The Do's and Do Not's on Closing a Candidate

The Do’s and Do Not’s on Closing a Candidate

The terrible feeling to have as a recruiter is to make it all the way through the recruiting process just to have the candidate not accept the offer from your company.

In this round-table discussion, our panelists talk about best practices to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Listen in on what our panelists have to say.

This event is part of the “Let’s Talk Recruiting” series where a panel of recruiting practitioners get together online and have a conversation on a variety of topics related to corporate recruiting.


Click to Play the Recording


Our Panelists…

Name & LinkedIn Profile Group Title Company
Cara Schaeffer Recruiting LA Recruiter Tiktok
Diane Karija Recruiting Chicago Senior Manager Talent Acquisition | Recruiter Fresenius Kabi USA
Kathlene Whinnery Recruiting Portland Sr. Recruiter Viewpoint
Moe Karimi Recruiting Minneapolis Talent Acquisition Manager/Recruiter Proozy

We asked our attendees, “What is a tactic that you recommend a recruiter do during the recruiting process to ensure an offer accept?”

Here are their answers:

  • ABC - always be closing and make sure that your hiring process isn't too long
  • Always be closing
  • always be closing on comp
  • always be closing!
  • Ask for objections before making offer
  • Ask if the candidate has any other offers and to stack rank our company with the other opportunities
  • be available to answer questions
  • Be clear on the timeline and steps - transparency creates trust.
  • Be personable and friendly from the very first call. You have to have built a foundation of trust
  • Be transparent and ensure they understand the job. Be aware of their needs in area of salary, culture, interest.
  • Close from the very first conversation by clarifying the prospect/candidate's wants/needs with opportunity and comp. Build Trust
  • Close in every stage in every conversation.
  • Comp range transparency early on
  • Consistent interaction with candidates.
  • debrief candidate after final round if there is high interest in hiring that candidate
  • Discuss compensation early on in the interview process to set expectations.
  • Discuss salary range and comp requirements at the beginning of the interview process
  • Do a pre close before interview starts to ensure everyone is on the same page
  • Do not rush
  • During every conversation with the candidate ask "has anything changed since the last time we talked"
  • Earn their trust
  • emphasize the value the candidate brings to the firm and how the candidate can impact the firm positively.
  • Find out what the candidate's priorities are . . .
  • Find their reason for considering a new role in the first conversation and touch on that throughout the interview process
  • Follow-up, especially by the interview loop.
  • great question!
  • I make sure that i am transparent through out the process so there is no confusion
  • If offer is electronic, also give them a call to let them know and discuss any questions
  • It depends on each candidate/offer
  • Keep lines of transparency open
  • know their motivations
  • Let them know that we are open to discussion to negotiate
  • Listen carefully, actively, and relentlessly to what is said and what is not said.
  • Looking to learn more.
  • make a personal connection - take the time to get to know the candidate's motivating factors
  • Make sure you are aware of other interviews elsewhere and know their bottom line number
  • no surprises about the offer details
  • Over communicate
  • Pre Close
  • Pre close the candidate
  • pre close was a lot easier when I was in agency
  • pre-close
  • Pre-close, understand expectations, set expectations, be transparent, know and understand motivations
  • Provide positive candidate experience beginning to the end
  • Set expectations very early
  • Share their "total rewards package", share their personal experience/personal favorite perks, etc.
  • Sound out the candidate well ahead of making an official offer
  • Start the the offer acceptance sequence on your fist one-on-one phone call with candidate.
  • Stay in communication with candidate as much as possible
  • Suggest that you’ve already engaged the candidate and you know the reason and the hot points on why they want to leave their job
  • Talk about motivators for making a change on the front end of the process and then bring them back at closing
  • TBD
  • test close before preparing the offer letter
  • Thorough motivational discovery!
  • Try and get a verbal commit upfront to avoid going back and forth.. let's agree on a number before we seek approval.
  • try to "pre-close" if possible
  • what's important to them about the Company they want to Join? Training Benefits Culture $$$
  • white glove treatment, make sure all of the interviewers are aware of what the canddiate is looking for, market the organization

Chat Messages from the Session…

10:01:39 >> From  Kathlene Whinnery   to   All panelists : Hi everyone!

