Management recruiters international, inc.


Quality Response Guide


management recruiters international, inc.

Quality Response Guide

ã Management Recruiters International, Inc.

200 Public Square, 31st Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Phone 216.696.1122 • Fax 216.696.3221



Copyright 1991, 1999, 2003, 2004

All rights reserved




All materials contained herein are the property of Management Recruiters International, Inc., which is the owner of all proprietary, trade secret and copyright rights to thee materials.   These materials constitute an unpublished work, and the existence of the foregoing copyright notice is not to be construed as an admission or presumption that publication has occurred. These confidential materials are intended solely for the use of Management Recruiters International, Inc., its franchisees, and their respective employees, during the terms of such relationships, and are disclosed in confidence. Possession of this information or document does not confer any permission to use or disclose or right to reproduce or use such information or document or any part thereof without the prior written consent of Management recruiters International, Inc. If consent is given for reproduction in whole or part, this Notice shall appear on each such reproduction.

Words that “Sell















Conceptual Ability






Cutting Edge











Ego drive







Good salesperson




Highly regarded










Leadership Ability







Negotiation Skills





Planning Ability

Political Savvy



Problem solver









Risk Taking














Strategic Skills

Strategic Thinker




Team Builder

Team Leader

Team Player













Words that “Un-Sell”

























Might be













Will Not
















Addressing Prospect Concerns



Have you planned?





  • Who is your IMPACT PLAYER?
  • Do you have a minimum of 100 companies to market?
  • Do you have a written marketing presentation?
  • What are your IMPACT PLAYERs major accomplishments?
  • What are the benefits your IMPACT PLAYER has to offer?





  • What Search Assignment are you going to recruit on today?
  • Why is it a Search Assignment?
  • Why it is urgent and critical?
  • Do you have a fee agreement?
  • Do you have a recruiting timeline?
    • Do you have a written recruit presentation?
Placement Process




  • Do you have any candidates to prep?
  • Is it the first, second, or third interview?
    • Do you have any clients to prep?
  • Is it the first, second, or third interview?
    • Are you prepared to address concerns?
    • Do you know what they are?





No Openings Concern








Why is that?
Is that just in your division, or is it company wide?
How do you fulfill your hiring needs?
If you were hiring, what type of candidate would you be interested in?
When you say you have no openings, do you mean for this candidate or none at all?
Although you are not actively hiring, would you consider making a spot for someone with this type of experience?
I didn’t call because I thought you had an opening. I called to tell you about one of the best performers in your industry.
There is absolutely no cost for you to meet with my candidate.
Is there any type of candidate you would like to hear about? Are there any specific skills that are in demand by you or your company?
The person I’ve told you about will contribute to the growth of your company and create new openings.
I hear you say you’re not hiring, does that mean you’re not interested in hiring this type of candidate, or anyone at all?
My candidate is available to speak with you on an exploratory basis. I’ll tell him/her you do not have any openings, but would like to meet them. Someone of this caliber can be used as a benchmark to compare the quality of your existing staff.
Yes, business is slow for some companies in our industry, but a lot of them are doing very well. They tell me that their (quality, production efficiency, sales people) is/are making the difference for them.
That’s a shame. I know you’ve been responsible for hiring some great people. Many of your competitors are still hiring and I know you want to help those you’ve let go. Would you supply me with a list of names of the better people you’ve had to lay off?
This person does not fill an opening–he/she creates it.
You’ll create an opening for this person.
My clients work with me because I find candidates with special skills and experience that are not normally available. Oftentimes, they are for positions that are tough, critical positions that need to be filled immediately. What is the most critical position your company has today?
If you really don’t want to see him/her, who in your industry do you think would want to see this candidate?
Perhaps the reason you have no openings is that you’ve never met a candidate you would create an opening for, you will for this person!
I’ve never met a manager completely satisfied with their current staff. This is an opportunity to compare this candidate with your current staff.
I know you realize that hiring the right person is vital for companies to get the biggest return for their investment. Have you compared your current talent with what is available in the market?
I’ve just interviewed one of the finest candidates in my career. If you were in my shoes, whom would you recommend I call?
Why not hold him/her in reserve for when you’re faced with that unexpected turnover, employees do resign unexpectedly, don’t you agree?
I understand that your company has not been hiring. Have you formulated your plans for staffing once you are able to? In what areas will your most critical needs be? Who in your company will make the decision to begin hiring? When you begin hiring, how will you set your priorities?
New people tend to bring a different perspective to situations. Does your company have a critical area that needs a new solution?
One of the reasons is that they have hired a few key performers who are setting the pace in critical areas. This means some marginal performers were eliminated, but it made the difference. Is there an area that you can think of that would excel based on the abilities of one or two high performers?







Send Me a Resume



Over a third, in a batch of 1,000 resumes, are fraudulent, and we’re not talking about slight exaggeration or a bit of creative writing.
Information not on a resume:

·        Real reasons for making a change

·        Technical proficiency

·        Salary history or expectations

·        Image

·        Verbal presentation

·        Ability to handle people

·        Accurate accounting of employment dates

·        Thought processing speed

·        Management style

·        Driving Record

·        Criminal Record

·        Credit Record


I’m sure you wouldn’t ask me to send you a resume unless you were interested in him/her. I can arrange to put you on the telephone with my candidate, have him/her answer any job-related questions, and in turn allow you to make a decision as to a face-to-face meeting. Would it be more convenient to speak with (name) on (day/date), or would (day/date) best fit your schedule?
What interests you most about my candidate?
I respect your time too much to send you a resume.
May I assume you wouldn’t request a resume unless you were truly interested in this candidate?
I represent our candidates in the strictest of confidence. The only way we can get the top people in our industry is to assure them of this. As a result, I can tell you anything you want to know about him/her, but I cannot jeopardize their current position by sending out the resume.
I will see if he/she has a resume available. If he/she does, I will have him/her bring it along and be there 15 minutes early. What time are you available on (day)?
Perhaps the reason you want a resume is that you’ve never met a firm that represented their candidate accurately. I want you to see this candidate and if he/she is not exactly as I presented I will never call you again.
If I recruited you, would you want your resume circulated?
I can do better than that. I can make her available for you to spend 10 to 20 minutes on the phone so you can explore her credentials and, better yet, her personality and communication skills. You do agree that this would be the best way to fully gauge her true worth, don’t you?
My reputation as a search consultant is only as good as the candidates that I recommend to my clients. Before I contact you about one of my candidates I have had in-depth conversations with them to assess their personality, goals, and accomplishments. I can’t guarantee that you’ll hire every individual I send you, but I can guarantee that they will be excellent candidates that exceed expectations at their current companies. Now, won’t you let me put my professional reputation on the line?
As soon as I’m done, I’ll drop it off personally and we can further discuss any questions you may have about him/her.
It’s obvious to me that you have reservations or questions about this candidate.   Odds are, even a resume wouldn’t answer them for you. Why don’t I arrange for this candidate to call you on (day) at (time), then you can clear up any questions that you have and arrange for a personal interview at a time mutually convenient to you both.
Let me run something by you. You must feel relatively comfortable with what I’ve told you. My guess is that you’re trying to determine if there’s anything else that would make you want to meet my candidate face-to-face. What you’re missing right now is the chemistry of the individual, the flavor of their personality. I can arrange to put you on the telephone with my candidate, have him/her answer any job-related questions, and in turn allow you to make a decision as to a face-to-face meeting. Would it be more convenient to speak with (name) on (day/date) or would (day/date) best fit your schedule?
This candidate is a recruit. As such, we have no resume since he/she was not actively on the market until we recruited him/her. Obviously, since he is not actively seeking a new job, but is interested in exploring other opportunities, no resume exists.
This applicant has no resume. He/she will be happy to come in a few minutes early to complete your application form.
A number of firms are interested in this candidate and I know you don’t want to risk losing him/her because of the delay in sending you a resume.
Have I failed to give you the information you need? If so, let me go over the background again for you.
Fine.   What are the primary duties and responsibilities you see this person doing?









