There are two separate issues here.
- you were late to the party with some of your candidates. They were already a long way down the process with some other job when you sent them for an interview.
- some other candidates didn't like the job you sent them to.
How can you build your practice as an agent, and deal with these difficulties?
First of all, have more conversation with the hiring manager if you can. Find out more about the job. Find out more about the kind of person they are seeking, and what's good about working for them. HELP THEM figure out how to sell the job opening they have to candidates.
Secondly, as you find new candidates ask them questions about themselves. Here are a few conversation-starter questions.
- What is your idea of an excellent place to work?
- What is your idea
of a terrible place to work?
- What do you hope for when you imagine your
- Are you interviewing anywhere else?
- How far along
are you in the interview process in other places?
- How soon are you hoping to make a change, and why?
- How much notice must you give to your current employer?
Keep in mind that people love to talk about themselves. You can always keep the conversation going by saying "please tell me more about that" or "how so?" when they say something.
Your job is to qualify candidates, and figure out whether they fit the employers for whom you work. It's best for you to find out a lot before you send a candidate to an employer. If a candidate isn't a good fit, don't hesitate to tell him so and move on.
Thirdly, when somebody turns down a candidate or a job, always follow up, always in person or by telephone, never by email, by saying "I am curious about how you made that decision. If you have a moment please tell me your reasoning."
If you have a situation where several good candidates turn a job down after the telephone interview, you should have a conversation with the hiring manager to explore the reasons. It could be simple: they're not offering enough pay. It could be more complex in some way.