How many times have you found the perfect candidate, presented him (or her) to the Hiring Manager and then… jim stroudnothing? The Hiring Manager has urged you to step up your efforts but when it comes time to make a decision, its an exercise in “analysis paralysis.”

“Yeah, sure, he meets my requirements,” says the Clueless one, “but I’m not sure if I should hire them or hold out for someone better (or cheaper).” 

If you’ve been in recruiting more than five minutes, then you know what I mean. It happens and if it has not happened to you yet, just keep sourcing, dialing and smiling and meeting with Managers. It will happen and guess what? The frustration of that happening does not diminish with time, at least it did not for me. So how did I handle it? I tried a little employment psychology by submitting only “perfect” candidates. Sound impossible? Well, of course it is, nobody is perfect! However, I was able to convince a Hiring Manager that my submitals were perfect more often than not. It is ridiculously easy to do and I will show you how.

Requirements not withstanding, Hiring Managers want to feel that the person is fully vested into the company. Talk is cheap. Typically it takes something more than a candidate saying “I can really see myself working here,” and less (or slightly less) than a candidate saying, “I’ve got the company logo tattooed on my butt! Let me show you!!!”

To give the Hiring Manager that warm and fuzzy feeling about your candidate (provided that they meet the requirements of course), simply perform the following:

  1. Do a bit of research about your company and its products. Research the past year, but not much more than that because you want to get your finger on the pulse of current issues that are (or should be) being addressed.
  2. Read up on what people are griping about concerning your company and / or your leading competitors.
  3. Create a list of the more interesting comments and questions and then pose them to the candidate. Ask them, “What do you think about these comments about our product? Are these people right? Are they wrong? If so, or if not, can you tell me why? How would you tackle the issues being discussed? Should we be losing sleep over these comments? Blah, blah, blah… (I think you get what I am saying here.)
  4. When you present this perfect candidate to the Hiring Manager (of course) enclose their answers to your questions. As you do, hope that they reflect intelligent thought and intrigue the Hiring Manager. If not, take it a step further.
  5. If you have the cajones (or the ovaries), send the candidates’ comments to other Managers inside the company and say, in so many words, “In my role as a Recruiter I speak to a lot of people who work in our industry. Some of the comments I hear from my candidates are quite intriguing and some are worth sharing. Case in point, I recently interviewed someone for a role as a Project Manager and when I asked him about our products, he had this to say: (Insert something brilliant that your candidate has said here). What do you think about this?
  6. All things being wonderful, the other Managers will get the idea on their own (wink-wink) to speak to your candidate directly and (maybe) hire him (or her) before the slowpoke Manager makes up his mind. However, I would advise that you play nice by telling the slowpoke manager that others in the company have an interest in your candidate and that they should move a bit more quickly.

Hmm… I know what you’re thinking. “That’s kind of sneaky there Jim.”

To which I would reply, yes, it is, but it does work. It especially works when one Manager is slow in making a decision and other Managers in the company are not.  I would also add that it feels less sneaky when it comes time for your performance to be evaluated.  Be that as it is, let me share with you a couple of search strings for finding customer feedback that you can use for coaching your “perfect” candidate.

In the examples below, I am looking for comments about the technology “virtualization.”

In the above string, I am looking for web documents with “feedback” in the URL (web address) and mention the term “virtualization” and the phrase “I think.” I added the phrase “I think” because I am seeking someone who has a definite opinion to offer.

In the above string I am looking for websites that use Uservoice for its customer feedback system. (Look ’em up – Of course, I also add the term virtualization. For your purposes, simply replace the term “virtualization” to whatever product, company or industry you have an interest in. Yes, its that simple.

Other search strings you may want to consider are:

  • virtualization
  • virtualization
  • intitle:feedback virtualization “i Think”
  • intitle:comments virtualization “i Think”
  • “i love virtualization”

Good luck with that Hiring Manager of yours! (I feel your pain.)

Jim Stroud,  The Searchologist
Twitter: @jimstroud
Jim produces The Searchologist, a websitevideo series and magazine focused on resume sourcing and lead generation strategies for Recruiters.  


By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.