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Advanced Recruitment & Interviewing Techniques: Strategies to Attract and Hire the Best


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Attracting and developing the strongest talent pool begins with direct sourcing candidates and segues smoothly into your interview questioning strategies and techniques. But knowing how to preempt a counteroffer, set the stage appropriately for reference checks, and structure job offers and deal terms are equally critical in ensuring candidate acceptances and a smooth onboarding process. This presentation combines strategies from both sides of the hiring desk—corporate recruiter and headhunter—to generate maximum candidate interest and close the deal effectively. (33 slides)

Presentation developed by author Paul Falcone -

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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Advanced Recruitment & Interviewing Techniques: Strategies to Attract and Hire the Best

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Contents Candidate Direct Sourcing Scripts: Direct and Indirect Sourcing Calls Building a Case for the Candidate: 4 Criteria for Every Hire Achievement-Anchored Questions Pressure Cooker Interview Questions 2
  3. 3. Contents (cont.) Post-Interview Debriefs Preempting the Counteroffer Reference Checking Scripts Making the Offer and Closing the Deal Post-Acceptance Follow-Up 3
  4. 4. Direct Sourcing Scripts Type I: Indirect Approach “I know people tend to network, and I’m hoping that you could recommend someone who’s either in career transition right now or who might be feeling kind of boxed in where they are. . . 4
  5. 5. Direct Sourcing (cont.) If you feel they’d consider sitting down with us for an hour to see if we could offer them a long-term career opportunity or a compensation package that’s somewhat stronger than their current position, I’d love to talk with them. What are your thoughts?” 5
  6. 6. Direct Sourcing (cont.) Type II: Direct Approach “I don’t know if my timing’s right or if you’re currently looking to make a career move right now, but I guess my question to you is, Are you the type of person who’d consider sitting down with a competitor firm for an hour or so to see if we could offer you a long-term career opportunity or compensation package that’s potentially stronger than your current position?” 6
  7. 7. Direct Sourcing (cont.) Be prepared for: Who gave you my name? What do you know about me? What did you have in mind? What does the position pay? 7
  8. 8. Building a Case for the Candidate Use four key criteria in selecting your next hire: Longevity Progression through the ranks Technical skills Personality match 8
  9. 9. Longevity Lay-Off How many employees were laid off simultaneously? How many people survived the cut? How many waves of layoffs did you survive before you were let go yourself? Orchestrating Your Own Moves What does growth mean to you? What would be your next logical move in career progression at your present company if you were to stay put? 9
  10. 10. Progression Indicators “Walk me through your progression with your current company, leading me up to what you do now on a day-to-day basis.” “How have you had to reinvent your job in light of your company’s (or department’s) changing needs?” 10
  11. 11. Technical Skills “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being you’re a perfect match for this position, how would you grade yourself from a technical standpoint?” “Why are you an [8]?” “What would make you a 10?” “Why is this a good move in career progression for you in terms of building your resume?” “Where will you need the most support in your first six months?” 11
  12. 12. Personality Match “Do you prefer more structure, direction, and feedback on a day-to-day basis or an environment with more autonomy and independence?” “How many hours a week do you find it necessary to work in order to get your job done?” 12
  13. 13. Personality Match (cont.) “Tell me how you prefer to accept constructive criticism: Do you pride yourself on your “tough hide” or should we be more sensitive to your feelings?” What pace do you typically prefer in the office: (a) moderate, controllable, and predictable, (b) face pace with deadline pressure, or (c) hair-on-fire, hyper- space, floor of the New York stock exchange? 13
  14. 14. Achievement-Anchored Interview Questions “What makes you stand out among your peers?” “Tell me about the greatest career achievement you’ve ever had and what you’re proudest of…” “What have you done on your present / last position to increase revenues, decrease expenses, or save time?” 14
  15. 15. Pressure-Cooker Questions “Tell me about your last performance appraisal: What was your overall score, and in which area were you most disappointed?” “What would your most-respected critic say about your work and specific areas of improvement?” “From an interpersonal standpoint, where do you disagree with your boss most often? Tell me about the last time you were right and she was wrong.” 15
  16. 16. Pressure Questions (cont.) “If you had to critique your past supervisor’s performance, what suggestions or constructive criticism could you provide? How would he react to your suggestion if he were here right now?” “Is there any reason we shouldn’t hire you for this position?” 16
