By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

You’ve shuffled your way through a pile of resumes, some of them with little or no BV experience.  You’ve set aside the time to interview, and settled on one you’d like to bring in to your practice.  Then comes the moment of truth.  How can you get this candidate on board with a minimum of fuss and lost time?

One key is to make sure that money is the last piece of the puzzle you put into place. That means putting sufficient information into the candidate’s hand (or head) so that money is the only thing left to be considered. For example, if you don’t already have a succinct description of your employee benefits, create one. Provide a copy to each person prior to a second interview, along with an explanation that you’ll answer any questions at that time.

Most candidates appreciate the opportunity to talk to their peers. Arrange for that to happen. Allow privacy for a frank discussion between your employees and the candidate. (Getting your employees’ feedback can provide valuable perspective.) At the start of every interview, explain what will happen and whom the candidate will be meeting. Don’t leave the candidate guessing what’s next. Some practices actually provide an itinerary with a timeline.

When you’re ready to move to the offer stage, say so to the candidate. Ask if there are any other questions to be answered before you discuss an offer. Make it clear that you don’t want to be hearing the preacher asking you both to say “I do”, only to hear “What are your feelings about having kids?”

Now comes the offer, itself. Tell the candidate you’re going to make an offer, and that you will expect an answer by X date. (Rarely more than a week.) Ask – point blank – whether you can count on receiving an answer by that date. Generally, there are only two reasons why the candidate will say No.

One is that other questions remain. “Well, I’m not sure about…” In that case, go back and answer the questions. Then, repeat your request for a commitment on the response date. If the candidate has more than one round of unanswered questions, you may have uncovered the second reason: there is another job waiting in the wings. All the more reason for you not to make an offer without the commitment for a response.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that demonstrating patience will work in your favor. If you’ve done your homework in putting information in the candidate’s hands, and answered the candidate’s questions, then accepting or rejecting the offer is a simple process. The longer you allow for decision-making, the greater your risk of losing the candidate.

John Borrowman