In search, one is focused on ONE GOAL, to find the best talent available in America in the shortest possible time frame. Hold that thought… for just a moment.
Recently I was engaged in a search assignment (did I mention a VERY difficult search assignment? ~ didn’t think so). After weeks and weeks of working very diligently to find Mr. or Ms. Wonderful we had the perfect candidate. Great fit, right location, ideal background and – a highly motivated candidate. So far so good. Right? I thought so too. Out of nowhere, the HR lead called me and asked me to “float the candidate a trial balloon (offer)” – “a what?” You heard me. “Just give them a call and tell them we are thinking about making them an offer.” And (he went on to say) “and if we do it – it might look like this”…. think about it? If we do? Might look like this? Are you kidding me? Not a good plan. It’s either yes or no. PERIOD.
When it comes to emotionally engaging a candidate to evaluate a new opportunity, involving their family and their valuable time and resources to consider joining a company, the (very) last thing I want to do is play games with my candidate. C’mon! It’s sort of like:
A. You either want to make an offer
B. You don’t
It’s not that hard people. Really! I decided to pass on the games he wanted to play as it was NOT genuine and would have forced this candidate to take another look at the company in a whole different light. The hiring manager went ballistic at this brilliant idea and we passed on the silly little game he wanted to play – made the offer and closed the search.
Trial balloons and What ifs don’t work in search. Either get serious or get out. Sorry (not really).