Keeping Your Star Candidates
Hanging on to a star candidate all the way through the hiring process to get a “yes” on the offer can be almost as hard as hanging on to a star player during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville (just ask Dayton Moore… and Alex, if you’re listening, we want you to stay!). But it’s not always as easy as wanting your star player, er, candidate, the most. You have to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes to you, and not to a team on the other side of the state (Alex, please, no). (Okay, we’ll stop with the baseball comparisons now.)
More and more often these days, the really great candidates are fielding multiple offers. As recruiters, we aren’t surprised by this at all, but often our clients are. So what can you do to avoid losing a star candidate to another employer? Here are our suggestions:
1. Have a firm idea of compensation, even if within a range, that you can offer. We still hear “the job is posted at X dollars, but for the right candidate, we could go higher than that”. As your recruiter, we’re only submitting what we believe to be the right candidate, and the faster you can get approvals on the numbers part of your offer, the better chance you will have to get a YES!
2. Merchandise your benefits. It may seem like so much boring (and costly) detail or humdrum to you, but it can make the difference between snagging the star candidate or losing them to an employer who has thoroughly explained their offerings. After all, if health insurance, vacation, and retirement savings weren’t important to the candidate, they might be working freelance instead.
3. Make the candidate feel warmly welcomed into your organization from the minute they step foot in the lobby. Companies, as well as job seekers, have great opportunities to make first impressions. Decisions are often made on the candidate’s ability to see themselves in a particular environment, so take advantage of your home field (we know, we know, sorry) and make a good, lasting first impression.
4. Know what’s important to each candidate (inclusion? autonomy? career path? title?) and let them know how you can help fulfill their desires. Working with a recruiter can really save the day on this one, as both parties tend to be more forthcoming about what is truly desired and what can truly be offered and facilitate the best match possible.
5. Be flexible. Hiring has never been an exact science because, as we are fond of saying, these are people not machine parts. Having the ability to be flexible in your hiring process, whether it be speeding things up when there’s a new star candidate on the market with several competing opportunities, or being willing to offer additional PTO, can be the advantage you need to close the deal. The more options you give yourself, the more likely the star candidate will be to exercise yours instead of someone else’s (okay, maybe we weren’t done with the baseball metaphors just yet, but can you blame us?).