Have you ever had a situation where you absolutely loved a candidate, but they didn’t quite feel the same way? Like relationships, there are going to be times where the candidate simply isn’t that into you. Whether they’ve found a better position, or just don’t feel yours isn’t the right one, it happens! The key to attracting those top performers could come down to asking yourself, “what can we do to better positions ourselves to candidates?”
First and foremost, something you might be ignoring is selling yourself to the candidate. In tight markets where candidates are comfortable in their current positions, or have many options, this is an absolute must! Yes, they are coming to interview for your open position, but they’re also interviewing your company as their next home for the foreseeable future. Gone are the days of firing questions and candidates waiting on pins and needles. As a hiring manager, you need to show the candidate why your position and place of employment is a destination and not just another interview.
Here are some tips on how to put your best forward during an interview:
● Move fast – The market is hot and candidates have many options. Schedule your interviews quickly. Constant communication with the candidate is critical. They need to “feel the love”.
● Be personable - If this person is going to be working for you, or in your department, they need to feel that connection. In my experience debriefing with candidates after interviews, the most common phrase I hear from the people who go onto accept offers is “we really hit it off.” Asking a candidate how their drive over went, how their day is going, or other “small talk” topics is a great start! Discover what is important to them when looking for a new position. Ask “what do you do for fun?” This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but trying to build that connection through a more conversational style will go a long way in getting more accepted offers.
● Paint the bigger picture - Many times, interviewers get so caught up in their answers, and come off short or closed off. For questions you ask, or answers you give, tie those into the bigger picture of the role within the company. How is this position or person going to make an impact on the business? Interviewers who paint a picture can create excitement that carries through to the offer stage.
● Roll out the red carpet - Think of an interviewee as a very important client or a guest coming on-site. Would you greet them with a simple “hello” and walk them to a conference room? Selling the candidate starts with the moment they walk in the door. Offer them water. Take them on a plant tour and show them where they will be working. Allow them to interview with all members of the team. Give them a parting gift with your logo on it. Ask them if your position feels like a good fit for them and why? Address any concerns. These might seem insignificant in qualifying the candidate, but these are the little things that make your opportunity more attractive. It shows you care.
● Respond Quickly – Reach out to your candidate with interview feedback the next day. Ask them how they feel about your position after learning more during the interview. Build the relationship. Let them know that you are very interested and you intend to extend an offer.
● Interview feedback is a gift -The best way to assess if you’re being effective in engaging candidates when they come on-site is through post-interview feedback. If people are voluntarily opting out of the process for reasons outside of the position not being a fit, this is something you need to address. Whether it’s a candidate you plan to pass on, or rock star you want to lead your sales team, they should leave impressed. If they’re not, that’s ok! Treat every piece of feedback as an opportunity to get better.
In an extremely competitive job market like we’re seeing today, these are the little things that can differentiate you from competing offers. The goal is to be a desired destination, and not just another interview.
- by Philip Guiffre, Recruiting Consultant - The Panaro Group LLC