10:09:18 >> From  Katherine Brehmer : Do you play ‘hard ball’ if they don’t want to disclose comp up front ?

10:09:24 >> From  Shawn Watzka : When you say upfront do you mean at the end of your initiation conversation, beginning, middle?

10:10:05 >> From  Diane Mariuzza   to   All panelists : I use commute since I recruit for NYC and everyone commutes !

10:10:20 >> From  Catherine Hansen : In the SF Bay Area, yes, commute is potentially a selling point

10:10:23 >> From  Michelle McKnight : In LA, it’s imperative that I ask that question about commute

10:10:45 >> From  Lori Davis : Commute is a big deal in the Dallas, TX area too…

10:10:58 >> From  Michelle McKnight : Indeed!!!

10:11:15 >> From  Shawn Watzka : I think it plays an important part of the conversation when travel expenses are part of the compensation conversation.

10:14:45 >> From  Daniella McDonald : I ask why they are looking to make a change. That gives information to reference later.

10:14:47 >> From  Glenn Murani : Very important – in an initial conversation I first find out what the candidate’s background and experience is and the type of role they are seeking – I preface that conversation with I tell the candidate I want to discuss their background first because there could be other opportunities in our organization that could be a better fit.  Also, you don’t want the candidate to know about the position too much up front because if the candidate is hard-pressed to get a job that candidate will tell you what you want to hear as opposed to what they are seeking.

10:14:51 >> From  Smita Ray   to   All panelists : It’s not best practice (we are in SF, LA, NY, DC, Denver) to select or disqualify based on their proximity. Instead we ask, about their availability and they can reliably show up to work on time. During the course of conversation, the candidate may naturally reveal information about their commute, but we make sure our hiring criteria is job related and that our interview qs aren’t misconstrued by the candidate should they not be selected.

10:14:55 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : I ask “describe your perfect job” and listen for what is important to them

10:16:13 >> From  Bez Rengifo : LOL..yes…ABC

10:16:51 >> From  Daniella McDonald : And I also ask about other interviews they have, where those are in process, how the jobs and companies compare.

10:17:50 >> From  Bez Rengifo : I always asking why they want to leave their current situation and what would they do if they got a counter-offer?  But you have to do this up front and always be talking like they received one throughout.  That reduces surprises.

10:21:31 >> From  Kara Wilson : Candidates are interviewing at so many more companies in this zoom era!

10:22:43 >> From  Diane Mariuzza   to   All panelists : I find that candidates are having issues with connectivity and technology for virtual interviews. We prep candidates with a guide on how to prepare for a virtual interview. We also have a full time person that works with candidates to make sure that they are up in running before the interview (just in case the technology is not working)

10:23:29 >> From  Connie Hoffman   to   All panelists : I think people are researching more since they aren’t going on-site

10:24:22 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : I think they are more committed, video interview can be a little intimidating since outside of the norm.  Those who embrace this technology have proven to be good hires .  On the flip side, interviewing is quicker which makes the landscape more competitive and their shelf life is not long

10:25:00 >> From  Glenn Murani : when there is a delay in hring a candidate – we make sure we have several different touch points – and it’s not just the recruiter reaching out to the candidate – it is the hiring manager and maybe another member of the team too – give the candidate that feeling that they are valued by your firm.

10:25:22 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : yes!

10:25:35 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : not without warning tho

10:25:51 >> From  Maureen Daly   to   All panelists : Hello, we have reached out texting but not facetime

10:26:11 >> From  Katherine Brehmer : Answering Shawn: Upfront conversation meaning the initial call when you need to establish if they fall within budget. We hire in niche areas so we don’t often have a big pool of folks available and they are often expensive.  They sometimes don’t want to ‘show their hand’ in comp up front but rather want to have that conversation after initial interviews which would often times waste the business’ time since they are too expensive.

10:26:36 >> From  Connie Hoffman   to   All panelists : We utilize zoom to ensure the candidate testing/interviewing is who we are actually hiring 🙂

10:26:52 >> From  Shawn Watzka : I have and it is great!

10:26:52 >> From  Maureen Daly   to   All panelists : Yes agree on the texting- much quicker response

10:27:04 >> From  Shawn Watzka : referring to text messaging.

