Recruiting your perfect match: 3 tips to making candidate connections that last

Going through the motions of finding a new job can be a daunting process. There are many hoops to jump though along the way: connecting with a recruiter, preparing a resume, submitting your application and then, hopefully, going through the interview process.

To encourage top candidates to commit to the entire process and put their best foot forward, employers should be cognisant of connecting with them on a deeper level.

Building a rapport and seeking an understanding of what motivates a candidate — both psychologically and emotionally — will help to mitigate against the risk of losing what could be a perfect match.

Step 1: Get to the root of the issue

Understanding why a candidate left their last role provides valuable insight into what’s important to them.

There are many reasons as to why people decide to leave a job – whether it be frustration over limited growth opportunities or dissatisfaction with wage. Fear can also play a role too. Perhaps their current employer is experiencing financial hardship and the candidate worries they’ll be laid off.

With so many potential factors in play, recruiters have to quickly identify which one’s matter for each unique individual.

To help reveal the underlying reasons behind a move and a job seeker’s career motivators in general, ask open ended questions, be curious, and above all listen.

It’s likely that they won’t divulge the root of the issue in their first answer and will only provide a surface level response, for example: “I recently had my performance review. We were talking about development opportunities, but I just don’t see any for me at my current company.”

While many recruiters would just leave it at that and move on, a great recruiter wouldn’t be satisfied with this level of ambiguity. They would probe for more detail to understand what type of development opportunities are important to the individual in order to illustrate that achieving these is possible with them (granted they are available). 

The likelihood of a candidate accepting an offer is going to be far greater if you can establish their desires and meet their expectations. 

Step 2: Making candidates fall in love

Once an individual’s motivators are established, you can then begin personalising their experience. And there’s no better time to do this than during the interview.

While standardising interview questions for candidates is advised, there is no reason the overall experience itself needs to formulaic. Showcasing the exact same programs, perks and benefits to everybody you speak with is not a winning strategy.

Say for example, you discover a candidate loves travelling and your company has an open paid time off policy. In this instance you’d be wise to highlight this benefit as it’s likely to hold great appeal. For others, location, money, flexible working hours or the ability to make social connections could be the difference between them choosing you over a competitor. Excellent recruiters will take personal information and tailor their approach accordingly.

Step 3: Making the decision to commit

Are you ready to make an offer and keen to get a ‘yes’? Make sure you reconfirm the candidate’s desired benefits and show that you understand and can accommodate them.

An employer or recruiter who presents a generic offer that lacks detail is doing themselves a huge disservice as it inevitably over-emphasises the monetary aspect. The assumption that people are only ever financially motivated to find a new job just isn’t true.

The remuneration needs to be competitive of course, but the hurdles people need to get over when switching jobs tend to be emotional. You have to revisit the psychological drivers which you unearthed at the beginning of the process and follow them through right to the finish line.

Let’s say the candidate showed an interest in a specific type of project and the hiring manager can assign them to that project, this should then form part of the offer. It highlights that what you’re offering is more than just a paycheck—it’s quality of work, and by extension, quality of life.

Ultimately the candidate will feel that you are supportive and committed to making them enjoy their role, and as a result getting a yes from them is much more likely. 

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