Reveal a Wound, Connect with your Candidate’s Pain Points

The qualifying call.

To discover if a candidate is in a position to make a move I try to uncover a wound. By wound I mean an area of weakness in the candidate’s current job. This could be a lack of opportunity for growth, low pay, or too long of a commute, among other things. 

In order to reveal a wound, I ask the powerful three-letter question, “Why?” 

Sometimes a candidate will say, “I’m an opportunist, I’d like to see what’s out there.” They won’t give you a pain point. Many recruiters will take that and keep the conversation going – leading them through the recruitment process. 

However, a strong recruiter will address the fact that “why?” has not been answered. Is there a pain point in their current job? Is this person willing to make a career move? 

Wounds foster change.

Not all scars are wounds. Just because someone is slightly unhappy, doesn’t mean they are ready to make a career move. If they are ready, asking for the true reason that is prompting change will reveal that. 

Many people I talk to are holding onto their jobs because any job is better than no job. Many of the candidates I work with are willing to listen but some are not willing to give up a good position when they’ve been told their current company is growing and expanding. 

Asking “why?” is how you find out their commitment to the job search.

Exposing a pain point in the candidate’s current job situation will help you qualify their interest in what you’re offering. In addition, you can forecast if a similar issue might turn out to be a pain point in the job you’re pitching. 

More on asking, “why?” and other techniques to incorporate into your recruiting process in 5 Sales Techniques Every Technical Recruiter Should Master.

Knowing when to let go.

When there is no real wound to address, I have found it is best to qualify the candidate, but would strongly caution sending them to open requisitions. The last thing you want on your hands is a horse that you’ve led all the way to water but ultimately won’t accept an offer.  

Fear not – for your time is not wasted speaking to these types of candidates.  

These are the types of candidates that you check-in with every 60-90 days to ask them if anything has changed. I would be cautious of presenting anyone to your clients that doesn’t have some type of wound that can be healed with a career move.

Kevin Kluge_Headshot OP2019 circle frameKevin Kluge, Recruiting Team Lead, Account Manager and Salesforce Specialist, works in all facets of the IT spectrum, so if you’re an IT professional looking to make a change in the Chicago area, or simply looking for a new opportunity, reach out. Many of the candidates Kevin works with are passive job seekers – this means they are successfully employed, are very selective about making a career move, but they like to keep abreast of “ideal jobs” when they become available. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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