10:27:06 >> From  William Miller   to   All panelists : I have both agency and corporate experience.  I was taught to have the candidate call me immediately after the interview, especially during my agency days.  In my current corporate setting I do have managers that call me before the candidate has a chance to call.  This usually means the interview goes well.  We use Dialpad.  I love the texting option.

10:27:41 >> From  Jason Coffey   to   All panelists : We use TextRecruit and is integrated with iCIMS

10:28:16 >> From  Catherine Hansen : I ask my hiring managers to do closing calls, esp important for PM and Engineers who have lots of opportunities.

10:30:25 >> From  Catherine Hansen : @Cara, totally agree.  Most are looking to learn/grow as motivators for new roles.   I think this is a great selling point

10:31:56 >> From  Dan Baker : @Cara, aren’t most companies “selling” the opportunity and why their company would be an incredible career move? I’d assume Netflix probably has a pretty solid sales pitch if a candidate is choosing between the two as well.

10:32:40 >> From  Glenn Murani : Cara – great point – I like when candidates tell me they are excited about growth opportunities and the money will come (down the road) as they grow and elevate in the firm.

10:33:54 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : I have jobs that need to be in the office (i.e. government highly cleared), makes it difficult in this environment

10:35:45 >> From  Catherine Hansen : @Panel, curious……if high % of your candidates were declining at offer, what learnings would you glean from this and what would you escalate to management?   Ex: comp bands way off, etc

10:36:06 >> From  Glenn Murani : for those of you that are in the agency business – I always sell our company to the candidate – not just the current job at hand because I want to give the candidate the feeling we are looking out for them beyond that first engagement – as opposed to a one and done contract with a particular staffing company.  Our company culture still comes into the picture here.

10:38:37 >> From  Lia Kosmicki   to   All panelists : Today I asked my candidate what offer he would run to and what offer he would walk to.

10:38:37 >> From  Lori Davis : Can Moe repeat those 3 ques about offer acceptance?

10:39:04 >> From  Cara Schaeffer : I love that Lia!

10:39:27 >> From  Lori Davis : Thank you so much! Great questions!

10:39:42 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : I push the entire comp package too (benefits, etc.)

10:41:16 >> From  Dan Baker : Yes, agreed! I ask that on that in a different way on the front end when I ask about their compensation expectation range. The bottom number they’d be looking for, a comfortable number that would make them happy and a salary that would knock their socks off.

10:41:38 >> From  Dan Baker : Sean really wants to FaceTime…

10:42:17 >> From  Catherine Hansen : Agree re camera, but I do ask candidates if they’re ok to meet via camera with a stranger 🙂

10:42:26 >> From  Catherine Hansen : (Some don’t like to)

10:42:43 >> From  Vira Garcia   to   All panelists : Moe’s questions were 1) What salary would you be willing to accept? 2)What salary would you have to think about? and 3)What salary would you decline?

10:44:18 >> From  Micheal Lowe : @Moe that is great! understanding where someone is at in the process is critical to build that relationship! plus if you think someone is a top candidate, understanding where they are can help you push a hiring team for a faster process, if its necessary. Transparency is key on both part!

10:44:40 >> From  Moe Karimi : Thank you Michael!

10:45:04 >> From  Vira Garcia : Moe’s questions were 1) What salary would you be willing to accept? 2)What salary would you have to think about? and 3)What salary would you decline?

10:45:21 >> From  Catherine Hansen : Engineering hiring managers would likely say yes

10:47:29 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : I hear you, it issuch a hit when they say no

10:47:48 >> From  William Miller   to   All panelists : It really depends on the role, the urgency of the need and the conversation I had with the manager at the time of the offer turndown.

10:48:14 >> From  Catherine Hansen : Have only heard of this at AMZN

10:48:17 >> From  Helen Tunea   to   All panelists : no I haven’t ever heard of that

10:48:38 >> From  Shawn Watzka : When I worked for a Hospital recruiting physicians we would have the Ex Med Director close the deal with the Physcian.

10:49:14 >> From  Lori Davis : Great panel and great topic! Thank you all!

10:49:27 >> From  William Miller   to   All panelists : I’ve always been a full live cycle recruiter.  I have been in a setting where we had a research assistant who identified candidates and did some of the initial sourcing.

10:49:42 >> From  Catherine Hansen : @Cara, yes!

