Stoking Candidate Interest: An Often-Overlooked Aspect of Recruiting

Most information regarding the difficulties of recruitment nowadays seem to focus solely on trends and the challenges of tech and sourcing but not what could primarily be considered the most important aspect of recruiting; candidate interest.  Ask any in-house HR professional and they will say capturing and piquing a potentially strong candidate’s interest is key to any on-boarding process.  As such, specific practices by the internal HR department and hiring manager are key for a candidate‘s desire to work at that employer.           

The most critical of this process is the on-site interview--- a setting where the HR team and the hiring managers can articulate the story of why the candidate should want to work at their company. 

The following are simple bullet points to keep in mind to help secure a potential candidate’s attention and interest in your company:

Candidate Engagement:

  • Exude excitement about the company – The Vision and Mission Statements
  • Be outgoing, approachable with ease for conversation
  • Detail the exciting work and direction of the company: new products, R&D, growth, acquisitions
  • Share a vision on the candidate’s contributions of their work and promotional opportunities
  • Have prepared materials of the company i.e., recruitment videos, fold-out informational placards illustrating the company’s history and direction, mementos to carry home, brochures of the various benefit plan details
  • Make sure your company’s branding is streamlined and on-point throughout the process

Post Interview(s): 

  • Thank the candidate for their time and attention in interviewing
  • Explain the steps in the interviewing process to point of offer, even if the determination is not to move ahead
  • Request the candidate’s input/feedback on the interview, their likes and dislikes of the information provided and the role
  • Request the candidate’s input/feedback on the company, (feedback works best both ways)
  • Inform the candidate ASAP of the interview outcome, if there will be or not next steps in the process
  • *Offer feedback (positive and areas to improve) so the candidate gains insight to improve for other interviews 

Offer Stage:

  • Even prior to scheduling an interview, gauge the candidate’s interest and desired level of total compensation, including salary, short team bonus, (LTIP and stock if applicable)
  • Determine the market value of the position, and the candidate’s experience and proceed with a competitive offer
  • Introduce the offer to the candidate, request their thoughts, listen to their desires to move specific financial and non-financial offerings
  • Determine if the candidate’s demands can be met, make a final offer and request acceptance or not, have the offer written and sent to candidate immediately
  • Do not negotiate; the back and forth is counterproductive to both parties

Securing qualified, new employees begins by grabbing a potential candidate’s attention and creating a certain buzz about your company.  It should be a destination and environment candidates want to tell their friends and co-workers about and look forward to coming to interview at.  This begins with the internal HR team and those conducting the candidate interviews (including any potential third-party recruiting firms, (such as Tri-Search or Morgan Samuels) and should follow through with streamlined and strong company branding throughout. Thoughtful best practices should be followed throughout the interview process, wholly respecting the candidate from the get-go.  Lastly, the more communication and feedback from both the company and the candidate regarding the process, the better it is for all involved.

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