Ensure Your Perfect Candidate Accepts
Just imagine that you have found the perfect candidate (or your recruitment agency has), it is all going well – the CV looks perfect, they have the skills, experience and impressed all members of the interview panel and you go through the process and to make an offer…
How do you make sure you have given yourself the best chance to get your candidate to accept your offer and join the team?
Not every job offer you make will be accepted by the candidate, but to increase your hire rate you can follow some simple steps to give yourself a better chance.
I have been through this process thousands of times and here are my thoughts and recommendations:
1. Before the Interview even starts
The job description is a critical document for every position at every company looking to recruit. A good job description should do exactly what it says, that is to be a description of the job
Making your job as desirable as possible is important, but with this being said, it is important to also ensure your job advertisement is factually correct. Steer clear of vague job titles, loosely explained day-to-day duties and unclear requirements in order to manage expectations.
There’s a saying: job adverts sell and job descriptions tell, but this doesn’t mean up selling to excessive levels. Over-selling your role in a job advertisement might result in a high volume of applications, but when your candidates find out the truth about what the role really entails, this high number of applications is likely to go hand-in-hand with an equally high number of dropouts.
My view is that the interview is the most important part of the process. As the employer, you have ability to interact with candidates, put them into scenarios and ask them for examples of how they have responded in the past whilst evaluating their industry knowledge and skills.
Ask what motivates them.
You won’t know how to market the company or sell the position without an idea of what each candidate is looking for, so go right ahead and ask.
Find out what motivates them, what’s missing from their current company, and what criteria are most important while job hunting. “Once you understand the candidate’s criteria, you can discuss and re-enforce how your organization satisfies it
Treat them as a teammate.
During an interview, candidates evaluate a lot about a company: whether or not they’ll fit in, what their role will be, if their work will be appreciated, etc. If you approach the interview with no enthusiasm about the role and company, the candidate won’t be enticed to take this role.
“Everyone wins if the candidate accepts the offer, so treat them well and how you would want to be treated.”
In my experience, interviewers that create an environment where they make the candidate already feel like they are part of the team have candidates come away with very positive thoughts.
3. After Interview
First impressions go both ways
There is little point in hiding the fact that employers judge candidates on first impressions. But with this, hiring managers should keep in mind that candidates also have first impressions and this can be a factor in taking a job or not.
Delay in feedback
By giving quick feedback after an interview it improves your candidate acceptance tenfold.
If there is a delay in the interview / offer process a candidate through the stages of an application, it is essential you keep them updated. Remember, good candidates might be attending numerous interviews which could mean you run the risk of a competitor offering them a position before you.
The more knowledgeable your candidates are, the less chance there is that they will lose interest.
4. Offer Stage
If you want the best for your business and you feel this candidate is the best, aim high. You should know the candidates current salary, expectations and what the market is paying for the skills required and you should know what your company budget is.
A big no in staff recruitment is advertising a role with figures included and then offer at a lower salary, this is likely to insult candidates and make them instantly feel undervalued.
Although earning a good salary is important, most candidates seek more than a bigger salary, you are also likely to face competition from other companies offering them a new role, as well as their current employers fighting to keep them.
Candidates with multiple offers will look at several other factors, such as opportunities for career development, corporate culture, office environment, friendly colleagues, and office location.
If you’re employer who wants to win over top talent, you’ll need to prove you can offer more than a pay increase…
Consider the longevity of the role you are advertising, ensure you can offer your candidate a clear progression route and the opportunity for training and development within your company.
Who should offer
Once you have decided to make an offer to a candidate it is usually done verbally first, either by line management, HR or given to the recruiter to inform the candidate.
If doing direct, you should not expect put the candidate on the spot and expect an immediate answer, you should give then some time to think and agree when an answer is required by. It is also essential to inform HR and the Recruiter what has been offered and they will be working with you trying to get the candidate onboard.
A lot of candidates prefer getting the offer via the recruitment consultant, they feel less under pressure about asking questions on the offer, negotiations skills with a recruiter with experience in this area will be able to manage the situation from both sides.
Once you have the candidate’s verbal acceptance you should look to get something written to the candidate. Getting the employment contract across to them is perfect but if there is a delay you should consider some of the points below:
- The new employee’s name
- The job title in full
- The salary being offered
- The date from when employment will commence
- Terms and conditions (contract/temporary/permanent) on which the job is being offered
- Benefits and other compensations
- Conditions of any probationary period attached
- Additional conditions including any legal, background checks that may be required to fill the role
Throughout the stages of recruitment, there are numerous measures that can be taken to keep your candidates informed and engaged but, ultimately when it comes to getting candidates to accept your offer, 3 key points are: courtesy, transparency and honesty.