Use an Assumptive Close to Source More Candidates

Sales are a big part of recruiting. Without sales skills, you won’t make many placements. If you’re having trouble getting candidates to commit, you might try an assumptive close.

What is an assumptive close?

An assumptive close is a sales technique you can use to source candidates. With assumptive language, you act like the candidate is going to accept a job offer throughout the entire recruiting process. By using this technique for closing candidates, your confidence makes it harder for candidates to turn you down.

You can also call an assumptive close a secondary question close. Often, you give a candidate a choice between two options rather than ask if they are interested in being placed. The candidate agrees to a secondary question, making the idea that they want to work with you automatic.

For example, you might start a conversation with a candidate by asking, “Would you rather work with Client A or Client B?” Instead of deciding if they want an offer at all, the candidate thinks about which option they prefer.

You don’t want to trick candidates into working with you. Using an assumptive close is not about manipulation. If a candidate is not interested, they will not accept an offer.

Your goal should be to get the candidate to realize the benefits of the position. Candidates sell the positions to themselves. As a recruiter, your job is to help candidates get a full grasp on how your offer could change their lives.

Assumptive closing techniques

Try the following strategies to source candidates with an assumptive close.

Source qualified and interested candidates

No matter how confident you are in a placement, you can’t source a candidate who isn’t interested in the position. Don’t push a candidate who is clearly declining. And, don’t pursue a candidate you know doesn’t match your client’s needs.

A candidate must be truly qualified for the job. Make sure they have the necessary skills, experience, and values for the position. Analyze any of the candidate’s information that you already have in your applicant tracking system to gauge their fit for the position.

With an assumptive close, you must know that the position will benefit the candidate. Understand the chances of a candidate accepting an offer early on when sourcing.

Ask questions that give you insight into the candidate’s thought process, like, “How would you feel if I made you an offer today?” That way, you can resolve issues as they come up, and you’re less likely to lose talent at the end of the process.

Use next level questions

Assumptive language is about asking the right questions at the right time. Focus on next level questions that skip a vague are you interested? inquiry.

The assumptive close questions you ask should eliminate subjective words, such as if, were, would, and could. Instead, try active words like when, where, and will. These questions help the candidate explore what they want in a job and match the details to your offer.

For example, you might ask:

  • What kind of job do you want?
  • When can you start?
  • What do you like about this job?

Asking questions has many benefits when sourcing candidates. The following are several ways assumptive closing questions can help you find talent:

  • You learn more about your candidate. Information is valuable and helps you accurately place a candidate.
  • Questions encourage engagement, which is crucial for gaining trust and showing you’re on the candidate’s side.
  • You can guide the conversation. Questions put you in the driver’s seat and help you influence outcomes.

Be confident and considerate

For an assumptive close to work, you need to have confidence in the candidate. Tell the candidate the main benefit of the position and ask your secondary questions. Avoid pausing between the benefits and questions.

Assumptive closing techniques can be dangerous if you don’t listen to candidates. You must also be considerate. Keep the conversation casual and pay attention to what candidates say.

Over-talking loses more sales than it gains. Avoid being too much like a salesperson. Candidates can sense when you’re trying to sell them something, causing them to become suspicious and pull back.

Be engaging and get to the root of what candidates are looking for in a position. If you are confident and show that you understand them, they are more likely to follow your lead. Draw candidates towards the benefits of the position so that they also become confident.

Test the close throughout the process

Closing on a placement doesn’t happen at the end of the recruitment process. You need to try to close at every sourcing stage. Subtly let your candidate know that you assume they will commit each time you communicate.

Try to get the candidate to agree on the details of the position before making the offer. Discuss things like bonuses, working from home, paid time off, and work environment. Ask questions including this information, such as:

  • I know this company offers X weeks vacation time. Would you accept that?
  • If my client offered $XX per hour, would you accept?
  • What might prevent you from accepting an offer?

These kinds of questions get the candidate thinking about the position, eliminating surprises at the end of the close. A candidate will reflect on how the job fits into their life. By the time a candidate receives a job offer, they’re often ready to accept.

Assumptive close examples

With an assumptive close, focusing on the benefits of the job helps move a candidate forward in the recruiting and hiring process. Foster a positive, low-pressure conversation that helps you learn about the candidate.

With assumptive closes, using either/or questions helps you move candidates closer to a decision.

For example, you have two clients with similar job orders. You find a candidate who meets the requirements for both.

Instead of asking if the candidate is interested, compare a detail from each client. One job might focus more on administrative tasks while the other involves more sales. You could say, “Would you rather work behind-the-scenes or with the public?”

Also, ask questions you know the candidate will agree with. Answering “yes” repeatedly reinforces positive answers and helps you build trust.

For example, you might ask, “Your salary requirement was $XYZ, right?” or “You were interested in the travel opportunities, weren’t you?” Reiterating information you know is true reinforces positivity.

No matter what questions you ask, have a “let’s move forward” attitude. Keep the conversation moving and the candidate excited about the position. Your confidence in the candidate will lessen reservations about the position.

Closing more candidates can be a challenge, but you can make it easier when you join Top Echelon’s Recruiting Network. Gain access to over 3 million candidate resumes in our split fee recruiting network, and bill more today!

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