Are You Losing the Corporate Dating Game?
By: Tina Bures
How to Keep Candidates Engaged During the Interview Process
When conversation after conversation with hiring companies kept resulting in “Aha” moments for hiring managers, it seemed time to write about it:
With unemployment so low, the top candidates are in more demand than ever before. The best in their field are head down, working hard and are being contacted by multiple companies to come and work for them…..and these professionals are NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING. They have their pick of suitors and can weigh their options. You are not the only one they’re dating.
So, what do you do when you find that candidate you like so much and just have to have? You have to court them. I know, in a day and age of casual dating, the concept of courting may be lost on some of us. So, let’s define it:
Courting (Merriam Webster):
a. To seek to attract
b. To try to win the favor or preference of; woo
c. To seek the affections of
I tell every candidate I work with that they are interviewing the company just as much as they are being interviewed. Candidates want to feel wanted, too, and shown why they are the ones you want. It is naive of any company to think they could do nothing to attract people to them and still find some of the best talent for their positions.
So, say you get them to apply, have a first interview, and you like them. Now what? How can you keep the candidates you like engaged during an interview process and let them know you’re interested?
1. Are you a mind reader?
Neither are they. Quick and specific feedback is the easiest way to a candidate’s heart. Make sure they know what you thought about your meeting with them and when they could expect to hear back from you regarding next steps
2. Will there be a second date?
Share next steps. If a candidate knows what to expect next (even if they must wait a short time for scheduling), they have something to look forward to and plan for.
3. Don’t give them the cold shoulder.
When a candidate sends a “Thank You” note after a meeting, REPLY. A quick one- or two-sentence response acknowledging them and thanking them for their time can go a long way.
4. Absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder.
If there is a stretch of time between phone call interviews and on-site meetings, a quick “Looking forward to meeting you” email lets them know just that….that you’re looking forward to meeting them. It’s very easy for candidates to lose interest if a long time goes by in between meetings and communication. Just like any relationship, you need to talk to stay connected.
5. “The spouse effect”.
The only person who can put an end to a deal faster than the candidate is their spouse. If the spouse has concerns, can’t get their questions answered, isn’t included in the process (especially a relocation), etc., you may as well break up with your candidate now. Spouses have to be sold on the company and opportunity, too. Don’t forget about the spouse.
6. Don’t wait to pop the question.
If you like the candidate and want to make them an offer, don’t delay in doing so. Too many companies lose great candidates because they can’t get everyone on the same page and put an offer together. The candidate starts to not take the company seriously and begins to lose interest.
7. Make sure the ring fits.
Good candidates are not looking for steps backwards or lateral moves. Don’t low-ball the offer and under-impress them. You wouldn’t give your girlfriend a Cracker Jack box ring when she’s expecting a diamond.
It’s time to rethink the way you hire and attract the best people to your company. Brush up on your courting skills and win them over.
If you’re in need of a “corporate courting coach” to find the best for your teams, I’m happy to share some tricks of the trade. Don’t hesitate to get in touch: