The ‘other offer’.
Even as I write those words I can feel my face begin to itch.
It’s like the other wo(man) in a marriage, because, let’s face it, the interaction between a good recruiter and a candidate is a relationship (of sorts). You just want their sole attention, their focus, them to only use you and for you both to end up driving into the sunset with ‘Just Placed’ attached to the car bumper.
But no, sadly it very rarely works out that way, and inevitably you’ll be up against other recruiters in a more and more competitive market place.
The candidate you’ve developed such a strong bond, even perhaps friendship with, is, quite rightly, more focussed on what’s best for them. Not you.
I had this recently with a candidate, who was potentially my biggest ever placement and who I’d got to know over two months. Over that time we went through quite an emotional journey with a client that was, or perhaps wasn’t, going to offer. I experienced what we call in the industry, the Panic-Euphoria spectrum.
It went a bit like this:
Client rings to interview my candidate (mild euphoria)
Candidate nails first interview, second one is requested (bite-size, manageable euphoria)
Candidate progresses further and nails final round (secretly calculate fee, sudden bursts of heightened mood and further euphoria)
Client is delighted and intends to offer (Take the afternoon off, go to the gym, take the better half out for a nice dinner somewhere. Life is good. Why can’t it always be like this?)
A week goes by. No news (doubt creeps in)
Two weeks go by, no offer letter despite constant assurances (slight nausea, cancels holiday)
Three weeks go by, sincere apologies from client, everything is being done that can be done (philosophical cigarette outside office, “ah well, maybe not this time”…have a little cry)
As all this was going on the ‘other offer’ loomed in the background, doing nothing at all for my IBS.
In the end, the offer finally came through. But despite extensive counselling and advice, my client offered 25% less than the ‘other’ offer. I was not looking forward to delivering the news. I felt I had got to know the candidate quite well and, in my disappointment, delivered the offer then offloaded my frustration and wished him well on his new adventure.
The next day the candidate rang back and said “actually, my wife thinks I should take your role”.
I was momentarily stunned, then massively annoyed at my petulant behaviour when I had delivered the offer (and frustration). For the first time in my life I’d let my emotions creep into my professional conduct and I was very cross with myself.
And yes, the candidate took the job.
Just goes to show I don’t know it all. What did I learn?
It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.