Fee Concerns


Do you understand the reasons for paying the fee?

They are:

·        We attract only top caliber people.

·        Top talents use professional search consultants such as Management Recruiters/Sales Consultants.

·        We guarantee the employee for 30 days.

·        Our fee is tax deductible as a business expense.

·        We thoroughly screen and reference-check our candidates.

·        We conduct a search for the candidate based on your specifications and organizational culture.

·        Most of our clients say that the fee actually saves them money.

·        We are able to administer all your VALIDATED tests for you.

·        We take the time to find out as much as we can about the opportunity, the company, and the people they will work with. This in turn will save you time because you’ll only hear about those candidates who we feel are a strong fit.

·        We have private interviewing facilities here in our office.


Our fee is only due if the candidate is made an offer and then accepts it.
Have you ever paid a fee?
Is it because of company policy? Who set the policy?
If I have the right candidate, are you saying that a difference of (amount) will prevent us from working together?
Perhaps the reason you don’t pay fees is that you have never felt the service was worth paying for. I want you to see this candidate and compare him/her to candidates you interview through other means. Are you available to meet (day) at 2:00 or (day) at 10:00?
Every company needs a good accountant, a good lawyer, and a good search consultant.   You pay accountants and lawyers, why shouldn’t you pay for a search consultant? After all, competitive employees are your most valuable asset.
I agree. There should be no reason to pay a fee for a candidate when your method of locating candidates is serving your needs. The only reason any client needs me is to find candidates with special skills or experience that is normally not available. What is your most difficult to fill position?
Well, rather than ask yourself why we won’t cut fees, ask yourself why others will. In your organization are your sales people willing to lower the price on your products? Why not?
Cost is a relative thing. Do you have the cheapest price for the product/service that you sell? You’re doing well, and the consumer/customer is purchasing your product over your competitors, aren’t they? I know that you would agree that it is wiser for the customer to pay a little more in order to get a great deal more. Therefore, I am going to arrange for (name) to meet with you either (day) or (day), whichever fits your schedule best.
We have no quarrel with those who sell their services for less because they know what their services are worth.
O.K., which part of our services would you like us to ignore/leave out?
Did your company retain its legal counsel or its outside auditing firm based on price alone? Then how can you expect a search consultant to attract top professionals in your industry if they cut corners?
I’m sure you’ll find that the truly successful search consultants in our business won’t bargain for their services. Do you really want to entrust so important a function to those who will?
It is my understanding from this discussion that you are having difficulty in locating a (title), and it has now become a critical need. We’ve found from our experience that additional time is usually needed to locate a candidate that will exceed your expectations. I would not be able to work with you for a reduced fee for this type of critical need.
Most search consultants will send out second best candidates in reduced fee situations because they are protective of their candidates and want to place them in positions that are most beneficial to them. Frankly, I refuse to compromise my work ethic and refuse to become involved in that type of activity if/when I undertake a search assignment. I hope that makes some sense to you?
A second-best candidate’s performance and abilities may not be obvious immediately. It may take a while, but eventually sub-standard performance will affect the entire organization or group–depending on the responsibilities of the candidate.
Cost is a relative thing. If our fee were 90% it would really make no difference until I successfully filled the opening, right? Let’s go ahead with the assignment on our fee schedule. If we produce the right person, you can evaluate their contribution based upon our regular fee. If you think they’re worth it then pay the fee. If you don’t think the candidate is worth the extra percentage points, don’t hire him/her. Don’t you think that’s a fair proposal?
I’m sure that your company retained its legal counsel and CPA firm because of their reputation and your confidence in them, not because of price alone. Likewise, I’m sure that you won’t see the true professional in our business bargain for their services. I refuse to compromise our professional standards.







Other Concerns


We Run Ads


What is your cost to hire a new employee these days?
How much is it to advertise a position on the web?
How much have you spent to advertise the position in the newspaper?
Do you know the average cost per hire is $3,295 in a major metro newspaper?
In fact, newspaper advertising will continue to decline as the economy and newspaper circulation continues to decline and as more advertisers move online.
Did you know that the practice of running help wanted ads has been found to be a potential public relations nightmare? Ads can demoralize employees who may have thought they were in line for the advertised job. Aside from that, the public perception (including potential candidates) is that companies that continuously advertise openings must have a management or turnover problem. In addition, if the ads draw 250 responses and you are successful in hiring one of them, you have created ill will on the part of 249 unsuccessful candidates.
So do we. I can sympathize with the aggravation I’m sure that policy causes. I’m sure your response is not better than ours. Advertising, even in today’s economy, draws a great deal of response, but I’m sure you’ll agree that for the most part, the quality just doesn’t measure up. Don’t you think your time is more valuable than that?
I’d sure hate to have my company’s future dependent upon respondents to employment advertising. How many resumes do you receive when you place an ad? How many candidates do you then interview?
Has your firm ever done any cost studies on the effectiveness of the method you use or is this a policy dictated by someone know one remembers?
I have been able to attract candidates whose skills and expertise are far above that of candidates acquired through other methods, like ads. Don’t you agree that we must be doing something right?
What you need is someone who is strategic, and has the ability to perform as a business partner to the different managers within your organization.
We’re fully aware that every well-managed business controls its expenditures with a carefully planned budget and policies. Am I also correct in assuming that the chief executive of a productive, trend-setting, success-oriented company such as yours uses that budget and those policies as a guideline? Now may very well be the right time to review your policies and procedures with an eye towards streamlining your hiring practices and lowering your overall costs.
Advertising can be a viable and low-cost method for filling low-level and non-critical openings within any company. However, research has shown that the top candidates rarely read the classified ads. The rude fact is that the best person for your job is probably happily employed and for a number of solid reasons, probably won’t respond to your ad, even if made aware of it.
Why don’t you put me to the test? As you know, you are not obligated to pay me my fee unless you hire one of my candidates. Why not let me submit three candidates for the position and you compare my candidates against the responses from your ad?
Tell me, if your company relied on ads instead of sales people to sell your products, what would your gross sales be? We want to be your sales team for your department. We go directly to the best candidates to sell your opportunity. If it works to sell your product to your best prospective customer, why not sell to your best prospective employee?
Is it the top 10%, or the bottom 10%, of your associates who are looking at the employment ads?
Running an ad is like going to a flea market. You have to rummage through an awful lot of useless junk on the slim chance you’ll find something of value.
So…your company is relying on its name recognition to attract quality candidates who read the classified ads?
Are you interested in the candidates that are in the market who read the employment ads, or the best candidates that can be recruited for you?
Oh … I see. So for this particular opening, it’s not essential that you find the best candidate available to you?
The unemployed are comprised of two groups: those that are not working; and those that have a job but are dissatisfied and doing just enough to keep their job until they find another. Let’s call them the mentally unemployed.
I can appreciate your frustration with your company’s policy. I will confess I have been in the same situation myself. You give the information to your Human Resources department and then wait for them to get back with you with a couple of resumes. Then you find they don’t really have the type of background and experience you feel is necessary to do the job. When was the last time you talked to your Manager about the policy? Does he/she realize how long it takes for you to find the right candidate using the methods that are in place?
There are two categories of candidates for your opportunity: those that are employed and those that are unemployed. Wouldn’t you agree?


