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May 11, 2018
Brooks Israel

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

6 Steps to Win Over a Candidate

If you’re a hiring manager in the workforce today, you know these moments of finding the ideally-suited candidate in a short timeframe are few and far between. In our fiercely competitive job market, merely offering the candidate a job does not guarantee the person will accept. With the national unemployment rate at 4.1 percent you can bet your candidate will be juggling multiple offers, so you’ve got to do the full court press to get their acceptance letter and hiring paperwork signed. Here are six steps to secure the candidate you want to hire.

Act Fast
More than ever we see candidates getting offers immediately after they interview. In fact, sometimes we get the offer before we hear back from the candidate. A speedy job offer validates your company’s desire to have this person. It shows you think quickly and respect the candidate’s time. If too much time passes after the interview process a candidate can become anxious. No candidate wants to feel like you are unsure of them so take action fast once you have found your star profile.

Make a Competitive Offer
Do your research. Use websites like www.glassdoor.com, www.salary.com and www.indeed.com to find out what a competitive offer looks like in your market. If you want to hire the best you need to make the best offers in your market. Otherwise you will lose them to the company across the street and maybe even your competitor. According to Forbes, the average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10% to 20% increase in salary. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-stay-in-companies-longer-than-2-years-get-paid-50-less/#3284fb6ee07f).

Share the Why
There are many reasons why someone would want to join your company and you need to know them and advertise them to your star candidate. When you make the offer share these unique attributes and additional benefits.

Showcase the overall employment package – not just the salary, but benefits such as:
• Healthcare insurance (e.g., medical, dental)
• Vacation/Paid time off
• Performance bonuses
• Pension plans or 401(k) plan
• Retirement plan
• Stock options
• Profit sharing
• Tuition reimbursement
• Training opportunities
• Work/life balance
• Flex-time
• Telework opportunities
• Opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies
• Chances for advancement opportunities
• Recognition programs
• Signing bonuses

Make sure to share your why because it matters!

Say It and Write It
Some companies send email offers or mail offer letters. This is impersonal and does not send the best impression, especially if they are your top pick. Make an offer in person or at a minimum call them; this way you convey your enthusiasm, but more importantly you can gauge the candidate’s level of excitement. When making the offer be enthusiastic. Explain to the candidate they were your top candidate out of 20 interviews. Tell them of the impression they made. This new relationship starts with the job offer so create an unforgettable experience. Once you have delivered an offer in person or verbally, follow up with a written offer. In your offer, be sure to include the starting salary. Also include details such as job title, job responsibilities, location, manager’s name, etc.

If Necessary, Ask for a Deadline
Hopefully your candidate accepts immediately but don’t be surprised if they ask for some time to consider your offer. This is very normal and let them have this time if they ask for it but be sure to agree on a deadline for follow-up. You can even ask them if you can reach out to them before the deadline just to stay in touch. This also gives you an opportunity to reengage with them to answer any questions they might have as well as an opportunity to understand if you are competing with any other offers.

Know When to Say When
Not every candidate will choose you so know when you are pushing your offer too far. If you let too much time pass you might miss out on some of your other top choices. Don’t take it personally. Move on to the next best candidate and repeat the process or start your search again.

Securing the star player you found during the interview process is no small feat. The market is brutally competitive, so acting quickly and making all the right moves is critical to get the candidate to accept the offer. Leveraging these best practices will help position you to make the most positive impression to win over the candidate you want to join your team.