Last week I brought up the topic of “better” vs “new” when approaching a potential candidate for an open role. Most recruiters talk about how their role is better than what the candidate currently has. Although this might be true, many candidates will respond with the usual, “I am not interested.”

There are 4 primary reasons why, when we approach candidates, they blow us off:

  1. Improvement can be hard
  2. High desire but low ambition
  3. Memories of the past improvement efforts that bombed
  4. Fear of decreased status

To increase our odds of success, let’s look at the opposite side of the same equation: why do people crave new opportunities? Why is the concept of “new” more effective than the concept of “better”? What drives candidates to actually engage in a new opportunity?

1. New discovery

When people discover something new, they can’t help but share it with others. Think of the first time you bought a new car or the first time you closed a candidate. Your adrenaline spiked, you were smiling ear to ear, and you couldn’t wait to tell someone about the “new” in your life. Candidates who experience the possibility of “new” react in a more positive way than those who just see the role as “better” or the same role at a different company. New discoveries immediately increase perceived status, leading to an emotional increase.

2. No pain of disconnect

When approaching the candidate with a new opportunity, he doesn’t have to admit he made a bad decision joining his current or previous employer. Although your goal is to determine the pain in each candidate, you don’t want them to feel a lower status by reminding them of the mistake they made over and over. Improvement offers sell through the pain, where new opportunities sell a solution away from the pain!

3. Dream replacement

Many people struggle to make changes in their career because of fear of failure. The last change may not have worked out the way they wanted, but many candidates would rather deal with the pain they know versus the pain they don’t know. If they make another change and it doesn’t work, the dream of the ideal career may be dead. Candidates subconsciously will give up potential success for the fear of losing their dream. Presenting a new opportunity gives the candidate a new dream to go after.

4. Greener pastures

How many times have you heard the saying,“the grass is always greener on the side?” Instead of convincing the candidate the grass is greener or that you can fix their grass, show them the path to the other side. Stop trying only to make existing jobs better and focus on new ideas that will inspire people to listen to you!

Pain is an important motivator for everyone. When you are positioned with a choice to improve on the pain you are feeling, or replace it with something new, which would you choose? As a recruiter, if you have charisma, empathy, and a new opportunity, you have the perfect combination to lead the candidate on the path to real change.

The question is: how do you put this into practice? Stay tuned for the answer in next week’s blog!


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