In today’s candidate-driven employment market, it’s important for hiring managers to understand the strategies for beating the competition for top hires. The best candidates are usually outstanding team players who have a variety of job choices and can afford to wait for golden opportunities rather than take the first job that comes their way. Recruiters who spend the majority of their time assessing skills and experience will miss out on hiring their top-choice candidates if they aren’t also evaluating applicants’ desire for that particular job and interest in fitting in with the culture. This is not only a costly investment of company dollars, but also time, and even morale.
The investment of money, time and company morale deepens after you’ve made the hire, which means the loss can be felt even that much more if the new hire quits or is terminated within a year. An astonishing 50 percent of all new hires later regret their decision to accept the job, which should be further encouragement for you to find the right match for long-term success.
The good news is that there are some well-defined strategies for getting one step closer to closing A-game candidates who are committed to making a change and will join your company with great results.
Here is a list of five things to consider to help you navigate your next hire:
Set the Agenda
Giving your candidate an agenda with names of people who they’ll be meeting with or topics like “company history” can go a long way to helping you determine how interested he or she is in the position. Without an agenda, the candidate will be more likely to say things that they think you want them to say. Conversely, when you give them some guidance in advance, you can better determine their interest in the position by gaining a window into how much research before the interview.
Ask the right questions
The best recruiters know that money only motivates people up to a point, yet it’s the top reason given for making a job change. If you lead with a question like, “Of course more money is always a motivating factor, but otherwise what else do you hope to accomplish by making a change?” then you might be given a more complete picture of what that individual is truly seeking. Perhaps they are truly seeking a promotion, but if they are otherwise happy, then their employer might attempt to make a counteroffer and you could miss the opportunity to hire them. If, however, you are able to learn more about their deeper motivation for change, then you can position your company in the right way to make the close.
Consider their current boss
Every good recruiter or hiring manager has heard the adage: People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. In the example above we urged you to dig deeper than the monetary reason for their change, and often a person’s boss is a leading cause for wanting to change jobs. That’s why it’s so important to understand their relationship with the current boss. Top recruiters know that culture eats salary for lunch, so an unhappy employee is often much more motivated to find a better culture fit than to simply “make more money.” Since a boss is who sets the culture, it pays for hiring managers to speak about matching candidates with their future boss, rather than their future company.
Find out who else is involved
Making a job change is an important life decision, so be wary of the candidate who says they have not told anyone of their desire for a change. Chances are, if that is the case, then they are probably not the serious candidate you are looking for. Find out if they’ve involved others in their decision by asking “Who have you told that you’re considering making a job change?” This will give you more insight into the type of person they are and their motivation for change, as well as alert you to potential red flags.
Beware of legal issues
Let’s say a candidate loves your company and you make an offer that they would like to accept, only then to find out that they have signed a “non-compete” or a “non-disclosure” agreement with their current employer. Asking about these issues during the interview process can help you and your legal team determine if a candidate has obligations that prevent them from legally working for you for a specified period of time. Don’t waste precious resources on candidates who aren’t even legally able to work for you.
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