Podcast: How to seal the deal every time.
This podcast was conducted by fellow executive search professional Jeff Hyman with David Perry on the inaugural day of Jeff’s book launch for ‘Recruit Rockstars’. Jeff has a podcast series where he discusses recruiting issues. This was Jeff’s 170th podcast and his first on ‘Closing the Deal’ and I was honored to be asked to speak on the subject How to Seal the Deal Every Time.
In the transcript below I have highlighted the major points to create an easy take-away.
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Welcome to the Strong Suit Podcast, where growing companies learn the right way to recruit rockstars. Each episode features one of the world’s experts on recruiting the best talent to your company. Now, here’s your host and five-time entrepreneur, Jeff Hyman.
Jeff Hyman: Hello, and welcome to the Strong Suit Podcast. This is episode 170, and I’m your host Jeff Hyman. Every Tuesday and Thursday I interview a world-class expert on talent and recruiting so that you can build a company filled with rockstars. Before I tell you about today’s guest, let me tell you that today is kind of a special day for me. It’s my very first day live on Amazon as a published author. I just wrote my first book, probably my last book, but I’ll tell you more about that later. It was a two year process, took a lot out of me, I’ve poured every single thing into every page of this book, and it’s called Recruit Rockstars. I hope you’ll check it out.
I’d be really humbled if you would take a look and write a review, let me know what you think, like it, love it, hate it, if you use it, if you don’t use it. If you don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back, I don’t care. I just want to get the word out there, because I’m on this mission to help companies avoid bad hires. So check out Recruit Rockstars, and there’s a link right there on the homepage to Amazon, and you can pick it up. It’s in Kindle, you can get it hard copy. You can get it soft copy. Any copy you want, but get a copy.
Now, let’s move on to today’s guest, David Perry. Now, before I tell you about David, and he’s a very accomplished guy, let me ask you this question. Are you tired of candidates turning down your offers? Are you tired of rockstar rejections? You know what I mean? They decline. They keep you going. You get to the very end of the process, and they say no. They tell you it was the money, they tell you they had a better offer, they tell you they just got cold feet, they tell you a lot of different things, but the point is, we got to get a yes every time. I found the guy who’s going to help us do that.
David Perry is a fellow executive recruiter. He’s the founder at Perry-Martel. He’s been at this for 30 years, currently up in Ontario. He’s also a fellow author. He wrote a great book, Hiring Greatness, you should check that out as well. In the next 20 minutes David and I talk about how to seal the deal, how to close the candidate. He makes a very astute point, which is you need to address the intrinsic needs of the candidate, not just money. It is not just about money. Great candidates, rockstars, turn down offers every day that are for the most money, and they accept offers that are not for the most money, but they’re just the most compelling, the most challenging roles, and that’s what you need to do. So in the next 20 minutes David and I are going to show you how. I think you’ll get a lot out of this. Here we go. Ready, aim, higher.
Okay, my friend up north, how are you, David?
David Perry: Excellent, excellent, Jeff.
Jeff Hyman: It is great to have you on the show. We’re going to talk about a topic that I’ve never covered before on this podcast, which is how to seal the deal, how to close the candidate, how to get the yes every time or at least as often as we can. In my experience, I’m guessing yours, there’s so many times that the deal falls apart on a second for a million different reasons.
David Perry: I’ve missed twice.
Jeff Hyman: That’s it? Only twice?
David Perry: Twice. One of the guys I went back to a year later after giving him the classic, “You don’t want to do this because …” I went back to him almost a year later and I said, “So, how’s that working out?” I pulled him, put him in a great opportunity.
The other one it was a … the guy resigned and the CEO of the company down in the States reached into his left hand drawer pulled out a chequebook and wrote him a check for a million bucks. I thought this deal was in the bag. It was done. He calls me, and he said, “This is what happened. What do you think?” I said-
Jeff Hyman: Take the check.
David Perry: Well, yeah, I did. I said, “Take the check.” He said, “Why? Don’t you believe in it?” “No, no. I absolutely believe, but you’re 58 years old. You’re ready for the grind of this startup. It’s an early phase company, but it’s going to be five to seven years before you can cash out and walk away with a million or more.” He said, “Yeah, but the job’s in New York.” I said, “Right, and you used to be a fighter pilot, and you live in Texas. So buy a freaking plane. You’ve got enough money.”
Jeff Hyman: With the million dollar check.
