Although the hiring market is beginning to tiptoe back from the edge of chaos, depending on your industry, it’s still an applicant’s market.
Closing job candidates becomes a priority when a position has been open for a while. It takes time and money to find great candidates and get them in for an interview, but if you’re able to achieve that, how do you take them from the job offer to the acceptance? The longer a position is open, the more it drains your company’s bottom line. Therefore, finding a way to fill those positions should be a huge focus.
If there are candidates you’re particularly excited about, it’s hard not to get excited. But if you think they’d be a great fit for your company, the chances are their stellar résumé, outstanding social skills, and prompt professionalism have gotten them multiple job offers. How can you stand out from the crowd and ensure it’s your company they say yes to?
There are some obvious tactics to get more acceptances from candidates—more money, for starters. But if you can’t necessarily raise the base salary of a position, there are still plenty of ways to woo a candidate into saying “yes” to your offer.
Here are four ways to close job candidates so your company can go back to operating at its fullest capacity.
Be Upfront In Your Listing
Believe it or not, there are some steps you can take to help you close a candidate before you even meet with the person. When you first post your job listing, it helps to be as transparent as possible in terms of expectations, job roles, and salary. The more specific you can be, the more you’ll attract the type of candidate who will be a good fit. As an example, “marketing”is an incredibly broad term; identifying things like social media strategies you want implemented or conferences you want someone to attend can help candidates determine whether they’re right (or wrong!) for the role. Hiring managers, recruiters, and other employees should be able to contribute to the job listing to ensure it’s accurate and enticing. When people come in for an interview, you want them to already be excited about the position and feel like you’re on the same page. This can also impact where you decide to post your job listing, like whether you focus mostly on online channels, you prefer an in-person networking strategy, or you take out ads on specific job boards. By being upfront and transparent, you’ll get the correct people in the door right off the bat, increasing your chances for a great interview and an accepted offer.
Be Punctual and Professional
Obviously, it’s important to be on time. But when it comes to job interviews and meeting potential candidates, punctuality is even more important. Although we all have a lot on our plates, if you’re late and disheveled when you show up to an interview, it instantly communicates this position isn’t that important to you. And if it’s already not that important to you, why should candidates accept it? What support will they get if they accept? Will their work be prioritized or recognized? All of these thoughts can start spinning in their head, and they’re doubtful to begin with—not a great start!
It isn’t just what time you walk into the room either. How long does it take you to respond to initial applications? Do candidates get prompt callbacks? Furthermore, being prepared for a job interview makes a huge difference. An interview shouldn’t be the first time you’re seeing a candidate’s résumé, and you should already be well versed in the person’s background. Constantly shuffling papers or glancing around is going to make a bad impression and disrupt the flow of the interview. If there’s a candidate you’re excited about, put your best foot forward in the interview process.
Ask The Candidate What’s Most Important to Them
You may be surprised at what’s most important to job candidates, but you’ll never know unless you ask! Maybe they’re concerned about their parental leave, as they’re hoping to grow their family in the next few years. Maybe they want to make sure they’ll have opportunities for job growth, continuing education, and promotion. Maybe they’re concerned with flexibility in terms of where and when they work. By getting this information, you’ll be able to advocate for them and try to craft policies that align with their wishes. Benefits packages don’t need to be “one size fits all,” and it’s becoming more and more common to craft positions around employees instead of the other way around. Listening more than you talk, repeating back what you’ve heard, and seeing what you can do to satisfy their requests can go a long way toward impressing candidates. By listening to and identifying what’s most important to them, you’ll increase the chances that you’re able to satisfy them, therefore getting closer to closing a deal and bringing them on board.
Point Out the Ways Their Specific Skills Will Benefit Your Organization
Lastly, don’t be afraid to get excited! If you’re trying to get job candidates excited about a potential position, it helps if you share your excitement first. One easy way to do this is to lay out why you want them to accept the position. Explain how their skills, passions, and values will fit within your organization, and help them understand that you can provide what they’re looking for and that they don’t need to keep looking for a new opportunity. Paint the picture of what it would look like for them to come on board, and help them see they’d be a perfect fit. Enthusiasm is contagious, so share yours!
Claire Swinarski is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.