Hiring is Done Elsewhere


Why don’t you arrange a brief meeting with the candidate so you can determine if he/she is superior enough to refer him/her to        ? If he/she isn’t, you will have saved your company the time and expense of sending the candidate to ______ . If he/she is superior, you will certainly want the credit for bringing a superior producer to your team.
Great! Who do I talk to? Thanks very much. I’d like to make one suggestion that might make you look really good at H.Q. Why don’t you telephone screen this candidate, see if she really fits, then we can take her to H.Q. with your comments, O.K.?
Get the local person to be your ally and run interference with “elsewhere.”



Exclusive Elsewhere


How often do you review this group?
What areas do you review to determine qualifications?
Who makes the final decision on adding a firm to your list?
What value do you expect from your vendors?
If you had an extremely difficult and critical opening to fill and I presented the perfect candidate for that opening, would you make an exception?
What criteria do you use to exclude firms?
Every manager that I talk to wants to hire the best person available. What specific requirements do you have for this perfect candidate…….?




Don’t Use Recruiters/Policy


Who sets company policy? Do you agree with it?
Are you willing to do anything to try to change the policy? If so, what? If not, why not?
O.K., who do I ask for? Apparently, I’ve said something about the candidate that interests you. What are you looking for? Would it save everyone’s time if you prescreened this person with a telephone interview?
Is that a policy?
Do you agree with that policy?
Did you make that policy? Who did?
Who has the power to change that policy?
Are you aware that this policy is inconsistent with the competitive thinking of the majority of employers in your industry?
Do you feel that your competitors have made a mistake by abandoning a policy such as yours?
Can you think of any situation where your company might make an exception to this policy?
If your company discovered a policy that consistently cost them money, would they change the policy or continue to loose money because they have always done it that way?
You need to select someone who can perform and get up to speed quickly. Am I describing the person you have in the process?
Since you probably didn’t make such a policy, you probably don’t have the authority to change it. Is that correct? What is the extension number of your (president, chairman, etc.)?
When is the last time you identified your employees’ strengths and weaknesses?
I find this is a great way to recognize talent. Have you determined the competency level of your current staff? My candidate will help you save time and money in that respect because he/she can help you to determine what that competency level should be. When is the last time you determined what competency level is necessary to perform this position?
When you work with me you will have access to talented candidates who are already employed in similar positions, limit your interviews to those candidates who are interested and qualified, and target specific industries or geography. An extra bonus is that you can learn quite a bit from me about what is actually happening in the industry because I talk to so many people each day.
I find the major concern my clients have with using Search Consultants is that they feel they give up the ability to sell the company, the culture, and history of the organization. That doesn’t happen when you work with me because…
I think as an astute manager the only way you can make an informed decision is to take the time to meet with this individual. That way, you can evaluate whether or not this person is an exception. The reason I suggest this is we both know if you hang up now and go to your boss asking for an exception to company policy, the answer will be “no.” Whereas, if you talk to your boss after you have met the candidate and he/she has impressed you with the contribution that he/she can make to your company, the odds are going to be much better that your boss will agree to make an exception. The reason is very simple, as I’m sure you will agree — you are selling a specific instead of a general concept. How do you feel about that?



Bad Reputation/Experience



I can certainly agree with that! It seems that every industry has a few bad apples. We at MR/SC have the answer to the problem of credibility — we offer quality candidates and if I can’t build a relationship with you where I’m able to do that, you won’t have to worry about me calling you again. Give me 15 minutes of your time to gather information about your opening. If I don’t prove my competence or inspire confidence in my process I will hang up.
Candidate Name


You jump right to it, don’t you? Let’s clear the fee agreement first and then see how he/she fits in with the duties and responsibilities of the position. This person is earning in the range of ___________.
I’m sure you can understand that I’m working with my candidates on a confidential basis. Since they are the best in the industry, they are well known as well. I’ve promised them that I would not reveal their name to a company unless that company is interested enough to bring them in for an interview. Let’s discuss what you’re looking for in this position, and if the candidate meets your needs we’ll schedule an interview for next week, when do you have available time for a phone interview ________?




Talk to Human Resources


In most cases the reason I can’t find the right candidate for my client is because of poor communication. It’s my job to make sure I understand your requirements, that I receive immediate feedback from you about any candidate I present, and that the hiring process has been well planned so you don’t loose a candidate you want.
Does human resources hire people for you? (If answer is yes, proceed with…

·          How successful have they been in the past?

·          How successful have they been up to this point in solving your problems?


Do they always meet your time frame?
Do they always satisfy your qualification requirements?
Have you ever had to accept something less than what you wanted? If so, why?
Have you ever learned later that human resources failed to refer a qualified candidate you would have liked to talk to, or even hire?
If a candidate selected by personnel does not work out, does human resources stand accountable alongside you?
Does human resources hire people for you? (If answer is no, proceed with:)

·        What is their function in the hiring process?

·        What is their function as it relates to this position?


What has your past experience been?
Does human resources run ads? In newspapers, trade journals, etc.? How successful are those ads?
Does human resources conduct telephone interviews? How successfully?
Do they require resumes? If so, why?
Who screens the resumes once the company receives them?
How well does the person screening the resumes know your department? The people who work in your department?
Do you get to see all resumes before judgment is passed? If no, why not?
How timely is the process? How long does it take from the time the ad is run until you have candidate resumes to review?
Are you excited about the candidates your Human Resources department provides?


More Information



Companies can achieve a 10% increase in their market value by improving their ability to recruit new talent. What is your current turnover rate for this position?
The cost of turnover includes:

·        Costs of initial hiring and training

·        Cost of temporary replacement or adding to another employee’s workload

·        Cost of lost productivity

·        Cost of exit interview and administrative costs of stopping payroll, benefit deductions, benefit enrollments, notification and administration, and other assorted forms

·        Cost of severance and benefits

·        Cost of loss of sales or productivity

·        Cost of new hire


In general, turnover costs for exempt employees are about 1/2 to 2 times the annual salary and it takes an average of 13 months for a new employee to reach maximum efficiency.
Does the money for this hire come out of human resources budget? If not, why must human resources be involved? (If the answer is company policy, proceed with)

Do you or have you ever found company policy hindering your efforts to hire the right candidate or the candidate of your choice?


Wants more candidates


What’s missing from my candidate’s qualifications?
If we start the process with another candidate we take the chance of loosing this candidate to another opportunity. Will that be a problem?
What will you want in the next candidate that you don’t see in this candidate?
If this candidate had _____________ would you have been ready to move them forward in the process?
When you proposed to your wife, suppose she had said she loved you and she would probably marry you, but she wanted to go out with a few more people before she gave you her decision? Tell me; how good would you have felt–even if she later accepted? The candidate will feel the same way. Even if you do offer him/her the position later, there will always be a lingering doubt in his/her mind about your relationship.




Working with Another MRI Office


Let me ask, what has your experience been when working with (office name)?

If positive response: Great, you understand how MRI works. Realize that we are individually owned and operated, which means that we have separate networks of information and influence. By working with me, you will increase the probability of identifying A-talent by 100%.   All I am asking for is the opportunity to compete.

If negative or indifferent response: I cannot control how other offices work. Realize that we are individually owned and operated, which means that we have separate networks of information and influence. I am asking for the opportunity to prove my capabilities as an executive recruiter. Keep in mind that you only pay a fee if I succeed in identifying A-talent.