David Perry: You got enough money. You don’t have to buy a Learjet. Just buy a plane. Fly back and forth. Tell you what. Go ask your wife what she would do with a million bucks. [crosstalk 00:04:55]. He took the other job. He’s still there. This is I would say 12 years ago. It was a great decision for him. So, I’ve missed twice.
Jeff Hyman: Yeah. So, it sounds like you’re the perfect person to help us with this topic.
David Perry: We’ll see.
Jeff Hyman: So give us if you would David just a 60 second high level thought around what it takes to close the deal, or firstly, why so often candidates say no, when you really thought they were right there. You really thought that they wanted to do it, that they were going to do it, you make the offer, and they pass. What’s the headline?
David Perry: The golden rule in closing deals is simple. The golden rule is that gold, by itself, is insufficient. It’s not enough. You have to make sure that a successful offer always addresses the intrinsic needs of the prospect, the prospect who has become a candidate. We can talk about that in a minute. That the intrinsic needs aren’t met, then it’s just chequebook hiring. Chequebook hiring is a disaster, because there’s always somebody with a bigger chequebook. I would rather get someone who’s in lockstep with the founder, the owner, the CEO the board, who for all intents and purposes by the time you finish the interview process, it feels … if you’re on the board, you’re doing the hiring, it feels like that guy or gal has been sitting next to you at the board for the last umpteen number of years.
Jeff Hyman: They really get it.
David Perry: Yeah.
Jeff Hyman: So just for the listener, when you say intrinsic, just let’s be specific, give a couple of examples of non-money, non-monetary reasons that are good, solid reasons for someone to take a new position.
David Perry: I can give you real examples. We had a guy a couple decades ago … in doing the research that we did before we approached the candidate, and then in a subsequent conversation, and I talk about this in one of the books, I think we discovered that he actually wanted to play in the NHL. He tried. He tried out. He didn’t make it. When I was talking to him all through the process in floating these trial balloons, I saved the last trial balloon to the offer. The trial balloon … I started with, I can’t remember his name. We’ll call him Bob. I said, “Bob, I know you tried out for the NHL. You didn’t make it. I know your son is a keen hockey player, and you’d love to see him try out, and I think he would too.” He was like 11 or 12 at the time. I said, “Where you lived now, it’s not really conducive to trying out, let alone playing hockey, but if you move here, to Boston, you got a much better shot at that.” I said, “I want you to think about that.”
Jeff Hyman: So you tied it to the dream of his kid, which is pretty compelling to a lot of parents.
David Perry: Yeah, it was. That is what did it. He joined and he did a phenomenal job. His wife closed the deal, because she couldn’t believe that we were so sensitive to their needs, the whole family, to do that.
Jeff Hyman: Before we go further and drill into this, is there a caveat around money where if it’s not at least as much as the candidate is earning today or 80% of what they’re earning today, is there a delta that you found you just can’t get past it, and it’s not worth even investing the time with that individual? Is it a good idea for someone to take a 50% pay cut, or are they going to stay?
David Perry: The answer is it depends. Here are my thoughts. The best candidates come to an organization not because … or because they want to make more money, but because of what the organization stands for-
Jeff Hyman: The mission.
David Perry … and what it’s trying to achieve. It’s personal. So to attract tier one people, we’re talking the top 5%, right?
Jeff Hyman: Yeah.
David Perry: They all have jobs. They all have great jobs. If they’re in between jobs, it’s for like a millisecond, and there are a thousand companies lined up trying to play the let’s get Jeff lotto.
Jeff Hyman: Sure. They’re probably making good money today.
David Perry: They’re always making good money. So, to attract the best, you first have to engage their heart. That’s what I mean by getting them to understand what the organisation stands for. Then once you’ve spoken to the heart, really, you have to speak to the head next, because great candidates are going to want to understand the organization’s business goals, what their limitations are, what roadblocks are sitting there, the challenges, the assumptions, and its blind spots. So, they’re going to ask those questions, so you’ve got to be prepared to do that.
Once their head is engaged, and this is all before you start really even interview them, right? Once the head’s engaged, you have to address the feet. What I mean by the feet is, the best people want to understand the organisational culture, we call it fit, and how things actually happen. There’s always a structure, and there’s an informal structure, right?
Jeff Hyman: Right. How decisions are really made.
