If you’ve spent at least three days in sales you’ve probably heard the phrase, “ABC: Always Be Closing.” This phrase was uttered by Alec Baldwin in cult classic Glengarry Glen Ross, which was an adaptation of the screenplay written by David Mamet. Hearing the phrase gives people the impression of the overly pushy and aggressive sales person who is willing to stop at nothing to win a deal. While I don’t prescribe to the brutal, unethical practices that the film glorified as a means to close a deal, I do feel that if you are actively interviewing candidates for an opening you need to always ask yourself, “How can I close this candidate so that they will take my offer over others?” Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay cosmetics) had a great quote – “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around their neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
So, what can you do to make sure that you are always closing your candidates?
Keep the hiring process moving along briskly. There is nothing more frustrating for a candidate than to have a positive interview experience, get told “It was great meeting with you. We’ll be in touch in the next day or two,” and then hear NOTHING for 5+ business days. It is a really demoralizing experience. Even if you go back to the candidate wanting to move forward with next steps, there is a reasonable chance the candidate will never return your phone call. Before you decide to add someone to your team, have a hiring plan first and if an unexpected delay pops up, be upfront and say so. You’ll save credibility. If you find a candidate you like, MAKE THE OFFER! Don’t get sucked into paralysis by analysis and drag your feet.
Lose the poker face. Somewhere along the line, the interview process turned into a game of chicken whereas the first one to show any emotion lost. It’s ok to act like a human being during the interview process and show a little emotion. The interview process can be nerve racking for a candidate. A reassuring smile can help put them at ease and save you 45 minutes of “Ummms,” “Ahhhs,” and broken sentences. Also, you are seeing more and more that candidates want to be engaged during the interview process. Nobody wants to work for someone who is perceived as cold and unfeeling…unless you’re a mortician, I guess. With unemployment where it’s at in the Midwest, candidates have access to more jobs than ever.
Make a competitive offer. If you haven’t hired anyone in the last 12 months, chances are you are unaware of what the market rate is for most positions. Before you make an offer, do yourself a favor and pop over to our Salary Tool and do some quick research to make sure you are pricing yourself competitively. At the salary levels we typically work in, a $2-$3/hour difference is a huge point of emphasis when candidates are considering one offer versus another.
It’s an exciting time right now in our markets as companies are starting to shake off the doldrums and we are seeing a large uptick in hiring. With that comes a huge uptick in demand for quality candidates. If you follow the above steps, you’ll give yourself a leg up and position yourself effectively to get that acceptance when your offer goes out.
Chris has been a member of the Celebrity Staff team since September 2012. He specializes in providing high customer touch and customizing labor solutions for his clients. Prior to his time at Celebrity, Chris was a partner in a startup energy drink distribution company that has attained a strong foothold in the Nebraska and Iowa region. He also has six years of experience as a successful mortgage broker where he developed and cultivated a multi-million dollar relationship with one of the largest home builders in the Omaha metro area. Chris specializes in providing excellent administrative, legal, and management candidates to his clients in the Des Moines, IA marketplace. When he isn’t working he enjoys golf, traveling, and spending obscene amounts of money on shoes.