Job Orders/

Search Assignments


  1. Establish urgency.
  • How long has the position been open?
  • How is the work being done now?
  • How much do you think it’s costing you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to have the position open?
    1. Get job specifications, duties and responsibilities.
  • What problems are you trying to solve by hiring this person?
  • What is the first objective set for this person?
  • What do you want the person to accomplish in the first 3/6/9/12 months?
  • How will you evaluate their performance?
  • What is the most difficult challenge this person will face?
  • What problem (if solved) will make you look good?
  • Will this person work alone or as part of a team?
  • How will this candidate be trained?
  • Describe a typical day of a person in this position with your operation.
  • Give me five qualifying questions, and their answers, that I can use to qualify candidates.
  • If you had five minutes to make a hiring decision, what would you look for?
    1. Clear the fee.
  • What kind of compensation can you offer to attract a qualified candidate?
  • What have you allotted for this position?
  • If I find a candidate making more than your range, what should I do? Should I present him/her?
  • Who controls the budget for the position and fee?
    1. Personality questions.
  • What is the personality of the group this person will be working in?
  • Are you looking for someone who is the same or different from what you have now?
  • What is (was) the background of the person you have who is doing (did) this job that you are (were) most happy with? Why are (were) you happy with him/her? Would you change anything? Give me the background of a person who did not succeed in the position.
    1. Benefits package.
  • Have your assistant send me your benefit package or should I contact your assistant when we are though here?
    1. Identify the hiring process.
  • How long can the position be open without having an affect on revenue or your ability to meet objectives?
  • What is your normal hiring process?
  • How many interviews?
  • At the completion of each interview, how long will it take until we can commit to the next step in the process?
  • Who else interviews? (Learn about each individual who will interview and their expectations of the position)
  • How can we work together to move it faster and avoid costly delays? Remember that you’re not going to lose every candidate by stretching out the hiring process – only the very best ones.
  • If telephone interviews are necessary: If you are interested, how soon can you talk with the candidate? Assuming the telephone interview goes well, we will need to move forward quickly.
    1. Company history and culture.
  • What is your company’s size and age?
  • What has your growth been over the past five years and what kind of plans do you have for the next five years?
  • What negatives will I encounter about your company and how should I handle them?
  • What do you, your company, or this position have to offer that other companies don’t?
  • What are special things about this opportunity that an A-candidate should know about?
  • What is the growth record of accomplishment for you and your people?
  • What are the short and long-term career opportunities for this position? What is the next step?
    1. Location Environment.
  • What is the environment of the area?
  • What attracts you to the area?
  • What is the cost of living right now?
  • What is the quality of education?
  • What educational availabilities are local to your area?
  • What are the negatives about the area and how should I handle them?
    1. Develop a shopping list.
  • Who would you most like to see walk into your office?
  • Name 5 companies or people you respect and would hire from. Why?
  • Who are your dealers or vendors?
  • From where should I avoid recruiting?   Why?
  • What titles would a winning candidate hold at other companies?
  • What are the problems other companies are experiencing but your company has avoided?
    1. Employer biography.
  • What attracted you to this company?
  • What position did you hold when you started with them?
  • What is your next career step? When will you be taking it?
  • What is your management philosophy?
  • When you are not at work, what are your interests and passions?
  • What do you anticipate to be the biggest career challenge you will face in the coming year? In the next five years?
  • How can I reach you after hours?
    1. Set the stage.
  • What have you done so far? (job boards, newspapers, personnel, internal promotion, recruiters, etc.)
  • Explain why it hasn’t worked: A-talent is busy doing the job for your competitor and happy where they are. Therefore, he/she is not posting their resume to job boards, reading ads, filling out applications with personnel. They’re respected by their peers, are well paid, and their boss is pleased with his/her results. In short, the person you need doesn’t even know your opportunity exists.
    1. Confirm an exchange of commitments.

Explain how you will resolve their problem.

I will speak with hundreds of my network contacts and identify 70-100 potential candidates that possess the skills necessary to succeed in your position. Of that number, only 20–40 individuals will have the skills and the chemistry for which you are truly looking. From that pool of 20–40, I will identify the 7-10 individuals that have the skills, chemistry, and most importantly have the motivation to pursue your opportunity. Of the 7-10 candidates I present to you, we will then select the 3-5 “right fit” candidates who again have the skills, chemistry and motivation. I will work closely with you to ensure the winning candidate accepts your offer. Once the offer is extended and accepted, I will continue to work with both you and the candidate for the next few months to facilitate a smooth and productive transition into your company.

The information that you have provided gives me a thorough understanding of what you are looking for from a skills and personality background. Based on your urgency to move forward in finding the right fit candidate, I recommend that we start a search immediately. Before I can release the resources of my team, I need to establish a timeline of how we will work together in finding and bringing you the winning candidate. It will take my team (number of days) to identify, qualify, and thoroughly reference check these individuals that we will present. Take a look at your calendar. I will need 30 minutes of your time on (select date) to present the 7-10 right fit candidates my team has identified. From those 7-10 we will identify the 3-5 candidates for you to meet. Also, I need to establish which days within one week of that call that you are available to start the interviewing process. If this is acceptable, I am ready to start the search on (date).



Check List

Job Order




  • Did you confirm the fee?
  • Did you submit the JO for processing?
  • Did you send a fee schedule?
  • Did you commit to conducting the search?
  • Did get complete information?
  • Did you call back to test validity?
Search Assignment




  • Did you look for a candidate to match and present?
  • Do you have a written recruit presentation?
  • Do you have a strategic plan?
  • As you locate qualified candidates, do you have a commitment from the company as to when they will interview?
  • If they company likes what they see, when will they hire?
  • Are you maintaining contact with the hiring authority?


The Recruit Presentation





The Recruit Presentation



Hello, (recruit’s name). This is (your name) , an associate with a national search firm. I specialize in enhancing careers in the (your industry) industry. Are you the (position title)?


(Recruit’s name), your name has come to my attention as someone who could help me. Do you have a few moments to speak to me in confidence?


One of my best clients has asked me to discreetly identify two or three individuals for a small window of opportunity that they are looking to fill. What I would like to do, is briefly describe the opportunity and then ask you a few quick questions. Okay?

       (answer) (Be prepared to get a home telephone number to continue in the evening.)

Thank you. In order for you to give me an informed opinion, probably a good place to start would be to tell you a little about the company ….


  1. Sell the company.
  • Growth over last five years in dollars and people.
  • Projected growth in dollars and people.
  • New products.
  • Market share
  • New technologies/equipment.
  • Company standing in the industry.
  • Trial close: “I think you will agree that this is a unique company. Don’t you?”



  1. Sell the boss.
  • Part of the reason for this success is the (title).
  • Career growth to date.
  • Future career growth.
  • Standing in the company, industry.
  • (Patents, awards, etc.)
  • Mentoring: successes.
  • Management philosophy.
  • Trial close: “Sounds like an exciting person to work for, doesn’t he/she?”



  1. Sell the opportunity (sizzle).
  • Growth potential.
  • Unique reporting responsibility.
  • High visibility in the company.
  • Others promoted from the position.
  • Working environment.
  • Leadership potential.
  • Unique challenges.
  • Trial close: “Sounds like a unique and challenging opportunity, doesn’t it?”



  1. Sell the benefits.
  • Stress any non-standard benefits (flextime, cafeteria plan, etc.).
  • Trial close: “Not many companies offer that, do they?”



  1. Ask opinion.
  • (Recruit’s name), my client and I naturally have an idea of what we’re looking for, but I would be interested in your opinion.   Exactly what kind of qualification do you think we should consider?