David Perry: Right. In a private corporation like a family company, that’s even more important. To put it succinctly, to attract the best talent, you need to engage the heart, the head, and the feet. To do this, you really need to prepare. You need to dig really deeply into the organisation. What does this have to do with compensation?? I’ll get to it in just one second, but before, you have to go deep inside the organisation to understand all this before you go outside to do any research or talk to anybody.
When you have all that information at hand, it makes having the conversation not about money, but about the impact you’re looking for someone to do and to have. That’s either going to be attractive or it’s not. Quite frankly, when you’re doing your research, I mean, you’ve been at this for decades, right? Before you pick up the phone, if it’s a publicly held company, or you’re going after people that are in publicly held companies, you already know how much they make, right?
Jeff Hyman: Sure.
David Perry: Figuring out how much do they make or finding out how exactly how much they make is trivial.
Jeff Hyman: What about private companies? For example, I do a lot of search work for venture capital companies, private equity companies, a lot of the candidates are at private companies, you have no idea how much they’re making. If in the first conversation, we can only afford to pay 250 and the guy is at 150, is it worth even spending the time? Are we ever going to get there?
David Perry: Well, if you’re going to pay 250 and he’s at 150, he’s probably 100% in. Yeah, I mean, years ago I reallocated the president of, what are they called? Bear with me, it’s not Motorola, I did that as well. Starts with an H, it’s not Honeywell. It doesn’t matter.
Jeff Hyman: HP?
David Perry: No, it wasn’t HP. Sorry.
Jeff Hyman: That’s okay.
David Perry: Senior moment, but he was making 350, and he had just been promoted to Canadian president. He’d been in the company 25 years, he’s just been promoted to worldwide VP sales. He was moving to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. So, [inaudible 00:12:37] Blue Bell, that’s who it was. He turned down the offer, or turned down the offer … he turned down the opportunity to actually talk to me like three times. We finally got him into town. When we came to do the deal, Brian said, “Well, I make 350.” Norm, who’s doing the negotiation around the table with the three of us said, “Well, we’re only looking to pay 175.”
They both looked at me, and they said, “Well, how are you going to make up that delta?” I said, “Well, I’m not, you’re going to.” “Well, how do you expect us to do that?” I said, “Well, that’s easy.” I said, “Six partners are all going to get together. You’re going to take equal number of shares away from yourself. You’re going to give them to him, and you’re going to lend him the money to buy the shares.” I said, “That’ll make up the difference.” Brian looked at him and said, “Yeah, that’ll do it.” This guy came in and tripled the revenue, flipped the company out in three years, everybody made a pile of money, but money’s-
Jeff Hyman: I think the moral of the story is when it comes to game changers, these top 5% people you’re talking about, the delta on the money is often meaningless, compared to the impact that they’re going to make either in driving revenue, turning around a division, cutting cost, etc., right? It’s for a short sighted over $10,000 or $100,000.
David Perry: Well, I always ask clients a question, what’s the value of this individual? By value, I don’t mean compensation.
Jeff Hyman: No, what you delivered for the company.
David Perry: What’s it worth to you? That changes the whole conversation, because then all of a sudden we don’t have to find cash in a drawer, besides the intrinsic stuff, that we can talk about later, and there’s lots of ideas, besides the intrinsic stuff, we can talk about … I call it’s like a cash, but it’s also futures. Where’s the money going to come from?
Jeff Hyman: What about situations where perhaps it’s not the senior-most executive? A lot of our listeners are hiring software developers, marketing people, finance people, mid-level people, and they’ve got bands, ranges, right to work within, and rightfully so, because A, they don’t want to break the bank, or B, they don’t want to piss off everyone else if one developer is making twice as much. What do you do in those cases?
David Perry: I ask two questions. The first question is, is the team any good? I mean, seriously, because if the team’s good, then, hey, everybody wants to play with Peyton Manning, right, so that’s how you package it, right? It becomes less about the money and more about the, wow, look who I get-
Jeff Hyman: I get to work with …
David Perry: Especially techies, right? “Wow, look who I get to play with.” Then the question, if team’s no good, what’s the cost? Until I get someone to identify with the cost. Napoleon said it well years ago, “It’s amazing what men will do for a little piece of ribbon.” It’s the same thing, because at the end of the day, beyond a certain amount of money that anybody wants or needs-
Jeff Hyman: Satisficing, I call it, yeah.
David Perry: Yeah. It’s just a measure. Now it’s what am I going to leave behind, how am I going to leave a dent in the world as Steve Jobs would have said. How am I leaving my mark?
