Hiring Manager: Show Your Candidate Some Love

One of the major reasons people decide to leave a job is they don’t feel respected or valued. We all know this basic principle of human nature, yet why don’t more hiring managers use it to their advantage in hiring or attracting good candidates? All too often, companies don’t realize how their interview process is perceived by candidates, and this oversight could cause good people to reject an eventual offer. As a hiring manager, what can you do to give your company maximum advantage and lock up more of those close ones?

It starts with looking at the interview process as a two-way street. Talented candidates will get multiple offers, and you need to woo those candidates from the beginning. Don’t save this crucial step for the end of the process, but instead integrate it throughout your interviewing sequence. While you’re evaluating them, they’re evaluating you and your organization. If you wait til the end to put your selling hat on, it might be too late.

Make sure candidates have plenty of opportunities to get their questions answered. As you get close to extending an offer, it’s a good idea to ask the candidate if there are other people in your organization that they’d like to meet or spend more time with. Maybe they would like to meet with a back-end developer who’s going to be their peer, or meet the marketing guy to better understand the potential of the product. Even if you don’t need to have any more interviews to know you want to hire this candidate, don’t assume your candidate’s thinking has reached the same place.

Once you’ve extended an offer, the simple act of a high-level person in your company reaching out to the candidate to express enthusiasm can be a huge selling point. I’ve seen this simple technique “seal the deal” many times when faced with significant competition for a candidate. Have your VP or CEO call the candidate. It doesn’t cost anything, takes only a few minutes, and has an enormous impact. The candidate might appreciate being invited to an upcoming company event, such as Friday afternoon beer blast, or company outing. Spouses or significant others are key people in the decision-making, so involve them in these types of calls or invitations if it feels appropriate and unforced.

Hiring good people is a constant challenge, and you most likely will have competition from other companies. Make sure that candidates feel appreciated, valued and wanted throughout your interview process, and you’ll win this competition far more often than you lose.