  • K. (recruit’s name). Both my client and I believe we have a competitive compensation program developed for this position. Before we nail it down, I would be interested in what you think it would take to attract the type of individuals we have in mind.


  • You’ve certainly given me some valuable input.   Thank you. Tell me, who do you know who would be qualified for an outstanding opportunity such as the one we’ve just discussed?

If the person volunteers him/herself, set a specific appointment to discuss it further (day – date – time).


Indirect Recruit Presentation

Rule #1: Stay focused on your objectives.

When using the indirect recruit style, you must set your call objectives in the following order:

  1. To get referrals from the person.
  2. To get interest from the person.
  3. To get both referrals and interest from the person.

Rule #2: Give Less – Get More.

The format of an indirect recruit call is:

1. Introduction

  • Establishes who you are and who you are with.
  • Must be quick and credible.
  • Get the individual involved by using the four most powerful words: “I NEED YOUR HELP!”
  • Confirm who you are speaking with and their title.
  • Stress that the conversation is confidential.
2. Client Presentation


  • What makes your client unique?
  • Not a “dump” of duties and responsibilities.
  • Ask yourself “Why would I want to work for this client?’ If you can’t answer this question then you need more information – GO GET IT.
3. 2 Candidate Questions



You need to set up the consultative questions with a bridge statement, such as “My unique client has asked me to research the market to identify…”

  • Question 1: “the skills, background, and achievements an individual must have to succeed as a <position title>.“

Then, be quiet and wait for a response. Once you get an answer, immediately ask:

  • Question 2: “In you’re opinion, what would I take to attract that type of person you’ve described?”

Once again, be quiet and wait for a response.


4. A Commitment Question



“In your opinion, who do you know that is QUALIFIED to do the things you’ve described to me?“

Once again, be quiet and wait for a response.


Direct Recruit Presentation


Rule #1: Stay focused on your objectives.

  1. To get interest from the person.
  2. To get referrals from the person.
  3. To get both interest and referrals from the person.

Rule #2: Give Less – Get More.

The format of a direct recruit call is:

1. Introduction



  • Establishes who you are and who you are with.
  • Must be quick and credible.
  • Confirm who you are speaking with and their title.
  • Stress that the conversation is confidential.
2. Client Presentation



  • What makes your client unique?
  • Not a “dump” of duties and responsibilities.
  • Ask yourself “Why would I want to work for this client?” If you can’t answer this question then you need more information – GO GET IT.


3. Position Presentation


  • Describe the duties and responsibilities of the position
  • Career growth
  • Personality desired
  • Company culture
4. Commitment Question



“Is this unique opportunity of interest to you?” Then be quiet and wait for a response.”

  • If the response is “yes,” clarify why.
  • If the response is “no,” ask “In your opinion, who do you know that’s QUALIFIED to do the things we’ve talked about?”





Candidate Concerns


Don’t Know Anyone Who is Looking



Let me be sure I understand. You know several people who may be qualified but you don’t know if they’re interested, is that correct? We are looking for qualified individuals, not those you may know who are interested. Some people that I have contacted have not been interested at first until they have heard more about the opportunity.
I understand you can’t think of anyone who is interested. I’m actually looking for someone who is not in the job market right now. I’m looking for a qualified candidate who has this experience and who could be considered by our client company. Why don’t you….
Let me be as up-front with you as possible. A number of people have told me that you are the best-qualified person for this position.   Our Hiring Authority is very interested in talking with you…
They don’t necessarily need to be looking. I just need to talk to qualified individuals like you. I will simply be discussing the position with them the way I have with you, to get their input. They, like you, had you been interested, would have to volunteer themselves.
I’m simply looking for other informed professionals like you to point me in the right direction. I need to network with those qualified professionals.   Who would that be?



Don’t Know Anyone Qualified


You know, I talk to people like yourself every day and you are the first (discipline or title) that I’ve met who didn’t know other (discipline or title).
It might not be someone you’re working with right now. Maybe someone you worked with in the past or went to school with?
Why wouldn’t someone like you be interested?


Not Comfortable Giving Names


I’ll be happy to give you my number. However, I have found that non-confidential referrals who enter into the interviewing process feel uncomfortable or embarrassed if they are not the individual selected, knowing that you know they were not the one. On the other hand, if the person gets the job, then is the time to let that person know you made that opportunity happen. Now, whom should I contact?
I am working on a very tight schedule on this one, and I would need to speak with them before the end of business today.   Just to insure they have a chance at this one, I would also like to have contact information. Let me assure you your name will be held in strict confidence unless or until you decide to reveal it.




Qualifying Candidates Using the Candidate Data Sheet (CDS)


  1. Mini-sell.

This is (your name). We discussed an outstanding career opportunity with one of my better clients earlier today and you expressed some interest. Exactly what did I say that interested you most?


(Stress the benefits of items of interest.)

  1. Current position.

Describe a typical day in your life as a            with your company.


What problems are you called on to solve?


What is the number one priority of your position?


Discuss with me three of your major accomplishments.


What would your boss tell me about you?


If you were sitting in an office interviewing for a job you really wanted, what would you tell them about yourself?


What are your special skills or abilities I could tell another company about you?


What kind of reviews have you received?


What are your weaknesses?


What have you done in your last   years with                      that you are particularly proud of?


What dollar amount would they have lost if you hadn’t done that?


What is your current compensation plan?


When did you receive your last raise? When do you expect the next one?

  1. Past positions.

Describe for me your past positions starting with the one just prior to your current position.


If I were to call that company to check your reference, what would they tell me?

  1. Personal information affecting relocation.
  • Kids in high school.
  • Spouse’s job.
  • Location of family members.
  • Lifestyle needs.
  • Hobbies, social or political affiliations.
  • Why are you talking to me?
    1. Hot buttons.

What do you like most about your current position?


What do you like least?


If you could sit down with your boss, what three things would you tell your boss that he/she could do to improve as a boss?   What three things would you tell your boss you like best about him/her as a boss?


What advice would you give the board of directors of your company that would improve the company? Your job?


(Candidate), write these six words running down a sheet of paper: Challenge, Location, Advancement, Money, People, and Security. These are factors that motivate a person to make a career change. I need to know what motivates you. Rank these factors in the order of importance to you–1 being most important and 6 being least important.


(Candidate), write these six words running down a sheet of paper: Challenge, Location, Advancement, Money, People, and Security.

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to challenge.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to location.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to advancement.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to money.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to people you work with.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what your current position offers in reference to security.


Now, add the ratings. The lower the total, the higher the probability that you desire a career change.”

You have           years invested in your current company. Before we proceed, go back to your manager and express what you just told me. Give your manager an opportunity to respond to your needs. If your manager resolves your issues, then you know you should stay. If your manager refuses, then you know it is best for your career to pursue other opportunities.   A conversation now with your manager will avoid the hazards of the counteroffer.


Suppose for a moment I had a loaded gun and stuck it between your eyes. Tell me, would you ever forget me? Then suppose I asked for promises from you. Would you promise me just about anything to keep me from pulling the trigger? Now, after extracting those promises, suppose I unloaded the gun and threw it out the window. Would you keep your promises? That is exactly how a counteroffer works. A resignation letter is like a loaded gun pointed at your manager’s head. Your manager will never forget what you did. At that moment, your manager is likely to promise you almost anything to keep you from resigning– a counteroffer. Accepting a counteroffer has the same effect as throwing the loaded gun out the window.   Your manager will go back on the promises as soon as it is to your manager’s advantage.

  1. Interview times.

I have slots open for             ,           and                 . Which of those times would be best for you if my client is interested in meeting you?

