Thursday, January 30th, 2020
Looking to fill a much-needed position is no easy task. Sometimes, when you finally go to make your offer, it’s entirely possible you’ll learn they’re mulling other options. Fighting off competitors, right when you think you’re on the cusp of making a splashy hire, can be frustrating. However, it’s important to understand how common it is. In fact, job offers are declined every day. That said, there are certainly some tips we can offer to give you the best opportunity to land your top choice.
Tip 1: Always Be Closing (ABC)
Sure, it’s cliché nowadays to say “Always be closing.” However, the “ABC” rule is rooted in truth, and especially applies to recruiting. Closing a candidate starts on your very first call—waiting until the offer stage is a huge mistake. On that first call, you should be digging as deeply as possible to understand what your candidate wants. If they’ve put themselves on the market, they’re obviously looking for a change, so understanding what prompted the need for change can give you a leg up against your competitors. You can also go as far as asking what other roles they’re currently considering.
Tip 2: Move As Quickly As Your Process Allows
Though your hands might be tied on making the final call on a hire, there are plenty of things you can do to streamline the process on your end. Once a job is posted, don’t waste time scheduling interviews. Don’t space out multiple interviews since that will make the process much longer. And, if you decide on a candidate and get the green light to hire, don’t wait to make your offer, even overnight. The more you can shorten the process, the better chance you have of landing the candidate.
Tip 3: Determine What the Candidate Truly Wants
We touched on this in Tip 1, but it deserves more emphasis. When recruiting, we always assume candidates are hunting for more money. While that’s probably one of their goals, it might not be the end-all, be-all one. By listening during the recruiting process, you can determine what might move the needle for them. Maybe they want a flexible working arrangement. Maybe they want the opportunity for upward mobility. Maybe they’re looking to get out from under an overbearing boss. By listening, you’ll be prepared to make the best offer when the appropriate time comes.
Tip 4: Never—Ever—Lowball Your Prized Recruit
This one should be obvious, but we see it happen all the time. Companies give candidates the royal treatment throughout the hiring process only to falter right at the finish line. In many instances, it’s not on purpose, and more due to not understanding what current market prices are. So before you offer the same salary for a replacement, make sure you’ve done your research. As we mentioned, money might not mean everything to a candidate—but if you lowball, on purpose or through ignorance, it’s definitely going to be about money then.
Tip 5: Prepare a Good Back-Up Plan
As we mentioned at the outset, candidates are always going to have other offers, and your offer will always have a good chance of being declined. Understanding this, and having a Plan B, has a dual effect: it eases your mind and exudes confidence to a candidate, which can subtly strengthen your position. Additionally, if you discover you can’t match a candidate’s offer, you can cut bait and move on to your next candidate, which saves precious time.
While these tips can help, there’s still a lot that occurs within the recruiting process that is completely out of your control. By working as best as possible within the parameters you have, you can improve your chances of landing that top recruit. That includes preparing for the best- and worst-case scenarios before and during the recruiting process.