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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'candidates'

How-To, Staffing

5 Ways to Overcome the ‘Perfect Candidate’ Syndrome


org chart for sourcingDoes it seem like your clients are dragging their feet when it comes to hiring? It’s not your imagination. According to The New York Times, it is taking companies an average of 23 business days to fill vacancies compared with just 15 days in 2009, and the duration of the interview process at major companies like Starbucks, General Mills, and Southwest Airlines has nearly doubled since 2010.

Many employers blame it on a lack of skilled labor. While that may be true in some sectors, it appears that the real problem is that many companies don’t really want to hire in this uncertain economy, so if they have to hire, they will only settle for the “perfect candidate.”

Jeff's On Call!

The Payback Attack to Employee Payback Agreements


Jeff –

I’m really benefiting from your writing and thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer my question.

I’m working with a candidate who accepted a position with a company that I didn’t submit him for. About a month later, this network engineer told me that the job was terrible and he is only doing network cleanup and documentation. Then he tells me that the agency that placed him made him sign a contract that stated that if he left the job before the three month guarantee period that he would need to pay the agency the lost fee.

This was a new one for me in my 18 year career – I’ve never heard this. Is it enforceable?


David Cohen
Agency owner in NJ
How-To, Interviews

Here’s How to Screen Prospective Leaders for Risky Behaviors

leaders org chart - free

leaders org chart - freeThe numbers of fallen leaders in sports, business, entertainment, and politics grows each day. Why do so many influential leaders engage in risky behavior that sends them plummeting from positions of power?

Consider the cases of NYC mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, and hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. Some candidates barely make it out the gate (Herman Cain) before they become “disqualified.”

As employment professionals, we may ask: “How can we develop a more failsafe way to weed out leaders who may have risky, impulsive, addictive, and possibly immoral lifestyles? Do we have a role in directing them toward the help they need?”

Here are three guidelines that will help:


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!

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

How-To Avoid Falloffs While Getting Pegged as a Pro

Placements and the law logo

(L)ong-term prospects at a company are often determined during the initial phase of a job. Contrary to popular thinking, the first six months on a job are much more than a period of acclimation and adjustment. During this erroneously-labeled getting-acquainted period, a new employee is “pegged” sub-consciously in the minds of the decision-makers in the company. . . It may be superficial as well as unfair, but informal pegging occurs in all companies. . . Ironically, it is the subconscious and non-logical nature of pegging that makes it so easy to manipulate for your purposes.

These words are from a brilliant book, The Right Moves: Succeeding in a Man’s World Without a Harvard MBA by Charlene Mitchell and Thomas Burdick. This PTL uses their suggestions (and mine from both sides of the hiring desk) to show you how to fight falloffs.

Ask Barb

Your Candidates Want Choices

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I feel more and more that we are competing with the job boards, LinkedIn and social media for our candidates. By the time we get them through an interviewing process, they’ve found another job. I’m not seeing all of this technology as helpful. I’m seeing it as a threat. How can we compete, when it’s so easy for our candidates to find interviews on their own?

Susan P.

Ft. Meyers, FL

Dear Susan:


What You Can Do to Improve Your Candidate Engagement


teamworkDo candidates know you? Do they like you? Do you stay in regular contact with your candidates even if they don’t get the job? Do they come to you as a knowledgeable resource when it comes to employment?  If not – congratulations, you are “just like everyone else.”

Finding resumes is easy; finding talent is not. Successful recruiters are doing the things those “like everyone else” do not want to do. They take the time to engage candidates. Employee engagement is a huge focus for companies. They know there isn’t enough talent out there to they want to keep them engaged. To quote Wikipedia:

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, Business

Have You Tried Calling Your Own Office After Hours?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Many of my IT clients and candidates call me after hours just to avoid a conversation. Then they complain that it’s too difficult to leave me a message. Do you believe in giving out your cell phone to both clients and candidates?

George W.

Victor, NY
Dear George:

I do believe in giving out my cell phone to clients. It is a personal decision if you give

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