How to get your perfect candidate to say yes

By Kathy Campling


Securing the perfect candidate isn’t just about money - it’s also about emotion.

When you’re making an offer to your perfect candidate it's important to understand the emotional attachment to their future career. That's why it is vital to build an offer that reflects what they care about. Below are some helpful tips to influence whether your perfect candidate says yes from before and during the hiring process.  

1) Establish a good culture within your organisation

Your company’s culture is not only what makes you stand out, but also how your organisation interacts internally and externally. Essentially, it is the building blocks that inspire and motivate employees. As well as attracting and attaining great talent. Creating a great company culture needs to be embraced by your company from the top down.  

Your culture affects employee retention, reputation, productivity and quality. As well as highlighting a set of behaviours, values, reward systems and rituals that make up your business in its entirety. The impression you feel when you walk into a company is from not only the behaviour of its employees but by the office space itself. Working in a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing space, immediately creates positive energy.

To read the full article on ‘how to build a culture for success’ click here.

2) Market your business well

Marketing is the process of creating, communicating and delivering messages that hold value to customers (future/current). Creating a coherent set of visual and textual messages conveys a professional, consistent appearance that gives an impression of a company that cares. This can effectively position to the candidate that your company is someone they want to work for.

3) Create a presence for your company online

Making sure that you have an ‘online’ presence and your marketing efforts are translated online effectively, is key.

To do this you should consider all social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram are all important tools for communicating your business ethos. Try to communicate your values and culture through stories, posts and galleries. This will be integral to how you are viewed by candidates and their impression of you.

There are many company review sites that can also be used to your companies advantage. Sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and Google My Business allow employees and customers to leave their experiences of dealing with your company for all to see. This can be great when the feedback you receive is positive, but when not-so positive it can be a challenge. However, this shouldn’t put you off, as when feedback is monitored and replied to regularly, readers can see that you are committed to correcting negative impressions and improving things for the future.

In addition to social media, any online channel that you use to advertise or promote your jobs needs to be in-line with your company marketing efforts. This is often the first port of call for your potential candidates, so make sure their first impression of your company is a good one.

4) Invest your time in writing good adverts

Writing job adverts can seem like time that could be better spent doing something else… however, it’s important to understand that a well-written, considered advert is the first stage in engaging a potential candidate and encouraging them that you are the company to work for.

The most important thing here is to be realistic and clear. Make sure that you are selling the job role to the candidate and making them feel ‘excited’ about the role and what your business does.

Think about your perfect candidate…what will inspire them to apply and what will make your job stand out to them? – is it a fantastic location? Is it the benefits? Or is it the culture?

Make sure you communicate all the important information of the position, skills required, skills desired and any necessary qualifications. Don’t forget to reference your companies’ culture and pay close attention to the benefits or package you are offering.

Finally giving them a strong call to action and spelling out the application process will help them to understand what they need to do next.

5) Have a great interview

This is what the candidate will most likely remember whether it’s a positive or not so positive experience. Therefore, its important to consider the following:

  • Make sure you know about the candidate, the position they are applying for, who they need to contact when they arrive. Little things like considering whether they need a car parking space will show consideration for them.
  • Be prepared- read a candidate’s CV in all of its entirety- prepare any questions you want to ask beforehand so that you pay close attention to them etc.
  • Try to bring to life the position. Talk about the things they will be doing, who they will be working with and how they will contribute to the overall business. Talk about their career progression and all of the benefits and perks available to them. This ensures you are demonstrating what the job can do for them rather than it being a test
  • Create a ‘real’ impression: It is very easy to show off a little more than you should. However, it is vital that you don’t oversell by making everything seem ‘too’ perfect’.

Remember the interview is as much for the company as it is for the candidate. In a candidate short market, you need to give yourself the best chance of securing the best people. Use the interview to demonstrate their future importance to your company.

6) Be responsive and give good feedback

Even if you’re working with a recruitment consultant, make sure you give timely, thorough and constructive feedback. If you leave it two weeks before you get back to the consultant or the candidate it doesn’t instill them with confidence that you will be responsive in other areas of their employment journey and you wouldn’t want them to take an offer somewhere else due to silence on your part...  Discuss with the interviewee when they should expect feedback from you to manage any potential delays.

After the interview, it is important to ask the candidate if they felt the interview went well or not and invite a two-way dialogue. You should also see what improvements they may suggest for the interview stage in order for you to improve your interviews for next time.

7) The offer

So, what most people see as the crux point of the hiring process is the offer. But this can actually be just the icing on the cake, not the cake itself…

From salary and benefits to flexible working and incentives that you’ll offer, there will always be one benefit that will engage a candidate over another. This is why it’s important to listen to the candidate during the interview process so you can try to understand what it is that’s likely to inspire them to accept. A compelling offer entails everything, not just what the candidates starting salary will be. It includes benefits, perks, schedule flexibility, paid time off, car, bonus etc. It's also important to understand at this point whether they are interviewing at other companies and how that is going. You wouldn’t want to lose your perfect candidate because one of your competitors has offered them £5,000 more or the opportunity to work from home twice per week.

A recruitment consultant can be an invaluable help here also – an expert consultant will have a wealth of knowledge on salaries in your industry and should be recommending market rates to you (if they’re not then you’re working with the wrong recruiter!)

In summary

Overall, the biggest factor is to put yourself in the shoes of the candidate and really understand what it is that they want and will make them happy to work for your company for the next 5 or so years. If they understand how they will successfully contribute to your business, they are more likely to choose you over another company. At the very least even if you don’t secure your perfect candidate their impression of you will be one they’ll share with others.

If you’d like to discuss this or any aspect of your career please contact me,

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