10:49:51 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : do not hesitate to circle back to those who decided to stay with current employer, they will be looking again within 3 months

10:50:21 >> From  Bez Rengifo : Yes, great topic and one I love 🙂

10:50:29 >> From  Glenn Murani : Yes great topic and panel. Just think of all the time you invest in a candidate – and in the end the candidate does not accept your position.

10:50:35 >> From  Michelle McKnight : Thanks for another good session! Sean, you should schedule these for an hour; there’s always a lot to cover!

10:51:15 >> From  Annette Rushin   to   All panelists : Thank you, great topic and discussion!

10:52:43 >> From  Michelle McKnight   to   All panelists : Agreed, Michelle! Thanks Sean and everyone for another great session.

10:52:48 >> From  Maureen Daly   to   All panelists : Thanks everyone for sharing – have a great day all.


Some of the attendees…

Name & LinkedIn Profile Group Title Company
Connie Hoffman Recruiting Atlanta Senior Recruiter Amazon
Dan Baker Recruiting Atlanta Senior Corporate Recruiter Healthstat
Anita Kumar Recruiting Atlanta Sr. Talent Acquisition Advisor formerly Secureworks -
Tracey Jerdine Recruiting Chicago Senior Talent Acquisition Partner CIBC US
Micheal Lowe Recruiting Chicago Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist CCC Information Services
Eileen Beno Recruiting Chicago Senior Technical Recruiter / Scientific Recruiter Fermilab
Shawn Watzka Recruiting Chicago Senior Recruiter Inpatient Psych Solutions
Sarah Schaefer Recruiting Chicago Senior Recruiter Fresenius Kabi USA
Brandon Barber Recruiting Dallas Senior Technical Recruiter Hilton Worldwide
Allyson Leszman Recruiting Denver Talent Acquisition / Operations Transformation Looking for Work
Vira Garcia Recruiting Houston Director of Recruiting vcfo
Anna Raghavan Recruiting LA Talent Sourcer Beachbody
Lance Hunsicker Recruiting LA Executive Recruiter Parsons Corporation
Bez Rengifo Recruiting LA Sr. Manager / Director, People Services (HR Business Partner department) Loma Linda University Health Care
Dang Hua Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Business Partner Opus Bank
Helen Tunea Recruiting LA Sr. Manager, Talent Acquisition Connexity
Michelle McKnight Recruiting LA Senior Recruiter Herbalife
Cindy Wong Recruiting LA Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist Princess Cruises
Megan Stokka Recruiting Minneapolis Senior Recruiter Daikin Applied Americas
Denise Ward Recruiting Minneapolis Technical Recruiter Wunderlich-Malec Engineering
Lia Kosmicki Recruiting Minneapolis Regional Recruiter Agiliti
John Sullivan Recruiting Portland Talent Acquisition Lead (IT Group) The Standard
Anne Patrick Recruiting Seattle Talent Acquisition Specialist State Farm Insurance
Maureen Daly Recruiting Seattle Talent Acuuisition Consultant Rose International
Jessica Burgess Recruiting Seattle Director, Talent Acquisition Zones
Catherine Hansen Recruiting SFBA Senior Manager, Recruiting Hippo Insurance
Natalya McCool Recruiting SFBA Recruiter Berkeley Lab
Selena Stirlen Recruiting SFBA Senior Recruiter DocuSign
Diane Mariuzza TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition RXR Realty
Bennett Yang TA Leaders Director Talent Acquisition SoundHound
Nancee Martin TA Leaders Managing Director Corporate Recruiting AvAirPros
Dan Shortall TA Leaders Sr. Director of Strategic Staffing Global Conductor
Glenn Murani TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition Optima Global Solutions
Annette Rushin TA Leaders Director, Recruiting Dovel Technologies
Dana Shupe-Burrows TA Leaders Director, Human Resources PRODEGE, LLC
Manisha Bavabhai TA Leaders Head of Recruiting Hudson MX
Kara Wilson TA Leaders Recruiting Director MorganFranklin Consulting
Daniella McDonald TA Leaders Talent Acquisition Leader Looking for Work
Smita Ray TA Leaders Director Of Recruiting Carmel Partners
Shawanna Bailey TA Leaders Head of Recruiting Bombora

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