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11 Steps For Eliminating ‘Dead Horse Candidates’

by | Dec 29, 2014 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

In my previous blog post, I described 10 ways that recruiters can spot a “dead horse candidate.”  In this blog post, I’ll now describe 11 ways that you can eliminate “dead horse candidates.”

To eliminate “dead horse candidates,” you must establish cooperation! 

1. Obtain complete information regarding: can do’s, will do’s, won’t do’s, can be motivated to do, counteroffers, emotions, etc.

2. Create an itemized list of what the candidate will buy and when they will buy it.  What companies does the candidate want to work for?  When can the candidate make the move if the perfect position comes along?

3. Have the candidate list their Features/Accomplishments/Benefits; do FAB sheets.  These should be originally typed for each employer that they will see on an interview.  This original sheet will be left with each employer.  You need a copy of the FAB sheet, and the candidate will need one for their records.

4. Submit a list of “target” companies.  These are companies that the candidate would like to work for—companies in which they have an interest.  Also, it would be good to know those companies for which they don’t want to work.

5. Submit a list of questions.  These are questions that the candidate needs to answer before they can make a decision of coming on board with a new company.  Questions beyond the regular salary and benefit type queries—types of projects they would like to work on, amount of travel time, special perks they would like in order to make the move . . . anything the candidate needs answers to before making a decision.

6. The candidate must agree to interview your way.  Because YOU are the expert and you know about interviewing, whereas the candidate knows about what they do for a living.  Prepare your candidate for the interview.  Go over “agenda closing” and the “eight-point candidate prep.”  You want to make sure the candidate is prepared correctly for the interview.

7. The candidate must be able to ask for the job.  Somewhere in the interview, the candidate must express an interest in the job—verbalize that they want the position.  They need to take the initiative because the hiring manager is usually waiting for the candidate to express an interest in the company/position.

8. The candidate must give you the authority to negotiate and accept/reject offers.  They must understand that you are the professional and that you are also an effective third party.  After you have introduced the candidate to the employer, then many of your duties are those of a buffer.

9. The candidate must pre-write a resignation letter and sign it.  It is best if you can have your candidates give the resignation letter to you so that you can send it for them later.  If not, just make sure they write this letter early in the process.  As I said before, it’s important that they write it so that they have made a “mental break” with their current company.

10. The candidate must submit the letter the day that they accept an offer.

11. The candidate must be willing to exchange commitments of cooperation, as well as agree to make decisions.  The candidates have to cooperate with you, to work with you as an ally.  And they must be capable of making a decision.  If they can’t make a decision, no matter what situation you put them in, they won’t be able to say “yes or no.”  It will always be “maybe,” or “Let me think about it.”


Any time you discover problems, stop and re-qualify employers and candidates and either get them back in line or to back out of the project.  Remember, you are a straight commission sales person and you are paid for results, i.e., sendouts and decisions, and if the results are not there, you are wasting your time and not doing your job!

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Bob Marshall of TBMG International, founder of The Marshall Plan, has an extensive background in the recruiting industry as a recruiter, manager, vice president, president, consultant, and trainer.  In 2015, Bob is celebrating his 35th year in the recruitment business.  Marshall can be reached at or at 770.898.5550.  His website is

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