The Top 5 Tips for Putting the Odds in your Favor when Recruiting
As the economy is opening up again, we are seeing a big increase in hiring activity across board. This is resulting in a shift towards a candidate’s market, which means hiring top talent is quickly getting more and more competitive than ever. As a staffing agency that specializes in high caliber talent for creative, sales, marketing and executive positions – all highly competitive markets– we've seen firsthand how some companies consistently win the best talent, while others don’t.
Why is that? What is the big difference? Why do some companies excel, while others struggle with their recruiting? How come some companies are able to recruit talent that end up making a lateral move or even a taking a pay cut to join, all whilst feeling excited about their new job?
Perhaps a bit un-intuitively, it has very little to do with being a “hot” company or having the next disruptive product innovation or even the highest salary or equity compensation package. It really comes down to a how you build excitement and engagement into the recruitment process. The difference is - You need to shift your view on interviewing from just a tool to vet candidates, to an amazing (and free!) tool to win the best candidates. The approach itself to hiring and recruitment is the differentiator.
This is especially important the more senior the role you are hiring for. Junior candidates are often eager to get a new job, while i.e., a senior UX designer or a product marketing director will choose their next job with more scrutiny. For executive or VP level positions, this decision is at the center of their focus, so the experience and the detail that goes into the recruitment process are things that are likely to make all the difference.
So, what can we do about this? To help you address it, we have listed few simple things that can make a huge difference in your ability to attract the right candidates. Here are our Top 5 tips for putting the odds in your favor when recruiting:
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER
The first interview with a potential employer often sets the stage for how excited a candidate will be to move through the process. It’s important to build up that excitement level from the beginning. It will help keep your position top of mind as they navigate through other interviewing processes.
The key here is to make sure the first person a candidate speaks to does a good job representing the company. For example - asking a new hire to be the first touch point in recruiting is rarely a good idea, it can send a signal of high turnover and they might not be able to answer all questions sufficiently.
2. HAVE A "PITCH”
When you come across a strong candidate, make sure to end the interview with your “pitch”. This is a form of passive selling, not directly selling to the candidate, but painting up an exciting picture of both the company and the position. A strong pitch will engage candidates and increase their motivation for trying to be selected for the position.
If you’ve met with a candidate that you love, it’s important that they leave the interview thinking “I really want this job”. The pitch can include company values, growth plans, culture, and of course what is exciting about the position itself.
3. GIVE YOUR "PITCH" AT THE END
Don’t start off with the pitch in an in-person interview. First of all, you first want to make sure this is a promising candidate. So, wait until the end and at that point you will have also learned about what’s important for the candidate, so that you can tailor your pitch to fit their career goals (again, don’t make it directly about them, but rather speaking descriptively about the role).
4. SELECT THE RIGHT INTERVIEWING TEAM
It’s a known saying that “people don’t leave jobs, people leave people”. That also translates to hiring in that “people choose people”. When you bring people in for in-person or video interviews, make sure that some of your more charismatic and/or inspiring team members are part of the interviewing committee. Meeting people that you would enjoy working with and can see yourself learning from is a huge contributing factor when candidates choose between different companies or even different offers. Also, don’t leave your best for last, it’s more important to build up that excitement early on in the interview process to keep them engaged. Do this and you can win your candidate even if you don’t have the strongest offer. At 80Twenty, we see it all the time.
5. MOVE THROUGH THE RECRUITING PROCESS QUICKLY
In interviewing, speed is your friend. Again, looking at all the clients we work with, regardless of if they are a start-up or Fortune 500, we see that the ones that move the process forward quickly, are the ones that most often win the candidate that they like. A slow process can cause the candidate to lose interest, send signals that you are not committed to the process or they might simply take another offer before you are done with your process. While vetting and doing your due diligence is important, a good deal is a closed deal, so do not get outpaced in this competitive market.
It’s often the convention to do one round per week per candidate, but considering multiple candidates and the occasional re-schedule, this often turns out being a 6-8 week hiring process. Our most successful clients often do interview processes that lock in the next step on a 2–4-day schedule.
We hope that you find these tips useful and would love to hear about any other interviewing strategies that you use that you find successful. Of course, all of this assumes that you have a great pipeline of candidates to move through your interview process. That part we are always happy to help with!