Jeff Hyman: So now let’s get off money and go back to your intrinsic point which I absolutely agree with. How do you begin to uncover, give a mini lesson to the listener if you will, on how to begin to uncover someone’s intrinsic value. Is it as simple as just asking?
David Perry: No.
Jeff Hyman: Obviously you do research, like you said, but you can’t tell some from someone’s LinkedIn profile what’s really important to them. So how do you get at that?
David Perry: That’s a great question. The way I get at that is the same way I’ve done it pretty much for 30 years. I only ever ask one question and I tell the candidate, who isn’t even candidate, they’re-
Jeff Hyman: Yeah, they’re just a prospect, right?
David Perry: I always say, “Listen …” We’ve done the research. We know they’re qualified. We know they can do the job, that’s not an issue. We understand what they’re doing now. So all that stuff is known. What’s not known as if they’re interested. So we got to find out if they’re interested in and if they’re any bloody good, right? So, we send them the position profile. You know how all this works. Then the first conversation is, “Hi, Jeff, my name is … and I have an opportunity I talk to you about, a project I’m working on, and I have no idea if you’re interested, all that kind of stuff.” I said. “I just want to send you some information.”
They get the information, they read it, and it’s a follow-up call. Once they’re interested, then the tables turn, and I go, “Roll me back to when you’re getting out of college, high school, university, whatever, and take me through your life. What’s important to you?” That’s the key. Take me through your life. I didn’t say career. Take me through your life. Don’t talk about career. What’s important to you? They’ll tell me.
Jeff Hyman: That explicit, what’s important to you. You really ask that question.
David Perry: Yeah, that’s the only question I ask. Take me through your life, what’s important to you? And they’ll tell me. Some people do it in 15, 20 minutes. I had one guy do it, and I swear to God, it was five and a half, six hours, and we hired him. He ended up being the CTO of Sybase. You remember Sybase?
Jeff Hyman: Yeah, of course.
David Perry: Yeah, and we pulled him out of Sybase and brought him to a company here in Canada. I do a lot of work in the States but this time it happened to be Canada. We ask that question and we listen very intently so that we understand what makes this person tick. Along the way, they tell you what’s important and why they did that, because you’re always asking that question, “Why did you do that?”
Jeff Hyman: Was it their sports career, was it a relocation, was it their partner’s career, whatever.
David Perry: Yeah. You get to understand this stuff. You ask the same question two or three times as you’re going through the process with the search chair and the hiring managers and all that kind of stuff. So, you’re really honing in on this and quickly finding out what’s important.
Jeff Hyman: Seek first to understand before being understood, which for a lot of our listeners, they’re so focused, I think, rightfully so, they’re busy, on I got a job to sell you, I got a job to sell you, I got a job to sell you, versus taking the time to understand what’s important to this individual, then you understand how to position the job opportunity to that individual. Much as a sales rep hopefully doesn’t show up and throw up, they ask a lot of questions of the prospect before they start selling, right? It’s really the same all.
David Perry: Right. What you’ve done in essence is you flipped the equation, and now the hunted, become the hunters.
Jeff Hyman: They’re engaged. They’re really interested.
David Perry: Because now they get that we get them. Then from there it’s just straight into the interview process, make sure that the fit’s there, the skills are there, the abilities are there. Then as we’re going through, we’re not just tying it to their intrinsic wants and needs, but at the same time we’re tying their compensation to the KPIs that we defined when we set out the parameters.
Jeff Hyman: One thing I’m confused about, David, is, everything you’re saying makes sense, it sounds time consuming. I can understand the listener saying, “Five hours? I don’t have time to listen to a guy’s story for five hours.” Well, one person, yes, but if I’m talking to five candidates or 50 or whatever, before I even know if they’re qualified, before I’ve even interviewed them, because I think you said this happens before we’re really doing our assessment or vetting interviews, reference checks, background checks. How do I have time to do this?
David Perry: You don’t. Why would you spend five hours with every person? Here’s the bottom line. I’ll give you a perfect example. This is the most elaborate example we ever had. We needed to hire a CFO in New York for a start-up. There were certain qualifiers that the person had to meet. According to Zoom info, there were 32,000 call it 32,640 in change CFOs in New York, Manhattan proper. How do get through 32,000 people? The research team did. They got in eight weeks they went from start to finish offer in eight weeks. We went from 32,000 some odd people down to 650, down to 50, down to 12, down to seven. Interviewed seven.
