I am certainly showing my age, but I remember my first programming classes in elementary school using a Commodore 64. I don’t remember much, but I do recall there was something called an “if / then statement.” I am now a recruiter (talent acquisition, headhunter, whatever you would like to call us) so I don’t use much programming these days. I often, however, work with and assist IT programming and analyst professionals as they seek their next job. There is a surprisingly effective use for the “if / then” statement in the final step of the interview process: getting an offer from a prospective employer.
There is nothing more frustrating than the waiting that takes place after a final interview with an employer. As a job-seeker, you would think that it is very simple for the employer. You interview, they want to hire you, they make an offer – done! But it really is a somewhat complicated sequence of events that has to happen immediately after your final interview. If everything does not happen right, then things can stall out.
After a final interview the manager (your new potential boss) has to get feedback from all of the other people who participated in the interview process including other managers, team members, HR people, senior management etc. Then that new potential boss has to ask their boss (the Director, VP, Sr. VP, etc.) to sign off on a specific offer. That can be a tough request because at that point they typically only vaguely know your expectations for salary, and certainly don’t know exactly what you will accept. They then need to get HR involved to pull and fill the “req” (job requisition) and make the hire. This may involve additional sign off from a department head (in HR or IT, the CIO, etc). Maybe references have to be done, etc. There are a lot of steps and they don’t magically happen on their own. As with any business process, it is made particularly challenging if there is any guesswork involved – as in “what do we think this candidate will accept for salary specifically?” Anytime a complicated business process does not have certainty driving it, the process can break down – or time can just go on and on…
So how can you as a job seeker (or the recruiter representing you) push this process from the outside? Give them a sure thing! Tell them the “if / then” of hiring you: “If you offer me this job at x salary, then I will accept it.” This simple phrase acts as a catalyst to start and quickly drive the offer process to completion. It works!
You may say, “but I told them what I was looking for salary-wise when I started interviewing.” That is different. That was a benchmark you provided before you met them or really saw the job (other than a job posting). That salary requirement for them was just to make sure you weren’t tens of thousands of dollars out of reach. Now that you have seen the job from all angles and interviewed with and met everyone there, this “if / then” figure is a commitment from you that you will take the job, and exactly what salary they have to offer you in order to take it. It provides perfect clarity, see?
At that point, the manager (your new potential boss) can say to everyone else involved in the process, “this person has committed that they will take the job if we offer it to them, so I would like you to sign off on x.” All parties involved will see the value and urgency, and will do their part. You are doing them a huge favor and are already proving how easy and productive it is to work with you – before you even start the job!
I strongly suggest you use this technique. It can be the difference between getting a job offer, or the offer fizzling out or going to someone else who did use the “if / then” technique!