Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession



9 Steps To Making a Winning Job Offer

Why offers rejected - MRI 2014

Editor’s note: In this column, Jorg Stegemann, one of Europe’s leading independent search consultants, offers advice to hiring managers on making an offer. Much of what he has to say here also applies to you. You may not make the actual offer (unless you can convince the hiring authority that you are the best person to do that). However, not only should you coach your client on how to make the offer, but follow-up yourself.

Congratulations! After having screened dozens or hundreds of resumes and having conducted numerous interviews, you have found the perfect fit for your vacancy. Weeks or months of hard work come to an end. Make sure you get it right at this critical point of time of the hiring process. One false move can result in a refusal. If you screw it up now, you have to start at zero again. After all, a significant percentage of all job offers made are turned down. Making it right is an art and a science.

Here are the nine steps to making a bullet-proof job offer:

Business Development, Closing

If You’re Always Closing, You’re Not Selling


Leads sign with salesClosing techniques are as old as the sales profession; isn’t “Always Be Closing” the A-B-C of sales?

Could this practice have anything to do with the sales profession being the least respected profession of all?

The world of sales has always revolved around the seller — in our case, this would be you, the search consultant — and your products or services, features, brand and so on. Too many salespeople still do dog-and-pony shows and apply all kinds of closing tricks from the puppy dog close to the take away close.

(Some simply open a cold call with the sure loser: “Do you have any jobs that need to be filled.” But that’s a topic for another day.)

Closing, How-To

How To Counteroffer Proof Your Offers

Risalvato flow chart

Ben Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s an old English proverb (as in Ye Olde) that goes back many centuries even prior to Franklin.

Counteroffers are now rampant. One out of every three offers involving recruiters (i.e. candidates that were not looking for a job in the first place) are resulting in counteroffers in my office and with our clients.

The only way to prevent a counteroffer from derailing three months or more of search work is to have the right offer presented in the first place. This means the strongest possible offer in terms of salary denomination, and perks, benefits, hiring/starting bonus etc. No low-balling, no slightly-less-offers, no let’s-test-the-waters offers, etc.


Don’t Let the Client Bulldoze You Into Making the Offer

Under pressure - free

Under pressure - freeYou’ve worked hard and spent weeks assessing the client’s needs and interviewing potential candidates. Finally the perfect match has been found and the client is anxious to have your candidate come onboard. As recruiters it is our moment of shining glory. The stars have aligned and we stand at the apex of everything we are about and work for. Then the client puts the entire process into a tailspin by doing the unthinkable— insisting that they make the job offer to the applicant.

STOP! Do not let this happen. Nothing could be worse for the client, the candidate or for you!

Ask Barb, Closing

With Candidates, You Have to Dig Deep and Pre-Close

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:
Am I the only recruiter who feels candidates are not telling us the truth during interviews? They tell me one thing and then give different answers when they are interviewed by my clients. How can I get them to be more truthful with me?

Cindy B.
St. Petersburg, FL

Ask Barb, Closing

Here’s How to Close to the ‘No’

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I heard you speak in Mexico and I remember you teaching us how to close people to the “NO” on money and I’ve forgotten how to do it. When I was using your technique, I did not have offers turned down. Lately, over 35% of my offers are being declined and it’s destroying my production. Can you teach me again how to close to the “NO” on money? I desperately need a refresher! Thank you

Amanda F.

Toronto, CA


Can A Company Blow An Interview? Yes It Can!


tough-interview-questionsHas your company ever lost the competition for a great candidate to a competitive offer? If so, there’s an excellent chance that your firm may not have performed well in the interviewing, and recruitment of that candidate.

Proven executives are always difficult to find and attract; no recession exists for top performers. Competitive offers and offer “turn-downs” are more common now than ever.

Why should a firm’s leadership worry about such things? Let’s examine what’s at stake: First, the shortage of capable leadership inhibits optimal performance. Second, hiring the wrong person for important positions can prove catastrophic. And third, significant “opportunity costs” (unrealized revenue or savings) accompany understaffed positions. Undoubtedly, top performers make better decisions, and generate better results for your company.

Closing, How-To

Implementing an Effective Counteroffer Prevention Strategy


Almost daily, I receive calls from practitioners who find themselves challenged by the fact their candidates are receiving an ever increasing number of counteroffers. Although not a new phenomenon, recruiters who do not learn to properly execute an effective counteroffer prevention strategy will continue to find their resources squandered as more and more placement opportunities are lost to this, the “dark side” of our improving economy.

In a previous article, I laid the foundation for an effective Counteroffer Prevention Strategy. This strategy rests on your ability to secure from the candidate timely answers to a series of questions that help “frame” your relationship. Once this positive frame of reference has been established, a more in-depth discussion is possible. From this discussion, you should be able to produce a clear picture of the candidate’s true motivations for changing positions.

(Click here for the questions Terry recommends asking every candidate.)

These reasons must be identified at the initiation of the relationship and reviewed, updated, and reinforced at every step of the process through offer acceptance, resignation, and the completion of all the components in the transition strategy.

Ask Barb, Closing

Offers Getting Rejected? Here’s What To Do To Before the Sendout

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I just had my third offer rejected since the beginning of the year. I had none last year. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. When I try to get feedback from the candidates they don’t respond, so I’m at a loss. I tried to pressure close my last deal and as a result it went south. I can’t afford for this to continue and I’m looking forward to your advice.

Rebecca Z.

Kansas City, MO

Barb Responds

Dear Rebecca:

There are several reasons for most offer rejects:

Closing, How-To

30 Client Questions That Will Save You Time and Make You Money

Question man cartoon - freedigital

Just like a golfer tees up the ball to optimize their drive for distance and accuracy, a Recruiter needs to prepare thoroughly before embarking on a candidate search, to maximize the chances for a successful outcome.

Proper qualification of a new requirement or job order is both a critical part of the recruiting process and great opportunity to further cement the relationship with your client. I’ve seen too many recruiters scurry off at the sniff of a new job order and start blasting away without having much of a clue as to the nature of the requirement or their chances of success.

I have worked with a multitude of recruiters and account managers in my 20 years in the industry in the UK and the USA. Most recently, I was the managing director of Kforce’s Silicon Valley Technology Practice.