  1. Offer acceptance.

You are currently making $          .   Assuming the position meets your needs, what offer should I accept from my client in your behalf?


If my client only offers $            , should I say you’re not interested?

  1. Two-week start date.

Realize that once you accept an offer, it is only natural for your allegiance to shift. Resignations can be a very awkward situation. A two-week notice is a courtesy to your current employer.   Experienced employers often feel that it is better not to have you work two weeks, because it could have a negative effect on morale. For whatever reason, you have decided to leave and you are happy about your decision.   It’s not good to have an employee who is leaving walking around with a smile on his/her face for even two weeks, much less longer. Your employer may be embarrassed and you will be a lame duck. You need to make a clean professional break without burning any bridges by giving the customary two-week notice.

  1. Review commitments.

Gaining commitment with IMPACT PLAYER:

(Candidate), before I commit my time to research the market for unique opportunities for you, I will need these items and commitments from you.

  • An updated resume emailed to me.
  • A copy of your last year’s total compensation.
  • 7-10 references that include past or current supervisors, co-workers, and clients.
  • So I don’t step on activity you are currently involved with, I need an understanding of where you’ve interviewed in the past six months and where you are currently interviewing.
  • Additionally, I need to know where you have sent or posted your resume. For me to commit to a marketing campaign on your behalf, you must remove your resume from all job boards for a minimum of two weeks.

If these conditions are acceptable, I am willing to start this campaign on (date).


Gaining commitment with recruited/map candidates:

(Candidate), before I present your credentials to my clients.

  • An updated resume emailed to me.
  • A copy of your last year’s total compensation.
  • 7-10 references that include past or current supervisors, co-workers, and clients.
  • So I don’t step on activity you are currently involved with, I need an understanding of where you’ve interviewed in the past six months and where you are currently interviewing.
  • Additionally, I need to know where you have sent or posted your resume. You’ll have to remove your resume from all job boards during the interviewing process.

If these conditions are acceptable, I will present your credentials   (date).





Preparing for the Interview


Candidate Prep






Before the Prep Call

Once the interview has been confirmed, provide the candidate with company information and have the candidate research the company on the Internet. Additionally, instruct the candidate to contact individuals they know who have knowledge of or work for the company. Then, schedule the prep call for the evening before the interview.


The Basics to Cover with the Candidate on the Prep Call

This step in the placement process is to be completed with all candidates, regardless of levels of experience or years in business.   Remember to prep candidates before each and every interview. Sell the candidate on the position for which they are interviewing. Remember to sell directly to the candidate’s “hot buttons.”   Show how the opportunity exceeds the needs of the candidate.


“Interviewing can be a stressful situation if not prepared.   You want to be yourself and identify how your capabilities match the needs of the client. Let’s walk through each stage of the interview. I have proven interviewing practices that will make the meeting easier. Do you have a pen handy?”


Before the Interview….


  • In today’s ever-changing business world, your appearance needs to match the company’s culture. (Coach on proper attire.)
  • Bring a pen for taking notes, and a portfolio rather than a briefcase or large bag.
  • Bring copies of your resume on high quality paper, a list of references, a copy of last year’s W2, and any documents in your “smile file” such as performance commendations, certifications, and awards.
  • Confirm directions.
  • The interview starts when you leave your house or office. This means no eating, drinking, or smoking prior to the interview.
  • Realize that you will be meeting with more than one person. Each individual will have different expectations of the position. (Give name, title, and expectations of each person).
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early for the interview.
  • If anything comes up that will prevent you from being on time or attending the interview, you must call me immediately.   My office number is (number) and cell phone number is (number).
  • As you enter the company, turn off your cell phone or pager.


At the Interview….


  • On premises, treat every person you encounter as someone who is part of the hiring decision. Smile, hold doors for others, and treat the receptionist well.
  • Greet the hiring authority with a smile, firm handshake and eye contact. Thank the hiring authority for meeting with you.
  • Let your personality show – people hire people
  • Be aware of your body language. Do not cross your arms, clench your jaws or fists, or keep your hands in your pockets.
  • Show your energy level by sitting on the edge of the seat. Do not slouch or slump in the seat.
  • Let’s talk about questions that will be exchanged during the interview. Typically, the interviewer will start by describing the position and asking questions about your experience. You’ll need to be prepared to respond with examples of how your experience meets or exceeds the expectations of the position. Include examples of responsibilities and/or challenges, how handled, and the results – what was gained, earned, saved, etc. Let’s go through some examples of how your experience benefits the company… (Match features, achievements, and benefits – walk them through their own FAB).
  • It is important that you demonstrate interest in the job, company and hiring authority by asking questions during the interview. For example, ask what is the top priority to be accomplished. Their answer will tell you not only if you can do the job, but also if you really want to do the job. You can also ask about the short and long-term goals for the person in this position. For example, “where can a top performer go in your company?” Additionally, what questions do you have from your research of the company that can be answered at the interview? (Help candidate prepare other questions to ask regarding the company, responsibilities, culture, and questions about the hiring authority.)
  • Provide the candidate with any common interests between hiring authority and the candidate.
  • DO NOT bring up compensation, benefits, or vacation. If asked about compensation, respond with one of the following:
  • “Compensation is important, but the opportunity to improve my career path is my first priority at this time.”
  • “I am currently earning (amount). Although I would like an increase, I don’t know enough about the opportunity yet to answer that fairly.
  • “I am interested in finding out more about this opportunity and see if there is a match here for both of us. If so, I trust that you will make a reasonable offer.”
    • If there is a problem area in the past… (Coach candidate on how to respond to those questions).
    • Never speak negatively about current or past employers.
    • As the interview comes to a close, ask for a decision. Clearly state that you want the job or want to move forward in the process. For example: “Mr. Hiring Authority, you are looking for a (title) and I know that I can add value to your organization. I am anxious to move forward. Do you have any concerns that would prevent me from joining your company (or move forward to the next step in the interviewing process)?”
    • If an offer is extended and it meets the your expectations, accept it. If the offer is missing something, do not turn it down or negotiate. Thank the hiring authority, show excitement, and let the hiring authority know that you will have a decision in 24 hours.


After the Interview…


  • Bring my office and cell phone numbers with you to the interview. You must call me immediately following the interview.
  • I cannot stress enough the importance of immediate contact to debrief after the interview. I have scheduled time to debrief with the hiring manager as well.
  • After the interview, send a hand-written thank you card to the hiring authority – post marked that day. Or, a thank you card can be left at the front desk for that person.


Gaining commitment from Candidate…


  • I need to be certain of your commitment.
  • If all goes well today, is there anything that would stand in the way of you accepting the offer?
  • If this interview meets your expectations are you prepared to accept an offer today?
  • If (Client) offers you (amount), will you accept? What if (Client) makes an offer of (lower amount), do I have the authority to accept on your behalf?
  • As we move forward in this process have you given any more thought about how you would react when your company extends a counteroffer?



Client Prep





To provide the client with important information that will increase your likelihood of making placements. Remember to prep clients before each and every interview.


When confirming the send out with client, also schedule a brief phone call with the client the day before the interview.


Schedule prep call for the day before the interview.

