Corporate Recruiting: Don’t Take “No” For an Answer (Subtly)

I’ve been working on a Product Manager search for one of our portfolio companies out on the west coast. After some digging, I came across a fantastic profile on Linkedin. Naturally, I shot this prospect an invitation to connect and network, to which he promptly accepted and responded.

To my dismay, he said he was happy to network but was not interested in exploring any opportunities at this time. I’m not going to lie – I was really bummed out. He had everything I was looking for in a top candidate. I didn’t want to let this one get away, so I simply asked, “Do you have an idea as to when in the future might be a better time?”

I figured if I can’t do anything now, it would be smart to keep him in mind and re-open discussions later down the road when another need came around.

The candidate said he wasn’t sure when in the future might be a better time. He conceded he did some research on the company and was intrigued by their business and product. Instinctively, I asked what I thought would be my final question:

“Well if you’re interested in what they do, do you feel it would make sense to at least have an informal, 10-minute discussion with the hiring manager? This way you can get a better idea of the role and organization. On top of that, the next time they’re looking to hire again, you’d already have that relationship built with the team.”

“Yeah, I suppose there’s no harm in that. Let’s do it!”

I set up the call. The candidate is now actively pursuing the position and is going in for face-to-face interviews this week. Sometimes top candidates don’t even know that they’re “looking”. In corporate recruiting, you shouldn’t ram jobs down people’s throats. What you should do, though, is encourage candidates to keep an open mind.

There’s no pressure applied on candidates and this way, they also have peace of mind knowing they made their own decisions and weren’t bamboozled or manipulated. As a recruiter, it’s also important to exude the sincere passion and excitement you have for the company that you’re helping out. This energy is contagious and will often enable prospective candidates to listen more closely to you.

I’ll let you know if an offer is made!

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
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