Jeff Hyman: So I get a lot of the … whatever that number was 30,000 to the short list was a lot of research. I get that. I get that you interviewed … how many? Seven?
David Perry: Seven.
Jeff Hyman: I get that. It’s the little bit in between that I’m stuck on. How do I get from a relatively short list of 20, 50, 100 people prospects to use your term, how I quickly get that down to the seven I want to spend time with an interview if I have to … not that I have to, but if I want to have conversations to understand their intrinsic motivators, it just sounds really time consuming.
David Perry: No, it’s not. It’s really not. The seven that we got down to had met all the parameters, had read the position profile, and they filled out the confidential candidate brief. We don’t use resumes because waiting for resume adds four months to a typical search. Most people would rather have their teeth pulled than do a resume. So, we send off the questionnaire. They answer the eight questions. They send it back and we’re having a conversation. So they’ve been through that. So, we already know that they can do the job. They’ve seen the job. They’re interested in it. Now they want the conversations.
So my issue is, is the fit right? So those seven is, is the fit right? We already know about the skills and the abilities. Is the fit right? So asking that question, “Take me through your career from college until now? What’s important to you?” is usually 45 minutes to an hour. Believe me, anybody’s got 45 minutes to an hour even times seven because ultimately if you get it wrong, you got to do it again. You want to talk about numbers. I’ve now done 1099. I’m waiting for my 1100 search, my 1099 searches, I’ve replaced five people.
Jeff Hyman: Amazing. Two of them work upfront.
David Perry: Yeah. So that when we’re sitting in front of the clients and all your listeners can do the thing. If they understand what needs to be done and how it needs to be done and how they’re going to reward the person and they understand what that person looks like and they can make a compelling argument as to why you need to come and play with me, it’s easy.
Jeff Hyman: The inverse is true David. If I can’t make that argument, then I … if it’s not a great job or opportunity or culture or company, then I’m wasting time trying to land rockstars because they’re never going to come. Like I should fix my basic problems before trying to recruit great people-
David Perry: Correct.
Jeff Hyman: … and come.
David Perry: That includes when we do due diligence on a client and an opportunity, by the end of the first meeting whether it’s on the phone or in person or it’s person, not only do we understand all the pluses and minuses of the company and the opportunity but we understand fairly well the positives and the shortcomings of the staff that aren’t being replaced and on the Board of Directors where the strength is [inaudible 00:24:00]. So we’ve done a complete swap. So you do that. Most business owners mentally do that every single day. They have to.
Jeff Hyman: They just haven’t used it in the recruiting process.
David Perry: Correct.
Jeff Hyman: Got it. So, you’re your thinking like a team … Sorry. You’re thinking like a coach of a sports team. Who are my players, where are my strengths, who’s on first, what’s on second. I understand how am I going to land this shortstop because of the team he or she is going to have an opportunity to work with.
David Perry: Correct. I’m going to enjoy reading your book. I really do especially if you put it like this.
Jeff Hyman: I’m not a sports nut but there’s so many analogies.
David Perry: It’s so easy for people to relate. We talk about fantasy football. I talk about fantasy football in both books. I did that because most people understand fantasy football. What I’d like your listeners to understand is if money wasn’t an object and it’s not, if money wasn’t an object, who would you pick to put in your team? Go crazy. So now that you’ve got that, how can I make that happen?
Jeff Hyman: Right. How do you go after them with a compelling story? You may have to change the role. You may have to retitle it. You may have to rescope if. If it was just head of sales and you want land that particular woman, you may need to broaden it to VP of sales and marketing or whatever it is. You morph your roles and your structure around great talent because it’s so hard to find versus trying to shoehorn them in.
David Perry: Correct.
Jeff Hyman: If it’s … Go ahead.
David Perry: I was going to say, can you see Bill Gates or Steve Jobs like 30 years ago going, “Oh this is a really great idea.” “It’s what?” “It’s software.” I have to wear something? No, I don’t like clothes. No, it’s not what I mean. Where are we going to work? In your garage. We’re going to work … I’m going to work at your garage. Can you imagine the salesmanship and the vision that had to go into that?
Jeff Hyman: They were probably the best recruiters in history, right?
David Perry: So for all your listeners, suck it up. You figure it out. It’s not that hard. It’s not that hard for us.
Jeff Hyman: If you invest the time, my philosophy is you’ll make it up on the back end because you won’t be micromanaging a bunch of B and C players. So, it is time consuming, a little time consuming. You had to shift in the time to the frontloaded instead of backloaded managing people.
