How to find the best candidate that you can't hire. After three meetings and much salary discussion between a client, a candidate, and myself, I was confronted by a wholly avoidable situation today. The client really wanted to hire the candidate and the candidate was quite keen to join the client but the money was not in the budget. In fact it wasn't even close. How, you may be asking, could I make such a rookie mistake and waste everyone's time? Why, you must certainly be adding, would the client go to all the trouble and put themselves through all the pain of finding the perfect candidate only to come up short at the offer stage? Who, the logical next question, would do such a thing? Well, it seems, the client was fooling himself. He made an age-old mistake when I presented him with the bio and resume of a completely qualified and motivated candidate (as is my habit.) He wanted to "check her out," and see what was out there. He assured me, and thus the candidate, and himself that if she was the right man for the job he could come up with the money. Well, he couldn't and she is not motivated enough to take a job for less than she is making. The repercussions of this are not as severe for the candidate or myself as for the client. I will continue to introduce the best candidates China has to offer to my clients and the candidate will find her next position as sure as I am sitting here. The client is the one who will now judge every candidate he meets for the job against the one that got away. For a while they will all fall short until he realizes that she was a great candidate and he will have to settle for what his budget allows. A better strategy for our client would have been to take an honest look at the budget and meeting only those candidates whose expectations fell into the range. On top of the usual salary questions and discussions of bonuses and internal equity I always provide my clients with the current salary of the candidates I introduce, their expectations, and my input, when necessary. This is to avoid just such a situation and to ensure that the client will be able to successfully hire the best candidate for the job. All that and no car analogies!