More on Candidate Relationships

Another “manna from heaven” story related to candidate relationships and candidate control.

I returned from my noontime run and the “message” light on my phone was blinking. I hit the “caller ID” button and saw the name of a company I had never heard of before. I listened to the message:

“Neil, my name is Susan, and I am the human resources manager at (XYZ) Company. (Name), one of our senior managers, gave me your name and asked me to contact you. Please give me a call.”

The name she mentioned was a guy I had placed 15 years ago when he was a junior Naval officer looking for his first job after the military. From time to time, he would call me and ask for my advice on various issues related to hiring and career management, which I gladly gave him. Now he was apparently a “big gun” at this company. I presumed that this HR manager was calling me to give me a position to fill. I called her. What I heard was the first time this has ever happened.

“Neil, (Name) asked me to call so you can send me your invoice for his outplacement counseling. We need to know where to send the $2,500 for his outplacement support.”

I told her I would need to get back to her. I immediately called my friend. I didn’t know he was losing his job, nor did I want to be contractually required to perform outplacement services. (I prefer to “place” people where the fees are 10 times outplacement fees, and require one-tenth the effort!) Also, if this guy was high up in the “food chain,” it would be very tough to place him. However, I would be glad to counsel, assist, and coach him simply because he was a friend.

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My friend surprised me: “Neil, I already have another job. I just want you to receive payment for all the career advice you have given me over the years because your tips from the past helped me land on my feet in this instance. HR said I had to spend the money and could send the money to whoever I wished, so I told them to send it to you. Enjoy!”

Moral: Treat everyone respectfully, and give of yourself. Too many in our industry teach that you should never spend any time at all with nonplaceable people, almost to the point of rudeness. Also, “candidate control” does not mean hammering people into submission; it means creating a bond between you and your candidates that your candidates will not want to break. This guy was once one of my candidates whom I “controlled,” but apparently he appreciated it.

Neil P. McNulty, McNulty Management Group – Creators of the “30/30 Placement Programâ„¢” www.mcnultymanagement.com.

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