The Basics to Cover with Client:

  • Ask if the client has any further questions about the candidate you can answer before the interview.
  • Make client is aware of candidate’s “hot buttons” so that they can sell directly to the pain of the candidate … remember “what’s in it for me?”
  • Provide client with any common interests between candidate and client.
  • Sell the client on the candidate. Sell directly to client’s “hot buttons.” Show how this person will be a solution to their pain.
  • Inform client of what their company has that the candidates current employer does not have.
  • Confirm time and who will be involved in the interviewing process. Make sure that recruiter knows whom the candidate is meeting with and number of interviews scheduled for the day.
  • Remind client of recruiter’s cell phone and office phone number so that they can call if anything comes up that would prevent them from being on time or attending the interview. Stay in control of the process in order to minimize surprises.
  • Set expectation that timely feedback is necessary to move the process forward. Obtain commitment from client of feedback or decisions from the client within 24 hours of each interview.
  • Set an agenda:

o   Set an appointment for when you will call the client for feedback

o   What steps are next if interested in moving forward

o   What steps are next if not moving forward

Gaining Commitments Through Questioning (Pre-Close):

  • “If all goes well today – is there anything that would stand in the way of you extending the offer at the end of the week?”
  • “If this candidate is the best person for the job, are you prepared to extend an offer at the conclusion of the interview?

o   “What will that offer be??

  • “As we move forward in this process, have there been any changes?”
  • “Are you looking at any other candidates for this position?”

o   “What (if any) qualities do they possess that this candidate does not?”

  • “Is there anything preventing you from making a decision by _______ date?”
  • Remind the client that in the event that an offer should be made – the offer needs to be presented to the recruiter first.

Post Interview: What is next?

  • Stress importance of immediate contact with recruiter to debrief as to what happened in the interview.
  • Commit to client that recruiter will contact client with the candidate’s feedback from the interview.
  • Prep client for other candidates that you have in the process.
  • Re-confirm the hiring process: including, who interviews, time between interviews, FAS relocation, decision time after each interview, other openings in the company, etc.
Phone Interviews


The process for prepping for a phone interview is similar to an in-person interview. Add the following guidelines for a phone interview:


  • Don’t be too casual. Take this as seriously as a face-to-face interview. The phone interview will determine if candidate moves forward to a face-to-face interview.
  • Encourage candidate to stand while on the phone … motion creates emotion.
  • Be aware of speech patterns over the phone and slow down a little.
  • Make sure you are in an area where you will not be interrupted.




Matching and Presenting (MAPping)

Format of a MAP Presentation



  1. Reintroduce yourself and your specialty.
  2. Remind of your last conversation.
  3. Confirm your information.
  4. Give a benefit sell of areas where the candidate meets or exceeds the client’s requirements. (Or, how client meets candidate’s requirements).
  5. Close for a next step decision.
  • Close for a specific interview date and time.
  • Close for a call back time to reconfirm the appointment and prep.
  • Preclose the hiring process to include the offer and acceptance.


MAP Presentation Example



Good afternoon,                         . This is            . We last spoke on                    . At that time, you indicated that certain circumstances were not allowing you to advance your career and that you had a strong desire to investigate new opportunities. Let me ask, has anything changed in your job situation or as a result of your interviewing activity that would impact that desire since the last time we talked?


Wait for a response….

  • If candidate responds “no:” “My call is timely. Here’s why, … (Provide a benefit sell of areas where your client’s opportunity meets or exceed the candidate’s requirements).
  • If candidate responds   “yes:” First, clarify what changed. If they want to pursue new opportunities, move forward with your presentation. If they do not want to move forward, ask for referrals.







Check List



  • Did you get a decision from the candidate/employer?
  • Did you arrange a specific date/time/purpose for the next step?
  • Do you know what questions need to be answered to make this happen?
  • Do you have reference checks ready if needed?


Interview Debrief: Employer Close




Is (candidate) the right fit?
Do you think (candidate) can handle the job?
What do you consider to be the (candidate’s) strong points?
Any concerns?
How was the chemistry?
Does the personality fit?
What chemistry do you need to fit into your working environment?
Do you want the candidate?
Do you want to move forward with (candidate)?
Should I send (candidate) elsewhere?
When do you want to see (candidate) again?
What qualifications are lacking that I need to be aware of?
What are the strengths you recognized in this candidate?
How do you feel about (candidate’s) track record? Will they fit in with the other people in the department/company?
(Candidate) is confident he/she can do the job. How do you feel about (candidate’s) industry knowledge and previous experience?
Do you feel you can work well with this individual?
Where does he/she rank in comparison to other individuals you’ve seen?
How does this candidate compare to the other people you are currently interviewing? How many are there and who are they?
How does this candidate compare with the other people in your organization?
Does the candidate have the potential to be promoted into a position like yours?
(Candidate) can start date. Is that OK with you?
Will you require an additional interview before you make a decision on hiring and when that will occur?
What type of compensation are you prepared to offer to attract the candidate?
What else can I do at this point?
What do you want me to do?



Interview Debrief: Candidate Close




How long were you there?
Who did you meet with?
What are the positive points you recognized about the position?
How do you feel about the products and accounts involved in the position?
How was the position described?
Can you do the job?
Do you want the job?
How do you feel about the hiring authority?
Would you be able to work with (hiring authority)?
How do you feel about the career growth potential this company and position offers?
What are the negatives that concern you about the position or company?
Did (hiring manager) discuss compensation or benefits?
How does this position compare with your present position?
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your level of interest in this position?
How did they leave it with you?
Did you close the hiring authority?
Did you ask for the next step?
Did you ask for the job?
Do you want the job?
Do you have any offers pending? Where? Who did you talk to?
If an offer were to come through tomorrow, what would you need to know in order for me to accept an offer on your behalf?
Is there anything preventing you from resigning tomorrow?
If your current employer made you a counteroffer, what would you do?



Closing Techniques






This closing question is used to determine if the other person is motivated to make a decision.


“(Candidate), is this opportunity of interest to you?   Why?”


“(Client), is this candidate of interest to you?   Why?”



Alternate Choice

This close gives the individual a choice between two positives. Choosing either one confirms a decision.


“Let’s compare calendars. Is Tuesday the fourteenth or Thursday the sixteenth a good time to meet with the candidate?”


“Do you want the candidate to start on the seventh or fourteenth?”



Ben Franklin/Balance Sheet

This is the perfect close to identify why a candidate cannot make a decision.

“(Candidate), let’s identify why you would or wouldn’t want to move forward with this opportunity. Take out a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On one side, let’s identify why you would move forward, and why you wouldn’t on the other side. “


No Means Yes/Is It

This close allows you to uncover unstated concerns that are inhibiting the individual from making a decision. You will not use this close once. Each time a person says that your assumption is not the reason, follow with another assumption until the candidate makes a decision. You can combine this close with the Ben Franklin/Balance Sheet Close to test the reasons from making a decision.


“It’s obvious that you’re not ready to move forward. Is it (assumption) that’s holding you back?”



Sharp Angle

When using this close, you’re responding to a statement with a question.   This question isolates a given situation and tests if it is preventing the individual from making a decision.


Employer statement: “I like your candidate, but I wish the candidate had an MBA.”

Your response: “If the candidate did have an MBA, are you ready to move forward?”



Reduce to the Ridiculous

This close allows you to reduce a money concern to its lowest amount.


Candidate statement: “I was expecting $2,000 more.”

Your response: “Let’s take a look at how that $2,000 difference makes a daily impact on your life. Once you subtract taxes, you’re around $600 per thousand, which means that we’re talking about $1200 usable difference. Now divide $1200 by 365 days and we’re talking about $3.29 per day. My question to you (candidate), is this opportunity worth walking away for $3.29 per day?”



Similar Situation/Feel, Felt, Found

With this close, you are using your past experiences in making life-changing decisions to help the individual arrive at a decision.