David Perry: Yeah. When you hire correctly, you look forward. You don’t worry about what’s going on behind you. We talked about … I grew up the United Sates Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs. I watched the Thunderbirds fly every single day 330, 345. That team of seven planes took off. The guy who’s at the peak is not worrying about the guy on the left and the right what they’re doing.
Jeff Hyman: Yeah, he’s focused on what he’s doing.
David Perry: He’s focused on what he’s doing and he knows because they’re all at the same level. They’re are all A-players. Everybody knows what they’re doing. He has confidence in them. That’s what you want to do with the business. So you hire A-players and you get back so much of your life and so much of your time because you don’t have to worry about the kind of minutiae.
Jeff Hyman: You also have to be committed to exiting B and C players even if they get through … because you’re not going to be perfect. So when you do hire a B player by accident, if you keep them, I find that the A players get very frustrated because it brings the whole team standard down. One last … yeah go ahead.
David Perry: I was going to say I just came back from a psychometric conference in Romania of all places. One of the slides was on Romania’s Got talent. You know America’s got talent?
Jeff Hyman: Yeah.
David Perry: Romania’s Got Talent and I was teasing them because last year I talked about … Oh good Lord not Olga Korbut… Nadia Comaneci… because of the town we’re in Nadia came from. So they understand what a perfect 10 looks like, right?
Jeff Hyman: Yeah, sure.
David Perry: So if you’re hiring somebody, the last interview step should be that America’s Got Talent, that sit down in front of the board. The candidates sit down in front of the group. The group that are doing the hiring says, “Here’s my 30, 60, 90 days.” Why? For two reasons. One, we all make sure were in lockstep and B because when the candidate starts, they’re not thinking, “What am I going to do?”
Jeff Hyman: Right. We’ve already got the plan.
David Perry: The plan is there. Everybody is in lockstep. We’re going forward right away. There’s no wasted time.
Jeff Hyman: Totally agree. In the couple of minutes we have remaining, let’s talk about a very specific case. It happens often which is counter offers. So, setting aside a million dollar check kind of situation. We find our candidate. We make the offer. They say yes. We’re probably going to say yes. They receive a counter offer from their employer. What is the best way to overcome that issue and reassure the candidate that taking a counter offer is never a good idea?
David Perry: So, my thoughts on the counteroffers come from two different ends. We flow trial balloons all the way through. So, when we make an offer, it’s accepted. I haven’t had anybody accept a counteroffer … it’s got to be 15 years.
Jeff Hyman: They’ve received counter offers?
David Perry: They’ve received them.
I tell them, “Hey listen …”
I ask them in the confidential candidate brief, what it’s going to take for your company to keep you? they’ll tell me and I’ll ask them through the process. “What’s going to take for XYZ to keep you?” I havc to address that as I’m going to through. If we can’t address it, give them the reason for having them come and work with us, then we offered it to the wrong guy.
When someone walks into your office and says, “It’s been a slice Jeff but I’m going over to XYZ Corporation.” Most people go into a panic and make a counteroffer. I say, “No, don’t do that”. That’s just insulting. Because first just spent a lot of time and effort mulling over their futures and they think it’s better somewhere else.
So, you jump u – sexual harassment aside – give them a hug, shake their hand and say, “That’s great. Tell me about the new role. What are you going to be doing?”
Why? Because you and I both know that at the end of the first week things are going well at the new job. At the end of the second week, they’re going, “well, geez, nobody likes XYZ Corporation…”
Jeff Hyman: That grass wasn’t greener necessarily.
David Perry: Exactly. Right? By the end of the third week, you’re going, “This is astro turf. S***. I thought it was real.” No. So what are you doing? You phone up on a Friday morning. At the end of week three they go, “So, like, really…”
Jeff Hyman: You’re ready to come back.
David Perry: No, they go, “You want to have a coffee? How is it going?” You just let them gently come back. It’s easy if you congratulated them going out the door. So celebrate it when someone gets a better offer.
Jeff Hyman: Yes, but you’re talking about … if I’m clear, you’re talking about it from the employer standpoint when one of my folks is going to leave.
David Perry: Correct.
Jeff Hyman: I was referring to you’d made the offer to a candidate. They say yes. They call you the next day and say, “I got bad news. I got a counteroffer and I’m going to stay.” How do you overcome that? Can you elaborate?
