Know When to Hold ‘Em
This article was inspired by a conversation I had with a staffing firm. Let me just say that we were in the process of extending an offer to a submitted candidate only to hear that their salary increased from the time of submission. We made it work, but the situation presented itself again, with the same firm.
All us recruiters know, we’re not working with widgets. We get it, but there’s an art to making all this happen. When it all comes together, it’s awesome. When it goes south, it can get really bad. It can even tarnish the reputation of the recruiter and the firm if you can’t handle salary correctly.
Know When to Fold ‘Em
A firm knows the budget of their client. Part of determining if the request is a legitimate one, worth the firm’s time, is making sure salary for the role has been determined. When screening candidates for the role the staffing firm knows what budget they’re dealing with and what candidates are in range and which ones are not. Those outside the range should be discarded and not considered for the role. It doesn’t do much good to submit a person if they are way out of salary range. Keep in mind there may be wiggle room, but use caution and discretion.
Presenting the opportunity to the candidate is simple, but expectations need to be very clear. “When we met, you said you were looking for a salary of ‘x’. I have an opportunity at Company ABC as a ‘Insert Title Here’. I’d like to submit you over to the company with salary expectations of ‘X-ish’. ” Again, this all comes down to the initial meeting where salary expectations are set. It is very uncool to have this change in the middle or end of a deal. Lock it down up front and you’ll save everyone’s time. “Is this good with you? Is there any other financial considerations we need to let the client know about – stock, options, obligations to your current employer like tuition reimbursement or relocation obligations, etc. We want to le the client to be completely aware of all the details.” This should really ensure there’s no communication issues on this delicate subject. If the candidate replies to your salary inquiry, remember you’ve already met with them once during the initial meeting, with “well it depends on the job”, be sure lock this down again. This may include sending official job description and reiterating that you aren’t sending them to to be a CIO under the guise of the duties equal to a Sr Manager in an Enterprise environment with 3000 staff.
Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run
Good firms will actually know when to pull the plug if the deal seems to go south. Should a candidate reconsider the salary, maybe they believe the position should really pay more than what is proposed, the candidate should withdraw from the process if the difference is considerably higher. However, the firm should be the party responsible for having this discussion with the candidate and make the ultimate call. What could end up happening is that the firm looks like they’re playing a game with the client.
All the aforementioned details, if they go bad, is what we call “losing candidate control”. Put your firm above the candidate. Your business depends on it. You can always find a different candidate, but don’t let them tarnish your reputation. Reputation is much harder to develop and it’s the integrity that business ethics relies upon.
Don’t let the candidate play games. You can have honest conversations with candidates you represent IF you have mutual rapport between each other. It takes two to tango. Firms that meet face to face with their candidates and are honest and have candid conversations with each other will provide a level of trust and openness that will prevent catastrophes down the road. This does not mean that it’s kumbaya, unicorns and rainbows, but it will facilitate a healthy, honest, discussion.