Avoiding Tire Kickers as Job Seekers

With the economy heating up and employment prospects opening up after years of dormancy, it is more critical than ever for employers to understand that unfortunately, career "tire kickers" still exist in the marketplace. Demand for quality talent, especially at the senior executive level, still outweighs supply. Tire kickers' waste valuable time and resources for both professional recruiters and busy hiring managers. They sap the strength of well designed recruiting efforts and can wreak havoc on organizations that fall for their deception.

What can recruiters and employers do to protect themselves? Assuming that you have received preliminary contact from a prospective candidate be certain to watch for any of the following warning signs:

1. Money or financial gain is their only motivation for making a change. While improving the quality of one's life should be an important consideration when changing employers, it should not be the only reason. Candidates should naturally be curious and interested in compensation issues, but if you begin to sense that there are few other reasons for the candidate to be seeking employment with your company other than a simple pay increase, be aware you may have a tire kicker on your hands. Ultimately they will waste your time and effort. Question the candidate thoroughly about their current situation. What are the candidate's near and long terms prospects if he were to stay at his current employer? What is the current market condition of the candidates' current employer? What is the candidate's relationship to his current supervisor and direct peers? Test to determine the three most critical issues that make this candidate interested in your respective opportunity. If the candidate cannot extrapolate at least three reasons beyond financial gain, be wary of their intent.

2. Communication breakdown: Tire Kickers love to be "romanced" from afar. They love "the chase of being pursued". It strokes their ego which is their primary motivation. You should suspect you have a tire kicker if you have requested a face to face meeting and there seems to be very limited availability on the candidates' part. If communication, either telephonically or via email suddenly becomes very sparse from the candidates' end. Once a tire kicker is confronted with actually making a decision to commit to the recruiter or prospective employer via substantial interviews, disclosure of confidential material including business references and specific work history verification, they may/will react by suddenly becoming very unavailable.

3. Spouse/Family is unaware of discussions. This is a very significant sign, especially if relocation is necessary. As recruiters, we make it a practice of speaking directly with the spouse to make certain relocation to our client employers' locale is not only acceptable, but ideally, preferable. If we call the spouse and she/he is totally unaware of the possible job change, a red flag goes up immediately.

4. Exact Start Date/Resignation Date Unclear: If you have extended a formal written offer of employment to a candidate and there seems to be some unexplainable wavering on the exact start date, question it immediately. Committed and considerate candidates will give their current employer 2 weeks notice. If a candidate requests more than 2 weeks to quit their current employer, you may be faced with not only a tire kicker but also a counter offer situation. There are very few reasons why a committed candidate would need longer than 2 weeks notice. Additionally as recruiters, we make it practice to "script" the candidates' resignation with them. This includes their face to face resignation along with their resignation letter. Any reluctance is preparing the resignation script is a major red flag.

Our firm estimates approximately 10-15% of all candidates we come into contact with are tire kickers. Through careful due diligence and research to uncover their true motivations, or lack thereof, we are able to consistently present candidates that are serious about improving their life and that overall business for potential employers. Corporate clients are not as lucky as they devote significant portions of their time and effort to other pressing Human Resource issues. Proper evaluation and assessment is critical to a strong recruitment campaign inside or outside of an organization. Keep an eye out for the warning signs listed above and save yourself, and your company, the trouble of dealing with tire kickers.

Executive recruiter William Werksman is a frequent columnist to job boards including http://www.NevadaJobBoard.com addressing both the candidate's and employer's perspective. Werksman's expertise has been featured in business magazines, national newspapers and television news segments. His firm, Resource Partners, is recognized as the leading source of specialized and executive talent in the Casino and Gaming industry. He manages a staff of recruiters out of his firm's Las Vegas, Nevada headquarters. He may be reached at: Bill@CareerInsider.com or (702)248-1028.

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