Most recruiters know that you must not extend an offer to a candidate without a commitment to accept. Once you extend an offer of employment to a candidate, they will no longer share information with you, as they have no incentive to do so. Therefore, it’s your job to carefully orchestrate the offer and acceptance process.
But what do you do if your candidate is hesitant or getting cold feet? How can you help them move to a decision-making posture? Below, I have outlined some advice on how to close a candidate.
How to Close a Candidate
Some of the ideas are last resorts and some are standard questions to ask of every candidate. You would not necessarily act on all of the ideas below with a given candidate, but it’s a good idea to be aware of these techniques for closing candidates so you can use them when the situation calls for action.
1. Get Leverage
Get the candidate to go over benefits of the new job. Get them to review original reasons (pain) for making a change.
2. Shed Light on Supply and Demand
Is the candidate aware that the client has other interviews in process?
3. Ask About a Start Date
Ask, “On what day can you start?” This question often flushes out hidden objections.
4. Probe for Objections While Closing a Candidate
Ask, “What are your reservations?” The right language and scripts can go a long way toward increasing your effectiveness on the phone.
5. Get Their Thoughts on Your Client’s Cultural Atmosphere
Ask, “Do you have any hesitations about the people?”
6. Trial Back-out
“It sounds like you feel as though it may not the right opportunity for you at this time. Perhaps we should we tell them that you’re not interested. What are your thoughts?”
7. Create a Deadline for Closing Candidates
Pre-close 24-hour decision requirement: “Once the offer is generated, we’re going to ask you to be decisive and make a decision on the offer within 24 hours. Does this work for you?”
8. Probe for Circumstancial Barriers
Ask, “Are there any conditions, circumstances, or relationships that could interfere with you accepting this offer?”
9. Ask About Hesitations
Ask, “Do you have any hesitations about the company?”
If you’re confident that the candidate doesn’t have significant hesitations, start using assumptive close phrases in the recruiting process. This will help the candidate really imagine themselves in the position.
10. Additional Comments
Ask, “Is there anything we have not discussed that you feel hesitant about regarding this position?”
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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiting Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit The Recruiting Lab’s website or call 408.849.4756.