As recruiters, getting a job offer accepted is what we thrive on. It’s the perfect win/win situation, where you have positively impacted the business and progressed the career of the new employee.
But we’ve probably all been on the other side of that coin. We’ve encouraged a candidate through the trials and tribulations of the recruitment process.
They’ve impressed at interview, shown enthusiasm for the role, they bring the skills and attitude you’ve been searching for. So you make what you feel is an enticing offer – and they turn it down.
It’s so disappointing. If you feel you’ve found the ‘one’, you’ll have been looking forward to them joining the team. It’s also very frustrating. All those hours that you have invested, and now you’re back to square one. And it impacts the business. More time is passing without a key role filled.
The trouble is that if you’ve found the candidate that is perfect for you, other recruiters are likely to feel the same way about them. The best talent will often have a number of offers to choose from.
How can you ensure you’re the chosen one?
Firstly, build a relationship. Finding a job is a process that takes time. Use that time to really get to know your candidate. You need to understand what is motivating the person to change jobs and what is important to them in a new role. It is rarely money alone.
Many things can be the catalyst for a job change. A feeling of being undervalued, a poor relationship with their manager, a lack of prospects or a failure of their current employer to invest in development. Concerns over the company’s viability might come into play – poor sales figures, others leaving, the threat of cutbacks.
The true reason might take time to come out and need more than one conversation. “There’s a lack of opportunity in my current role” isn’t enough. You need to understand what type of opportunities the person is looking for. Truly understand what motivates them, and you will have more chance of creating a winning proposition.
Make them love your company
Now you understand exactly what they are looking for in a new role, you need to make them want YOUR role. This means tailoring the recruitment process to their needs. You will, of course, have a standard set of questions that you want to use, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make the experience personal.
Finding out what is important to them as people, through conversation, is key. For example, do they have young children that will need good childcare nearby, or are they a gym bunny who likes to workout at the end of the workday? The fact that there is a great nursery or gym around the corner could be the difference between them choosing your role over another. Talking about how the company is family-friendly and flexible when children are ill might just be the clincher.
Or let’s say a driver for change is a distant boss. Think about how you can address this. For example, ensuring the line manager is fully involved in the process and introducing the candidate to other people working for the same manager, who can give them a glowing reference.
Making the offer
Once you reach the point of getting a decision, make sure you reconfirm all the motivators and present the role in a way that shows how you have understood the candidate’s needs and can accommodate them.
A competitive financial package is the starting point, but you also need to address their emotional needs. If the candidate is itching to manage people, highlight how they will be heading a team and how much the members are looking forward to working with them. Do they want to develop a certain skill? Mention when you will be scheduling in training for them. By taking this approach, the implicit message is ‘we care, and we want to make this a success’.
How to get your perfect candidate to say yes
Once you have composed your personalised offer, all that remains is to wait for that resounding YES that all recruiters thrive on. Good luck!
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