Tips to Squash Candidate Hesitation Once and For All

Position and perception are everything, so start acting like a career agent and people will trust you like their career agent. Trust builds respect, respect builds relationships, and relationships turn into placements and referrals and even clients.

Here are 10 reasons why some candidates may hesitate:

  1. They are concerned that they will not achieve their long-term goals by taking this job.
  2. They do not have that warm and fuzzy ‘fit’ feeling.
  3. They are skeptical about the companies’ values, operating practices, or strategic objectives.
  4. They do not trust that the new boss and or company will mentor and develop them.
  5. They are frustrated that they wont be using their strengths to their fullest potential.

  1. They notice that something is ‘off’ in the work environment but they can’t put their finger on it.
  2. They are unclear as to the ‘real’ expectations of the role.
  3. The recruiter said one thing and the hiring manager said something different.
  4. They never told their spouse they were interviewing and now they have to do damage control.
  5. They used your opportunity for a comparison and now they are waiting for the others to come through.

10 Ways to Head Off Hesitation at the Pass

Forget about the job you are trying to fill for about 45 minutes and take time to get to know the candidate…really.

  1. What do they want their life to look like five to seven years from now?
  2. What lights them up, inspires them, and how can they access that on the job? What would that look like?
  3. Give them a personality, strengths-finder assessment, and help them get access to their core competencies: strengths, weaknesses, values, behaviors, and find them a role where they can shine.
  4. Ask about their best/favorite mentor and why? What worked? Who was their least favorite and why; what went wrong?
  5. Ask about their most inspiring role; what was so great about it?
  6. What kind of people do they want in their work network?
  7. Ask them, “If you were NOT going to take this job, what would some of the reasons be? Tell me more…and more!”
  8. What other opportunities are you pursuing and/or considering? Tell me what you like and dislike about them? What stage in the process are you in? How does my opportunity compare with that? Why?
  9. What are the top 3 elements you must have in an opportunity to take the job?
  10. What are the top 3 functions you need to have in the job itself to be working at your optimum contribution?

These seem simple, and they are. Most of you are probably already asking most, but try one or two that you are not, and see what happens.

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Great selling, and best of success.

  • Lorna

    Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for the great tips. I do almost all recruiting of independents for interim engagements, so I don’t do this kind of vetting, but I’m still putting these into my recruiting toolbox, because you never know!

    What kinds of personality/assessment tests do you use with your candidates?

    Lorna