Weird Hiring Manager Mistake #1: The job up sell
Let me start by saying that I am not taking a pot shot at my clients. I feel that this hiring mistake just happens for specific reasons and now I have a habit of using this as a selling point for my clients.
As a recruiter, I try my hardest to find candidates that are ‘off the radar’ and I tend to find candidates that really surprise my clients. A couple months ago I pulled a Director level candidate from a worldwide known Fortune 500 and when I submitted him to my client, I got my favorite response: “How in the world did you get us this guy?” I’m not telling you that to brag, (although it would be appropriate) – it’s just what I try to achieve. In that particular case, the candidate took the position. The client appreciates the candidate, the candidate appreciates his new position, and I appreciate my commission.
The issue comes in when I find a candidate that gains that much attention and then a mistake is made during the interview process that kills the deal. A simple mistake that I could have coached the Hiring Manager on was made. I was locating great candidates for a Product Manager position for a client in California. The candidate was flown across the country, meetings arranged, and all looked like we were on target. During the interview, the HM felt that this was a very strong candidate for the Product Manager position. HM said to the candidate “You would actually be great for a SENIOR Product Manager position – overseeing all the Product Managers in the division”. The Hiring Manager stepped beyond the position that was on the table, the position that the candidate had already agreed to, the position they flew the candidate across the country to fill. This was done to oversell a candidate that was already sold on the position at hand!
Now what does the candidate expect? A Bigger bump in position. Of course, more of a base salary. And certainly not being shoved into that lowly “Product Manager job” that he is over qualified for. What a train wreck!
I spent the next two weeks attempting two things:
1) Getting the candidate back on track for the original position.
2) Getting the client to open up a Sr. Product Manager slot that the HM had created the illusion of in the candidates mind.
Result: DEAD DEAL! All was lost. The candidate went away. The job order remained open for 3 months longer. I lost a huge amount of research time trying to close a deal that should have been a slam dunk for my client.
THE FIX: I now do a short interview with the hiring manager and team that is going to interview my candidates. I tell them the story that is in this article. I emphasize that they are looking at THIS candidate for THIS job. If they see potential for the candidate to do a different job or a bigger job – they need to keep that to themselves and remember “The candidate is here interviewing because he has been sold on the company and the position at hand. Deviating wastes everyone’s time.”