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Are you Losing Candidates to your Competition?

April 24th, 2015

If you lose one or two of your top candidates every now and then to better offers, that’s nothing to worry about. This happens to all employers every once in a while, and since candidates are free to walk away at any time (as long as they haven’t signed a contract), there’s not much you can do to prevent the occasional top choice from slipping away.

But if this disappointment is taking place on a regular basis, there are a few things you can do to step up your offer and speed up your hiring process. Show respect and present your company’s best side and you’ll grab the attention of top contenders. Start with these moves.

Show Interest from the Beginning

If a candidate shows enough respect for your company to apply here, then she deserves an equal level of warmth and interest on your part. Never leave a candidate waiting by the phone once you’ve opened a dialogue. And course, never leave candidates waiting in the reception area for more than ten minutes after the scheduled start time of an interview. Welcome them with a smile and a firm handshake, show interest in their backgrounds, and never cross examine them or put them on the defensive during the selection process. Would you work for a company (or hire a candidate) who treated you this way? Probably not.

Once you Make Your Decision, Act Quickly

When you’ve settled on your top contender, move fast. Don’t expect her to put her job search on hold while you slowly process her paperwork and wait for key HR personnel to return from long vacations. Make sure she knows that she’s the one for you by presenting her with a clear verbal offer, and if the written offer will take two days or two weeks to process, let her know the timeline and stick with it.

Handle Second Choices Carefully

Be perfectly honest with your runner up candidates about where they stand. Treat them with the same respect you would appreciate if you were in their positions. Don’t lead them to believe they’re at the top of the list, but tell them they’re still in the running until the day they aren’t anymore. Contact them on that day and deliver a clear, positive, and decisive message. Thank them genuinely for their interest in the company.

Keep the Process Short

Try not to conduct more than then three rounds of interviews total, including phone screenings. Dragging candidates back into the office multiple times will only alienate the ones who are strong enough to have other options. If you subject your applicants to ten rounds, you’ll lose the best contenders at round three, and by round ten, only the desperate will still be showing up. Respect your candidates and they’ll respect you.

For more on how to attract the most talented applicants in the marketplace, reach out to the staffing experts at Merritt.


Want the Perfect Candidate? Write the Perfect Job Description

June 20th, 2014

If you want to find the best candidate for your company and open position, the best place to start is with an effective job description. Regardless of the industry or the level of the position, a perfect job post accomplishes three goals:

  1. It sells the position and the company, sharing necessary information but also boosting the company brand. After all, those who see the post aren’t just potential employees; they’re also potential customers.
  2. It lists the credentials and personal traits the candidate will need in order to step into the position and thrive.
  3. It attracts the most qualified candidates while allowing inappropriate ones to self-select and move on without applying.

Is your job post doing all three of these things effectively? To find an answer, check your track record. How many hiring home runs have resulted from this and similar posts? And how many hiring mistakes, inappropriate candidates, and mismatched resume submissions have resulted from this strategy?

If your current job posts are doing the trick, congratulations! But if they aren’t, a few tweaks to your job posts can do wonders to reduce your hiring, staffing, and turnover problems. Try these tips:

  1. Gather data before you write. Make a list and describe every detail of your ideal candidate. Then get buy-in and approval of the list from everyone who will work closely with this employee.
  2. Show respect. Attract great candidates with honey, not vinegar. Don’t publish a rude or forbidding post, no matter how challenging you think the position may be. If you do this, you’ll discourage the confident and attract the desperate.
  3. Be concrete and specific. Don’t bore readers and waste space by requesting a “hard worker” or a “high-energy go-getter.” These terms mean nothing and they describe every candidate in the world. Stick to the real challenges and needs of the position.
  4. Brag a little. Everyone wants to join a winning team. Let your potential employees know about your awards, your excellent reputation in the industry, and the bright future that lies ahead for your organization.
  5. If you want a wide pool, keep it short. Provide vital details only. If you want a narrow pool of highly focused specialists, you can present a longer list of requirements, preferences, and pluses.
  6. Provide clear, simple application directions. If your process takes an hour to complete or the link to your submission site is broken, the most talented candidates with lots of other options won’t struggle to find a work-around—they’ll just move on.

For more information on how to attract the top candidates in your industry, reach out to the staffing experts at Merritt.


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