Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’ve spent weeks trying to find that ‘perfect, candidate for your hiring manger, and then finally you do! The manager is very excited, ready to end the search and move the business forward, but the offer is not accepted, and you are now back to square 1…everyone is frustrated.
As many of my peers and colleagues in the recruiting industry have pointed out, this is one of the more competitive, candidate driven marketplaces we have seen in years, probably not since the dot com era of the 1990’s.
Like all business disruptions, the best companies adapt. As a recruiting company, we have the luxury of seeing a variety of approaches from our clients. To help all of us, I wanted to share 5 of the best practices we see that are helping attract and more importantly, close great candidates!
1. Move Quickly and be Flexible
Wrap your interview process up in 1 week. If this sounds tough, ask yourself if dragging out an interview process is a good reason to lose great talent? There are plenty of reasons you’ll lose amazing candidates, and some of them you cannot do anything about. This one, you can!
Being the first to make an offer is a big deal! It starts the clock on the other offers, and it shows your interest. Also, momentum helps…getting an offer shortly after a great interview solidifies the great feeling they had, and emotion plays a big role in a decision this size.
Also, we understand the importance of a consistent interview process to compare candidates to each other (and avoid any appearance of favoritism), but not all candidates like some interview processes. Some candidates are uncomfortable in panel settings, some won’t take a tech test upfront, others don’t want to conduct a “1 way video interview”, and others can’t set aside 2 hours on the same day. Think ahead of how to still check all your qualification boxes, but in a manner that can accommodate individual preferences. This will help you keep all potential candidates interested in considering you.
2. Align your opportunity with what’s most important to your candidate:
Ask the candidates what is most important to them, but don’t accept the ‘standard’ answers (better technology, more stable company, better culture, better compensation…blah, blah!) You need to dig to understand what really excites them about what they do for a living, and where they see their future.
Many candidates don’t know, so help them. Ask them questions like “when you were really crushing in your last job(s), what were you doing…what was going on?” And equally, “what would you like to avoid in your next job”?
Also Focus on your cultural alignments: How does your company’s environment, camaraderie, team budling, career development, risk taking, vision, community involvement, and team member’s hobbies align with the candidate’s activities and values?
3. Make them feel part of the team during the interview:
If you like someone (and you trust your current employees like their jobs) have candidates meet their potential peers during the interviews! We’ve seen candidates take jobs due to this, telling us “I know this isn’t the highest paying offer, but I really gelled with the team and can see myself working with them!” Changing jobs is one of the top 3 stressors in life…what a fantastic way to help ease that stress and have them feel comfortable about where they go next.
4. ABC – always be closing:
You do need to ask, almost every time you speak to your candidates, “how are you feeling about the opportunity now?” “If you received an offer, are you ready to accept it?” Also, if you get a short ‘yeah / probably’ answer, without much detail behind why they are ready to accept, you need to dig. The goal is to know what your offer needs to look like to get someone to accept before you present it. You might need to ask “What concerns do you have’, or “if this offer isn’t a 10 out of 10 for you, what is missing?”
5. Deploy a “Roll out the Red Carpet” Offer:
Since this such a big decision for anyone, try to really show them how important they are to the company. We suggest you get Sr. Executives involved with offers, to talk to the candidates about how important they are to the company mission. These executives need be prepped to address any specific concerns. Have everyone they met during the interviews send a note welcoming them, and why they think they’ll love it there!
We suggest you set up a call to go over the offer (video preferred), so you can gauge reactions to everything, and fully understand any concerns. Bring your own excitement to that call!
You probably won’t get them all, but hopefully you get most of them, and since first impressions are formed so quickly (and are so hard to change), having an efficient, positive experience will not only help you close more, but it should also help set them up for an exciting start.
If you would like to get more tips or best practices on recruiting, don’t hesitate to contact me.