Making it easy to say "yes"

Through my recent shopping expeditions and resulting rationalizations (to others, not myself), I hear myself saying things like "it would be WRONG not to buy it since it's on sale" or "if you don't buy it now, it may be gone when you decide you want it". I said those things today. And that is how I ended up with a pair of slammin' eggplant patent leather flats.

Stores stock up for the holiday season and then need to move out their merchandise when it's over so the spring stuff can come in. They are motivated to sell. Their motivation meets my American need for more crap and we have a win/win. Anyway, that isn't my point. This time of year, retailers will do what they can to make it easy for you to say "yes". Once a year sale, stock up sales, prices slashed, etcetera.

Recruiting is sales too (well, it's not just sales but there is a huge element of selling involved) and I wonder why we don't do a better job of helping people say "yes". Granted, we have fixed costs around employment so we can't advertise a "signing bonus bonanza" or anything like that. But where stores know they will have people coming in for sales, with gift cards and with returns; when they have their attention, they appeal to their tendency to rationalize (see my quotes above). They think "you are here so how can we make you say yes to more stuff?". They are in the head of that customer at that moment in time.

Right now would be a perfect time for recruiters to get into the heads of prospects. Think about this:

1) End/beginning of year bonuses paid

2) New Years' resolutions

3) Significant holiday/winter vacation expenses

4) Time off to gain a little perspective

5) Friends and relatives asking you how things are going at work over a hot toddy

6) Lots o' time to work on the resume

7) Looming prospect of the return to the office with a pile of work on ones desk/inbox/whatever

And who is taking advantage of all of this? Nobody that I have seen. I'd love to tell you that I have done this but I get caught up in this time of year just like everyone else. I'd like to make a commitment that I will do this next year (and I might), but developing a seasonal recruiting messaging toolkit is a big deal and I have plenty of other things on my plate now as well. Here's just hoping that when the school year ends and people are more inclined to make a geographical move, that I'm prepared. And when the big tech companies pay out their bonuses, I'm prepared. So many milestones, so little time.

Comments (11)

  1. deb says:

    why are there never pictures of the shoes?  i know they have to be fabulous slammin’ eggplant patent flats, but there are never pictures of the fabulous shoes i know you have to own.


    also, you’re so right about striking while people are assessing where they are in life.  

    happy new year!

    all the best!


  2. crawdad13 says:

    Ummm…  What?  I don’t get it.So, wait, are you saying that as a recruiter, now would be a good time for you to try to get someone to change jobs?  Is the rationale that they just got, or about to get, a big bonus from their current employer so they are flush in cash and if they move now they have plenty of time to make their goals at their new company for 2008? 

    I’m not sure that I follow.

    I also don’t get the whole comparison to retail stores having impulse buy items on display so that people who are coming in for something else will spend without really thinking about it just because it is available to them.  How does that tie into recruiting?

    Would you recruit a single person for multiple positions, many of which that individual normally wouldn’t be interested in on the off chance that, at specific times of the year, they might consider it?

    I am honestly not trying to be a Richard, I just really don’t understand the correlation.  Could you elaborate for those of us (or maybe just me) who are too dumb to understand, please?

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    People will most often stay with an employer that they plan to leave until they get their bonus paid out (I’ve been there). As soon as they get it, they are ready to go. The point is that there are work related milestones  that impact peoples’ motivation to change companies.

    The correlation with retail is the seasonality of marketing. Retail does it well, recruiters mostly not at all.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    deb – point taken. I’ll pull out the camera.

    And glad you got my point about marketing to employment prospects.

  5. wine-oh says:

    I miss some of your old postings where you would list out some of the positions you are hiring for. Not that I am looking to make a jump right now or relocate (unless you have a gig in NYC), but I am always curious to read job descriptions similar to what I am in now. I know PM’s at one company might have other responsibilities. Or job functions are different.

    Id also think that if someone were to make a switch now, that the hiring company would compensate them for the bonus they might not get if they leave before bonuses are given out (usually in March).

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    thanks for the feedback, Wine-Oh. I can definitely do more of that. I’ve had some other priorities this year that have kept my blogging on the light side but I can change that.

  7. RJD says:

    >People will most often stay with an employer that they plan to leave until they get their bonus paid out (I’ve been there).

    Or, even more flight-inducing, don’t get their bonuses.

    What about seeking warmer climes?  The Rose Bowl looked a whole lot more comfortable than The Ice Bowl.

  8. wine-oh says:

    No worries at all. A mix of light and not so light is great. Give it balance and shows theres more to life than work. 🙂

  9. Crawdad13 says:

    Even better, you could post a job on your blog, have candidates post their resume’s and let your readers debate over why one person should get the job and not another.  It could be your very own little blog-enabled reality show.

    You could post transcripts of their interviews and we could vote somebody off every day.

    The Reference checks would be awesome!

    Seriously, this would be preferable to about 98% of the job seeking experiences that I have had over the past 3 years.  At least every applicant would be guaranteed feedback; they would know where they stand and why.  People wouldn’t have to listen, wait and hope that they aren’t being lied to.

    There couldn’t be any feet dragging and re-shuffling of priorities while someone, a real person, sits there completely uninformed wondering if they actually liked him or her.

    One of the best things about this reality show would be that, just like in real life, there could be some HR person who is tasked with screening potential candidates but doesn’t have the faintest clue about what the person who gets this job will actually do on a day-to-day basis.  They won’t be able to answer a single substantive question…Moreover, they won’t know enough to ASK a decent question.

    Ultimately, based on this, the only candidates that we, the blog readers, will get to choose from will be the kinds of clock-punchers and robots who have never taken a single risk in their careers, never actually CREATED anything at all, never had an original idea and have the exact same resume, format and all, as the recruiter and the hiring manager.

    I’ve even got the perfect name:


  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    RJD – yeah good point. Disappointing bonuses are very motivating. And regarding LA? I have a love/hate relationship with that place. Miss it but not sure I could live there again. But yeah, winter time; bog snow storms, could make people more motivatedto leave. They are more difficult to predict than bonus pay-outs.

    Wine-Oh, I am trying 😉

    Creawdad- that is scary! I couldn’t do that for a bunch of legal reasons, but would be interesting. OMG, your description is over the top! So while I am going to boycott the idea, I thikn we can do *something* with it. Want something more experiential? I can work with that. We should think about it.

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