Selling Your Offer: What Can You Do to Attract Talented People in a Highly Competitive Market?

Recruitment firms and company hiring managers have the same end goal: to place quality candidates into roles that are a good fit for all concerned. Yet too often, there is a misalignment in approach which reduces the potential for success.

 

While getting star talent to put pen to paper is always tough in a competitive market, there are many things that hiring managers can do to boost their success rate. We have come up with a blueprint: a checklist of tips that any company can use to highlight what a great employer they are.

 

  • Embrace collaborative hiring. The concept of collaborative hiring is associated with Steve Jobs. Rather than putting the hiring decision in the hands of a small interview panel, collaborative hiring brings in other members of the team to the process, sometimes the entire team. Everyone gets to weigh in with their opinion.
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    Collaborative hiring makes sense from a company culture point of view because the candidate can speak to more employees and get a more balanced view of what it is like to work there. Hearing positive comments from employees about working conditions will be more convincing than taking the word of a hiring manager.

     

  • Focus on company culture. According to a recent survey by Glassdoor [1], 77% of workers value workplace culture over salary. If your company hasn’t developed a strong and consistent culture, now is the time to work on it. Culture can’t be faked but it can be transformed by putting a company-wide effort into clarifying values, ethics and workplace behavior.
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    Positive workplace culture should be reflected in your company’s EVP and wider brand and incorporated into your website, social media, and digital content. A Gartner survey [2] concluded that investing in and developing an EVP increases new employee commitment by 30% and reduced compensation premiums by 50%.

     

  • Don’t rush the process. When you have a lot of open vacancies, the tendency is to hire the first qualified person to walk into the interview room. This eagerness can work against you if candidates see you as interested only in filling a gap rather than building a relationship with them. However desperate you are for employees, take time to prepare for the interview and create a relaxed atmosphere for everyone concerned.
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    Even if the interview goes perfectly, make sure you consider everything carefully before making an offer and be sure to carry out all necessary background and reference checks. According to research by Career Builder [3], the cost of making a bad hire is nearly $15,000 so both sides need to be absolutely certain that the decision is the right one before putting pen to paper.

     

  • Gather as much intelligence as possible. Some candidates are brilliant interviewees and ooze charisma and charm. This doesn’t always mean they will be a good fit for your company though. This is why many recruiters and hiring managers make use of a range of assessments before making their final decision.
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    Employers working with Insight Recruitment have the added advantage of access to the InsightIQ platform. InsightIQ combines a state-of-the-art methodology and sophisticated technology built to extract the maximum amount of data from every applicant. InsightIQ, which can be accessed via desktop and mobile, includes a suite of behavioral assessments, questionnaires, video interviews, and other powerful tools.

     

  • Demonstrate your commitment to diversity. Many top employees, especially those from a younger demographic, expect the companies they work for to value and embody diversity. If the members of your team are from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities with both men and women represented equally, a candidate is likely to feel they will be treated fairly in the selection process and in the workplace.
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    You can help eliminate unintended bias through technology, collaborative hiring and ensuring all interviewers are aware of what types of question are appropriate and legal. Diverse companies also tend to be more creative and productive, another reason talented applicants will be drawn to work for you.

     

  • Reassess your job descriptions. How much time do you spend crafting a job description? Does it make it clear what a new hire’s day-to-day job will look like? Does it include career prospects and figures on company growth? Is there any information on the management style including opportunities for upward communication? How about company culture?
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    The top candidates, especially those already in work, want to know these details so they can compare your offer with what they already have. A detailed, relevant job description also helps recruitment firms like us to find the candidates that best match your vacancies.

     

  • Woo them with benefits. In a competitive jobs marketplace, it can be very difficult to compete on salary alone so what else can you offer your prospective client to stand out from their other suitors (or to prize them away from their existing position)?
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    Can you offer flexible working conditions for a healthy work-life balance? Do you provide an unbeatable health and retirement package? Do you reward employees with free breakfasts or fun away days? Can you deliver best-in-class training? If possible, use your knowledge of each candidate to tailor a benefits package that will appeal to them. Some companies offer a generous ‘orientation package’ as an extra incentive for new hires and their families.

     

  • Be enthusiastic. Imagine! You’re a talented employee who has just been told about an amazing competitor with a thriving, positive workplace culture and opportunities to build a lucrative career. The company is currently hiring and has been really impressed with your background. They want to meet you for an interview.
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    After much thought, you decide to bite the bullet and agree. Full of excitement, you turn up fully prepared only to find that the person interviewing you seems bored and distracted and not really interested in what you bring to the table. Would you take the brave step of switching jobs?

     

    As recruitment companies, we put a lot of effort into listening to what candidates want, finding out what’s missing in their career (or life) and then generating a buzz about job opportunities that fill this void. This is particularly important when motivating passive candidates. Hiring managers need to match that tone during interview or risk killing the deal stone dead.

     

  • Show genuine interest in every candidate. Recruitment professionals and hiring managers are part of a team and it is everybody’s responsibility to maximize the chances of a good hire. While a good recruitment firm will provide you with plenty of background information on each candidate, it is up to those doing the interviewing to probe deeper into relevant areas of interest.
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    Many candidates will have digital profiles on sites like LinkedIn and interviewers can use these to build rapport and ask pertinent questions. The best applicants are likely to be well-rounded individuals with achievements and interests outside of work. Be sure to talk to them about these aspects of their life.

     

  • Respect your interviewee’s time. As an interviewer, you will expect candidates to arrive on time, to take care with their appearance and to behave professionally. Make sure you hold yourself to those same standards?
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    If you or other interviewers arrive late, are disorganized or look scruffy, you will not only show a lack of respect for the candidate, you are giving a bad first impression of your company culture. Always remember that an interview is a two-way process and that every interviewee will be making judgments about what working for you would be like.

     

  • Be relevant and up to date. In many industries, the most skilled candidates will be used to working with cutting-edge technology, both in their work and personal lives. If your recruitment and operational processes are still stuck in the dark ages, they may feel that working with you will be a step backward.
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    Do you use cloud-based software applications to streamline your processes? Are you comfortable communicating via video conferencing programs like Skype or collaborating with Slack? Consider upgrading your tech to appeal to the sharpest minds. You could even conduct time-saving video interviews. These are ideal for passive candidates who may find it difficult to attend a face-to-face interview.

     

  • Learn and improve. No interview process is perfect and not every candidate will decide to take up your offer. The important thing is for all recruitment stakeholders to work together, reflect on each campaign and continually improve their processes.
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    The talent you need is out there. Following the guidelines above will help you and your chosen recruitment partner form a strong and mutually beneficial partnership.

     

    Resources

     

    1. https://about-content.glassdoor.com/en-us/workplace-culture-over-salary/

    2. https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/insights/employee-engagement-performance/employee-value-proposition

    3. http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-12-07-Nearly-Three-in-Four-Employers-Affected-by-a-Bad-Hire-According-to-a-Recent-CareerBuilder-Survey

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