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B-Level Candidates? Then It’s a B-Level Company

by | Jun 21, 2010 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

When the hiring manager at one of your clients informs you that unemployed candidates will no longer be considered for their job openings, the best question you can ask them is also the simplest:


It’s not the only question, by any stretch of the imagination, but just like any objection, it must be overcome by finding out the true reason for the objection.  Once you find that reason–and are able to address it–then you can overcome it (in most instances).

Educating the hiring manager about why they should consider an unemployed candidate starts with asking questions and listening rather than talking.  It’s important to discover what’s fueling their objection and understand their personal stake in the reason they’re presenting that objection before attempting to overcome it.  You can use a number of different questions to make that discovery, some examples of which are listed below:

  • “Why do you feel that unemployed candidates aren’t worth your time?”
  • “What is it about considering the employed only that you believe will ensure that the best person possible is hired?”
  • “Once the economy recovers, do you believe that you’ll once again consider unemployed candidates, or is this new requirement a permanent one?”

And here’s an excellent question, a hypothetical one, for drilling down into the objection and determining what exactly is behind it:

“Are you saying that I should present a B-level candidate who’s currently employed rather than an A-level candidate who’s unemployed, no matter how small an amount of time they’ve been without a job?”

If the hiring manager acknowledges the fact that they want to see a B-level candidate who’s employed rather than an A-level candidate who’s unemployed–end of story–then there’s not much you can do at that point.

Besides moving the company onto your B-level client list.

Companies who aren’t interested in hiring the very best, regardless of employment status, can’t be considered among your best clients.  If their hiring managers don’t want to see the very best candidates you have to offer, then they won’t.  Instead, you’ll be presenting those candidates to other companies, those that do want to hire the best.

B-level candidates… for B-level clients.

A-level companies don’t let extenuating circumstances (and the economy can be placed into that category) dissuade them in their quest for excellence and their corresponding search for those candidates who will help them to achieve that excellence.  In fact, they’re probably the companies who are actively seeking to find superstars who are unemployed, the “diamonds in the rough,” because they know that their competitors are less likely to do so.  That’s what makes then A-level companies.

So in their attempts to pre-screen candidates by only considering those who are currently employed, companies are actually pre-screening themselves for recruiters who are looking to represent and work with the very best.

What are your thoughts?  Do clients who won’t consider unemployed candidates deserve to be downgraded to “B-level” status?  How many unemployed superstar candidates have you presented since the first of the year?

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