Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A passive candidate.

I find handling passive candidates interesting. We cannot blame them that they are passive; it is simply their personality traits. You do not expect a sales person to be quiet and introverted. You do not expect technical people to be highly extroverted and on the go party mood (but there are a few I know of). Different people, different traits.

How do you handle passive candidates?

Ask more questions and find a button that will make them interested in you and the whole discussion. More or less when you are dealing with passive people, most of the answers are one worded; yes and no. But as long as you hit the right button, you are then in and you will be rewarded with a good discussion.

Today I had a meeting with a System Engineer and he was like the above. He was quite passive and only answered my questions very specifically with a word or two. I was trying to get him to explain to me his career progression and it was very straightforward (which is a good thing) but without much enthusiasm. I wanted to find out about what he liked about his job and what role he also could explore other than another System Engineering.

I started talking about pre-sales and talked about POC’s, vendor management, other similar projects, tenders and why he is good for the role I have for him. He suddenly opened up because I spoke his language and then he started looking at the JD in detail and started painting his career and matching it to the JD in-front of him and I got him talking. Somewhere along the lines I hit the right button. He was quite enthusiastic about the job because it was a step forward with more responsibilities and a move to a multinational corporation with good benefits.

I think when you are dealing with passive people, they would like the assurance that they are talking to someone they can communicate with. I once had a friend who only spoke very few words to me, but when I introduced him to another friend whom incidentally use to watch Star Trek in detail, they both became instant buddies. It is good to find out their interest and what motivates them.

I have written about a similar discussion here, have a look at: http://aheadhunter.blogspot.com/2008/03/good-interview-that-ended-up-great.html

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