As recruiters and hiring managers, we all know how disappointing it is to have the perfect candidate – and then lose them. You know, the candidate who was practically created for the position. The one who has perfectly relevant experience, the exact skills needed to do the work required, good chemistry with your team, excellent references, and a desired salary that fits within the the budget for the position. You’re thrilled that you’ve finally found “the one,” and excited to make them an offer.
The only problem is, your offer gets rejected. You’re disappointed and a bit baffled – you have a great company, made a decent offer, and thought you were all set, only to find out that the candidate said yes to another company instead.
Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to accept your job offer, no matter how great your company or your opportunity may be. But you can increase the chances that your job offer will be accepted by making sure to pay attention to a few things along the recruitment path.
Here are a few pointers:
Treat candidates like gold
Be professional. Respect them. Be mindful.
In most markets, job openings outweigh the number of suitable candidates there are to fill them, so employers have to stand out. This means that you’ve got competition, and candidates can be picky. Increase your chances of hiring the best candidates by treating each potential hire well.
Clear, friendly communication throughout the recruitment process is important. A warm welcome when they come in to interview and prompt feedback after meetings and calls are simple ways to make a good impression on your candidates.
Timing is also important – remember that quality people are in demand, so moving things along quickly will help ensure that you don’t lose great people. Dragging out the interview process or delaying an offer can lose you precious time – and the best candidates.
Sell candidates on your company and opportunity
Remember, an interview is a two-way conversation. Not only will you be asking the candidate questions about their experience, skills, and goals. They should also be curious to know more about your company, what you are looking for, and where you are heading.
You should also be selling yourself and your team. Highlight the best your company has to offer, giving them reasons they should want to work for you. Tell them why you stand out and what makes you different from the competition.
Make it personal and tell them why you joined the company and what makes you happy being part of the business. Make them want to join you!
Give them a future, not just a “job”
Some candidates are looking for a next step on their career path and have no plans to stay in one place forever. But others – especially those who are ambitious – are looking for a company and team they can grow with and are thinking long-term.
Show them the potential for growth within your team, and you’ll be more likely to get those who want to stay for some time.
Make an offer they can’t refuse
Most companies do what they can to get great candidates hired at the lowest market rate possible.
Instead of trying to negotiate them down to the lowest salary they’re willing to take (or worse – less than their lowest desired amount), consider offering them what they are asking for. If they’re a very desirable candidate, offer them a higher salary than requested, or throw in extra perks that will make the offer better than what they asked for.
A performance-based bonus or extra holidays will cost you relatively little compared to what you can gain by having someone great on your team. Keep in mind it is not only about the money and offering perks others won’t such as flexibility, training or responsibility will make the offer stand out.
Remember, you can’t force someone to accept your offer and join your team.
But by making sure you have a great interview process, you’re treating all candidates well (don’t forget that word gets around!), selling your opportunity and giving them a place they can work and grow, as well as a desirable offer, you are much more likely to get your best candidates hired.
Written by Talya Shoup