“I know how you feel. Last week I was working with another client who felt the same way. However, the client found that by moving forward with a decision, he/she was able to benefit from …”



Walking Down the Street

This close involves using analogy. Have the individual compare their current situation to the opportunity you presented.


“Imagine that you were walking down the street and you were not employed. On one side is your present company offering your current job. On the other side is the opportunity we’re involved with.   Which position do you want?”



Easy No/Take Away

This is the “grand daddy” of all closes. You are guaranteed a “yes” or “no” 100% of the time. This close is the most difficult to use because you’ll fear getting the “no” decision from the individual. The fact is the only thing you are doing is getting the “no” decision sooner.


Easy No: “It is your responsibility as you leave the interview to have all your questions answered. After the interview, I will ask you two simple questions, is this the opportunity you want and can you do the job? If the answer is no to either question, this is not the opportunity for you and we will move on.”


Take Away: “It is obvious by your inability to make a timely decision that you do not want to move forward. Therefore, I will get back to (candidate/client) and make them aware that you are not interested.”



This approach involves having the candidate evaluate how an opportunity for which they’ve interviewed meets their expectations in terms of Challenge, Location, Advancement, Money, People, and Security. The sum of the ratings reflects the candidate’s motivation for accepting the position.

“(Candidate), write these six words running down a sheet of paper: Challenge, Location, Advancement, Money, and Security.

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what the (position) represents to you in reference to challenge.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what the (position) represents to you in reference to location.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what the (position) represents to you in reference to advancement.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what the (position) represents to you in reference to money.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what the (position) represents to you in reference to people you will work with.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, rate what (position) represents to you in reference to security.


Now, add the ratings. The higher the total, the higher the probability that that this opportunity is right for you based on the most important factors that drive career change.”
















Reference Checks



Reference Check Objectives



  1. Verify information provided by the candidate.
  2. Identify the candidate’s past work performance, accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses through their past supervisors and colleagues.
  3. Get an assignment.
  4. Get referrals of potential clients and candidates.
  5. Recruit the individual providing the reference.


Reference Check Call Format




  1. Have candidate contact each reference prior to your call to ensure that you will be able to speak with the individual.


(Candidate), before I initiate a marketing campaign on your behalf, I will conduct a thorough reference check on your background. To expedite and ensure that I reach your references, you need to contact each person and make them aware that I will be calling.


  1. Draft the questions you will ask the reference. The questions you include should relate to the candidate’s job function and relationship to the reference.


  1. Start the call by introducing yourself and stating the reason for the call.


(Reference Name), this is (Your Name) and I’m a search consultant with (your office).   You have undoubtedly spoken with (Candidate). (Candidate) should have contacted you to let you know that I would be calling. I need to speak to you referencing your professional relationship when he was your (relationship to candidate).


  1. Ease into call by asking verification questions.


First, I need to verify information that the candidate has given me.


The candidate said his/her dates of employment with you were from (date) to (date). Is that correct?
The candidate said his/her starting salary was (amount) and earned (amount) when he/she left? Is that correct?
Did that include bonus?  Overtime?  Incentives?
What positions did the individual hold?
What was the candidate’s professional relationship with you (subordinate, vendor, co-worker, etc.)?


  1. Elicit more information by asking open-ended questions that allow you to learn more about the candidate. This information can also be used later when presenting the candidate.
Duties and responsibilities.
What were the candidate’s functional responsibilities?
How effectively did the candidate carry out those responsibilities?
What were the individual’s most-recent job duties?
Skills and abilities.
How would you describe the individual’s overall performance?
(Candidate) is evaluating an opportunity that would put him/her directly responsible for (describe position). How do you think his/her skills and abilities match that position?
Do you think this individual will perform well as a (position title)? Why?
What company role is best suited for this individual’s abilities?
How do you rate the individual’s ability to plan for the short-term? Long-term?
Quality/quantity of work.
How did this individual’s performance compare to other employees with similar job duties?
Did this individual earn promotions?
In what area or areas did you see this candidate improve while working there?
Did the candidate complete projects in a timely manner?
Is there anything else you’d like to tell me that might help in forming an accurate assessment of the candidate’s background and experience?
Describe how the candidate’s accomplishments, actions, and attitude benefited the company, group, and/or you as a manager?
Leadership/managerial skills.
How many people did the candidate supervise directly? And indirectly?
Describe the individual’s ability to attract and manage top talent.
How would you describe the individual’s leadership, managerial or supervisory skills?
How would you describe the candidate’s project management ability?
Was this individual a motivated self-starter?


Technical skills.
How would you describe the individual’s technical skills?
What types of equipment, hardware, or software did this individual use at your company?
How would you rate the candidate’s aptitude with (list equipment, hardware, or software)?
What were the candidate’s budgeting responsibilities?
Did the candidate have profit and loss responsibilities?
Did the individual meet budget goals?
Was the candidate involved in planning a budget?
Oral/written communication skills.
Does the individual communicate well orally and in writing?
How good is the candidate at organizing documentation and directing its development?
How good is the candidate at organizing and tracking details?
How would you rate the candidate’s ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and accurately? Please give an example.
Give an example of when the candidate asked you for information. How well did they pinpoint what was needed? How accurately did they communicate the information you supplied?
How much editing does the candidate’s writing need?
How would you rank the candidate’s writing skills against equally experienced peers?
Decision-making ability
What responsibilities did the individual have in management decisions?
What responsibilities did the individual have in company strategy?
What responsibilities did the individual have in policy formation?
How resourceful is the candidate?
Did the candidate rely on you (or the subject matter expert in question) to learn everything they needed to know, or did they demonstrate initiative in finding relevant information themselves?
Did the individual make sound and timely decisions?
What are the candidate’s strengths? Can you give examples of how these strengths were demonstrated?
In what area(s) might the candidate need to develop? Can you give an example of this?
In your opinion, what are the individual’s strengths? Weaknesses?
What would you say are the candidate’s strong points or assets?
Reason for separation.
Why did this person’s employment with your company end?
Why did the individual leave your company?
The candidate said he/she left you because (give reason). Does that summarize your recollection of the matter?
Did you make any attempt to get the candidate to stay? Why or why not?


Professional conduct
How well did the individual manage crisis, pressure or stress?
Did he/she ever engage in or exhibit violent or harassing behavior?
Did the individual demonstrate honesty and integrity?
Would you consider this candidate to be an industrious, hard worker; a person who did just enough to get by; or a below average worker?
Should I have any reservations about representing this person?
How does the candidate show resistance to new ideas or policies?
Has the candidate ever made a commitment he or she didn’t keep and if so why?
What motivates this individual?
Employee/interpersonal relations
Did the individual get along well with management, subordinates and peers?
How was the candidate viewed by his or her peers, supervisors, and/or subordinates?
Was this individual a team player?
Did this individual get along well with management and peers?
How much supervision did the candidate require?
How was the candidate’s attendance and punctuality on the job?
On average, how many times a month is the candidate absent from work?
How many times a month does he or she come in late, or leave early?
Rehire eligibility
Would you hire this candidate again if you had the chance?
Is there any reason why your company would not rehire this individual?
If you had an opening, would you re-employ this candidate?
Would you recommend this individual for similar employment?


  1. Thank the reference for their time.

Is there anything you’d like to add? Who else can comment on his/her performance?   Thank you for the information you provided. Your insight is beneficial in helping me to identify and evaluate unique opportunities that match the candidate’s abilities.


  1. Offer your services.
Have you ever replaced (candidate)?
Do you have any critical staffing needs right now?
Do you know of anyone who is interested in a career move?
Is there anything I can help you with?



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