David Perry: Sure. I say, “Great. Tell me about it.” I listen. I’ll sit it out. I lost a deal that I saved. I lost a deal three years for a client that dragged their feet too long. Board of Directors couldn’t get their act together and that’s a whole another story and make this offer in time. Another recruiter scooped in and made this guy a phenomenal offer and he accepted it. I got to phone the CEO and say, “Hey listen, he’s gone. We missed him.” He said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I told you about this other offer.” They said, “I didn’t think you were serious.” I said, “You know me by now. It’s been five years. I’m always serious.” He said, “What can we do?” I said, “Nothing.”
So, I waited three days to call the client back and I said, “You know, I’d like to give this guy a call and just test the water because I suggested he take two weeks in between opportunities.” I haven’t announced yet but he had taken the offer. I called the candidate up and I said, “I don’t suppose really consider talking to us again if we could actually get this shit together. I know your wife doesn’t really want to move to …” I can’t remember where it was. Somewhere in the boonies. He said, “Well not really.” I said, “Great!” We put the deal back together.
So, the night before he was supposed to start at the other company, like quarter to midnight literally we signed the deal. It was a three-year no cut contracts. No bullshit. You’re not getting rid of this guy. We love you. We’re committed. We got a prenup. It’s a three year no cut contract for $4.2 million. He showed up at our client’s instead. We couldn’t have done that if we hadn’t paused for a couple of days to let all the feelings-
Jeff Hyman: A cooling off period.
David Perry: … Yup to let all the feelings for me and decide whether he really was comfortable or not or under the gun. When I say to clients, when a counteroffer happens, just relax. We’ll take care of it. I’ll talk to you in a couple of days and hope we’re going to make the best offer the first time because we’ve been floating trial balloons all the way through and they were just reacting to emotion. As I always say, “there’s always more than one person involved in the decision. Usually a spouse. There are always family considerations. Maybe they came in to play. Let’s just wait it out.”
Jeff Hyman: Isn’t it worth reminding the candidate that taking counter offer … I forget the exact statistic results in them being gone from the company usually like 80% or 90% of the time within a year?
David Perry: So yes, however, there’s never actually been any statistical evidence of that. There’s never actually been a study that says that this is true. It’s like people say 90% of people find their jobs through networking. Based, on what? Based on Dick Bolles from ‘What Color is Your Parachute’, saying so 30 years ago? It’s a different industry. We’re fighting for the best and brightest in America. We’re not just fighting for the best and brightest down the street or around the country. We’re fighting companies in China, in India who understand that the best are the best no matter where they are. Hiring Greatness my other book, just came out and simplified Chinese. I didn’t write the book for the Chinese. I wrote the book for the Americans.
Jeff Hyman: Right. They need it too. They’re using it too.
David Perry: Yeah.
Jeff Hyman: This was phenomenal. I got a lot out of it. I’m sure our listeners did too. How can people learn more about your practice or get in touch with you?
David Perry: That’s a great question and they can just download the website www.P-E-R-R-Y-M-A-R-T-E-L.com. We actually have … we’re written our first brochure ever in 29 years It’s called The Inside-out Approach, eight pages. It shows you our six stage 14 step inside-out process and what you do. I did this because not only it’s something that we follow, we tell companies, if you’re going to hire a recruiter and you should, it’s not something that most people should do themselves. You’re going to hire a research firm, understand what they need to do and here’s a tool-set to manage them. Make sure you get maximum amount of juice out of every recruitment assignment that you hand out.
Jeff Hyman: Unfortunately, a lot of people pick recruiters for the wrong reasons and that’s where the troubles begin. David, this is great. Thank you so much for making the time. It’s great to have you on the show.
David Perry: Thank you Jeff and may I make one suggestion?
Jeff Hyman: Please.
David Perry: Consider please allowing me to come back in a couple of weeks on your show and interview you.
Jeff Hyman: Oh my God!
David Perry: About your new book.
Jeff Hyman: I love that idea. I’ll take you up on it.
David Perry: Cool. Have a wonderful day.
Jeff Hyman: Thank you.
Intro Speaker: That’s all for this episode of the Strong Suit Podcast. The next step is to head to strongsuit.com or you can join our free live webinar. You’ll learn the proven method for recruiting rockstars to your company. If you liked what you heard today, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and write us a five-star review on iTunes. This is the Strong Suit Podcast where we show you how to recruit rockstars.