  17. 17. Pressure Questions (cont.) “Some people live to work while others work to live. Either alternative is fine, but where would you say that you fall on the spectrum?” “Grade me on how well I’m conducting this interview. What could you tell me about my management style based on the types of questions I’m asking?” 17
  18. 18. Pressure Questions (cont.) “I assume you researched our company before coming in for this interview. Tell me what you learned, and share with me what potential problems you see us facing.” “Of all the bosses you’ve ever had, who would give you the weakest reference, and what would she say you need to work on most in order to become stronger in your field?” 18
  19. 19. Post-Interview Debriefs Assess Candidates’ Interest Levels Initial Impression: “Tell me how it went.” “What interested you most about the opportunity: the people, the job, or the company?” “On a scale of 1-10, how qualified are you for the position from a technical standpoint?” 19
  20. 20. Debrief (cont.) “What would you have to add to your background to make yourself an even stronger fit?” “What concerns or hesitations do you have about this position?” “What questions can I answer for you at this point to help you come to a more informed career decision?” 20
  21. 21. Debrief (cont.) “Salary-wise, did you discuss your minimum requirements or the position’s range?” “On a scale of 1-10, how interested are you in making the transition? [What would make you a 10? . . .]” “What do you see as the next step in the process?” 21
  22. 22. Preempting the Counteroffer Steer Candidates Clear of Temptation “Tell me again why the position you’re applying for meets your career needs or why working for our company is so important to you.” “Again on a scale of 1-10, where do you stand interest-wise?” 22
  23. 23. Counteroffer (cont.) “What would have to change at your present position for you to continue working there?” “An employment offer is very emotional, and candidates shouldn’t let emotions cloud their better business judgment. If you gave notice to your boss right now, what would she say to keep you?” 23
  24. 24. Reference Checking Scripts Set the Stage for Reference-Gathering Strategies Recruitment Brochures: Clarify your intentions right up front of collecting past performance reviews and conducting reference / background checks as part of the selection process Place the responsibility on the candidate to coordinate the call with former direct supervisors: this shouldn’t be a cold call! 24
  25. 25. Reference Checks (cont.) 1. Open the call by “spreading honey” on the situation: “We’re considering Sam for a position as a __ in our __ department. He said some very nice things about your ability to give him structure and direction in his day, and I was hoping that, reciprocally, you could share some of your insights into his ability to excel with our company. . .” 25
  26. 26. Reference Checks (cont.) 2. Paint a picture of your corporate culture so that the prior supervisor will be able to do some evaluative decision-making on his end of the line: “We’re looking for someone who . . . If you wouldn’t mind, please frame your answers with that background and perspective in mind. . .” 26
  27. 27. Reference Checks (cont.) 3. Begin with either or types of questions to ease the supervisor into the conversation: “Does she take a strict adherence to her duties, or does she think outside the box and assume responsibilities beyond her basic, written job description?” “Is he more of a task-oriented or project-oriented worker?” “Would you consider him high maintenance or low maintenance from a day-to-day leadership standpoint?” 27
  28. 28. Reference Checks (cont.) 4. Overcome Initial Objections: “Corporate policy says that I can only refer to Human Resources for references. . .” Challenging the “Stone Waller” when you’ve got nothing less to lose 28
  29. 29. Making the Offer and Closing the Deal Rule: Remember to control all the variables before extending an offer! Opener: “What’s changed since the last time we spoke?” “If you had to choose among 3 factors: (1) the company, (2) the position, or (3) the people you’d be working with, which would you say plays the most significant role in your decision to accept our offer?” 29
  30. 30. Making the Offer (cont.) “If we were to make you an offer, when would you be in a position to decide?” “If we were to make you an offer, tell me ideally when you’d be able to start. How much notice would you need to give your present employer?” “Share with me what final questions I could answer for you at this point.” 30
  31. 31. Making the Offer (cont.) The $64,000,000 Question “At what point dollar-wise would you accept our offer, and at what point dollar-wise would you reject it?” 31
  32. 32. Post-Acceptance Follow-Up Always follow up with the candidate after the resignation meeting at their current company Expect “buyer’s remorse” to set in along with feelings of guilt and fear of loss Remember that the two-week resignation window may very well result in another round of counteroffers! 32
  33. 33. Q&A: Questions and Actions Paul Falcone 33