Of Course You Know Someone

I think the best way to approach a candidate you know has the skills for a client of yours is to never come flat out and make the purpose of the call to recruit them. If that candidate says “no I am not interested,” I have always found that they will probably refuse to give you any other information you seek. It’s referrals that you seek because come hell or high water, you will ultimately get someone who does refer you to the right person.

The idea is to paint a picture where the person on the phone with you is involved in the solving of the problem. In case anyone is wondering what the problem may be, the problem is that there is a check made out to you for a placement fee and the thing missing from it is a signature. The solution to the problem is the right candidate. I do believe that people generally want to help others so I feel the purpose of that first call is to get some help. The help in this case is a referral to someone else that may or may not be right but you will keep moving down the line until you fill the order.

Engage in a conversation and make sure you convey to them that you know what is going on in the industry they are involved with. Let that potential candidate know that you run a real successful desk and hand pick your clients. I hope you do handpick your clients. It’s a shame if they pick you. Make them feel like they are really helping.

The thing about referrals that you need to understand is that of course most people working in your industry can refer someone you seek. When you ask for a referral and they say “I don’t know anyone,” it’s not true. They are telling you they don’t want to help you with the problem you have. The important thing here is that they know who you can talk with so you need to get the info.

There is nothing wrong with after a few minutes of dialogue to let that candidate know that you know they must know someone who is right for your client. Maybe sneak in the fact that the reason you identified them as someone you should speak with is because your research has shown them to be the right person to talk with.

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There is so much you can talk about to build the trust without having to come out and ask for something right away. Searches for the most part take a while so take your time, paint some pictures in your candidate’s minds and let them come to you with “I am interested”.

Of course, if you get referred to someone who you know is right for your client and you know they are interested in a new opportunity now, the phone call is much different.


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