The Secret to Closing Candidates

The word closer invokes the image of a sliver-tongued salesperson: someone who can sell water to a drowning man. In recruiting, closing isnt about superhuman negotiation skills or techniques to get people to sign on the dotted line. There’s just one rule for recruiters who close:

Only submit candidates that you already know how to close.

95% of a recruiter’s job in closing a candidate is done before the candidate is presented to a hiring manager. Recruiters who close learn what it will take for someone to accept a job and share this information with the hiring manager before the first interview happens. Closers get hiring managers the intelligence they need to hire candidates before the process begins in earnest.

For a closer every submission yields one of two things: a hire or more information about what it will take to fill a job (so the next submission is better). Closers understand that the hiring process is iterative. Closers listen. They know there’s no problem with hiring managers saying NO, as long as they explain WHY offering direct, constructive feedback so the next candidate they screen and present is more likely to close.

Recruiters who close tell the truth and build trust. They speak plainly and aren’t afraid to deliver bad news. They grease the wheels of the hiring process through clear communication, and rarely have candidates rejected for the same reason twice.

Closers unearth the good, the bad & the ugly and diplomatically share this information, managing expectations so that there are no big surprises in the interview process.

The “process” of closing is really just reconfirming what you learned before interviewing started and make sure that things don’t change as time passes.