In a previous blog post, we addressed the topic of “Why Candidates Are Turning Down a Job Offer from Your Client.” Since we don’t like to present problems without also suggesting some solutions, that’s exactly what we’re going to do with this blog post.
If you’re an employer and you want a candidate to accept your offer, you must start early in the hiring process. You can’t expect to neglect top candidates all throughout the process and then make big push at the end of the process. By then, it could be too late. In fact, it probably is too late.
Losing top talent during the hiring process can be costly to organizations. Hiring B-level and C-level talent instead of A-level talent negatively impacts the bottom line. The problem, of course, is that A-level talent is the most difficult to hire. The current state of the economy and the employment marketplace only underscores that difficulty.
How to get a candidate to accept an offer
It requires time, energy, and effort to find, recruit, and successfully hire the best candidates. Employers can not afford to be reactive. Instead, they must be proactive, and that’s why they enlist the services of an experienced recruiting agency working in their industry or niche. However, an employer can’t rely 100% on a third-party recruiter to do everything necessary to ensure that a candidate accepts a job offer. That employer, specifically the hiring manager and other company officials that work for the employer, have some “skin in the game.”
Below are seven ways to increase the odds of candidates accepting a job offer:
#1—“Sell” both the opportunity and the organization.
Employers need to actively recruit top candidates. They need to be convinced that the opportunity is the next best step in their career. However, it’s not just about the job. It’s also about the organization. Plenty of candidates have been “sold” on the job, but not the company. The end result: they rejected the offer. The employer—and the recruiter that the employer hires—must “sell” the entire package.
#2—Streamline the hiring process.
Candidates do not want to be part of a hiring process that drags on and on. They will lose interest and drop out of that process. Not only that, but they will also not tell you that they’ve dropped out. It’s not like they’re going to give you a call and say, “Hey, your process is taking too long. I’m out. Peace.” Heck, candidates are “ghosting” on scheduled face-to-face interviews. They’re not going to tell you when they’ve checked out.
#3—Communicate well during the process.
Candidates do not want to be “left hanging.” They want to know what is happening during the hiring process. They want to know what the next steps of the process will be, if there are going to be any for them. If they don’t hear from the hiring manager after a phone screen or an interview, they’re going to assume that they’re no longer a candidate for the position. Even if they actually are still a candidate for the position.
#4—Set expectations often.
While you’re communicating well with top candidates, also set expectations. This is related to #3 on our list. Candidates need to know what to expect from you, and they need to understand what you expect from them. Without the setting of expectations, you can’t point back to the setting of those expectations if those expectations are not met. In addition, this keeps candidates more engaged in the process.
#5—Respect the candidates’ time and confidentiality.
Employers sometimes make the mistake of scheduling marathon interviews or calling candidates back for three or four rounds of interviews. Candidates do not like that. Not only that, but they might start to think that perhaps the management team is an indecisive bunch. Top candidates don’t like to work for indecisive people. This also does not contribute to a streamlined hiring process, which was #2 on our list. (“We are all connected by the Great Circle of Hiring.”)
#6—Make the candidate feel wanted.
This is an intangible aspect to hiring top talent. The best candidates want to feel wanted. Presumably, they already feel wanted by their current employer. At least, they should, if their current employer wants to keep them. That means if your client wants to secure their services, then that client must make the candidate feel even more wanted than their current employer does. That’s how you get a candidate to accept an offer.
#7—Make a compelling overall offer.
You can’t get to this point in the hiring process and then try to low-ball the candidate. The rule is simple: if you’re dealing with a top candidate, then your client make a top offer. After all, they’re not shopping for electronics. And a compelling offer entails everything, not just starting salary. It entails benefits, perks, schedule flexibility, paid time off, etc. However, low-balling the compensation decreases the chances that the candidate will be accepting a job offer.
Are you sure the candidate will accept YOUR offer?
As mentioned above, an employer can’t rely 100% on a third-party recruiter to do all of these tasks. (An internal recruiter who is an employee of the company? Perhaps.) Let’s put it this way. Of course a candidate is going to think that a recruiter wants them to join the organization. That’s because they know the recruiter will earn a recruiting fee. Not only that, but the candidate is not going to work for the recruiter.
They’re going to work for the company. So they want the company to make them feel wanted. That means somebody from the company must make them feel wanted and not just the third-party recruiter who is trying to make it happen. The employer must fully participate in doing what it takes to convince a candidate to accept its offer.
Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars on our website. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.
Industry trainer Scott Love of the Attorney Search Group has a webinar video on the Top Echelon website that can help with the dilemma posed in this blog post. The title of that video is “Capturing Candidate loyalty: Three Ways to Keep Hot Candidates.”
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
- Big Biller recruiter software
- Top Echelon split fee recruiting network
- Top Echelon Contracting recruitment back office
For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.