
  6. Sponsoring and/or participating in user or trade specialty groups
  7. Partnering with continuing education providers
  8. Press releases and being quoted in the media
  9. Hosting content-rich workshops
  10. Sponsorship of events that attract your types of candidates
  11. Participating on your city or county Economic Development Council
  12. Mining zabasearch.com and pipl.com
  13. Attractive, value-added content on your blog
  14. Hosting targeted happy hours
  15. Marketing at churches and community centers
  16. Direct mail campaigns
  17. Micro-targeting of advertisements
  18. Newsletters
  19. YouTube channel with candidate specific videos
  20. Networking groups

My new book, Sales Yoga: A Transformational Practice of Opening Doors and Closing Deals, can now be pre-ordered at a 20% discount.

Scott WintripAdditional Points of Gravity
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It’s Always About the Candidate

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Some would say we are currently in a candidate driven market. While true, it’s always a candidate driven market. The perceived shift from a buyers’ market to a job seekers’ market is a myth often spoken of in the staffing and recruiting business. Even the very best of firms won’t fill every job, yet, they can find assignments or jobs for quality candidates regardless of market conditions. Candidate acquisition and retention always rules the day.

While building a strong business development capacity is important for success, even more attention must be paid to strengthening and expanding the capacity of recruiting. This includes three important rules, from the Ten Rules of 21st Century Staffing, that my best clients, who are also the most profitable, have incorporated into their strategies:

1. They sell who they recruit instead of recruit for what was sold.

While sales may be highly effective at acquiring a variety of orders, closing those orders requires the ability to actually fill them quickly and efficiently. The strategic failing of many companies is in allowing the sales organization to drive the business. We may never know if the chicken or egg came first, but effective leaders know that the candidate always comes first if they are to sustain growth and profits.

2. They treat recruiting like the sales job it is.

HR knowledge, especially employment law, makes a recruiter more valuable in their role. However, this does not mean an individual with a personality and skill-set suited for HR will be an adequate recruiter. Recruiting is a sales job and is treated as such by leaders of the most profitable firms. Recruiters with sales acumen open minds of candidates as they open doors and close deals for the company.

3. They rarely chase purple squirrels; when they do it’s with a gold net.

While it may seem noble to prove your worth to buyers by vigorously working to fill their most difficult and labor intensive orders, it’s poor business. That is unless your ROI is equivalent to the effort it takes. Hard-to-fill deserves lots of hard cash.

While myths often perpetuate lies, trends do not. Companies following the Ten Rules of 21st Century Staffing are growing faster, reaping increasing margins, and acquiring wider and deeper swathes of the market. The rest are too busy to notice while they’re chasing squirrels.

Scott WintripIt’s Always About the Candidate
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