There are plenty of obvious things that make a job offer attractive. Competitive or above-market pay, bonus opportunities, and benefits all play a part. And it’s all the better when the compelling compensation package comes from an organization with a strong employer brand.
But there are also subtle dynamics that attract and repel candidates on the way to the offer. To maximize offer acceptance, you’ve got to help candidates imagine a future where they love working for you and with you.
68% of candidates believe that the way you treat them during the hiring process is a direct window into the way you’d treat them as an employee. That means: the experience you gift (or inflict on) your candidate is part of the offer you put on the table.
To maximize offer acceptance, you’ve got to help candidates imagine a future where they love working for you and with you. Here are 5 keys to making it nearly impossible to turn down your offer…
- Assume there aren’t many good fish in the sea.
Of course, you’re interviewing many candidates for just one opening. But never slip into the false impression that the hiring party holds all the power, the job seeker, none.
You’ve got choices, and so does the job seeker.
There isn’t an infinite supply of excellent candidates (even though it may sometimes feel like it). You’ve got to look for what makes each candidate different, and then move fast when you find someone great.
- Aim for honesty, not transparency.
100% transparency is not the goal. There are plenty of facts or details that don’t need to be passed on to the candidate.
But you should over-communicate progress or lack of progress.
If the process isn’t unfolding the way you said it would, say so and revisit the plan. Be up front and direct about pertinent facts – snags in the timeline, feedback, obstacles – and candidates can imagine a healthy future working relationship predicated on trust and honesty.
- Give the gift of your full attention.
You’ve got to make the most of the time you’re given with each candidate. That means: you brush up on candidates’ backgrounds before speaking with them. You let interviews run only as long as you both agreed to. And you give candidates your full attention during your discussions. As tempting as it is to sneakily check your phone under the table, that signals to candidates that either you don’t adequately value their time or that you are overwhelmed or distracted as a manager. Neither interpretation is flattering.
Team members thrive when they’re given their managers’ attention. If you take the time to be present with a candidate and get to know who they are as a person and a professional, then you’ll have set the stage for an engaged employee.
- Articulate a clear (and shared!) vision of the opportunity.
All stakeholders in the process should generally agree about the role and its purpose, and the formal job description should reflect the same line of thought. Of course, there will be variations in the way different people discuss or understand the opportunity. But if a program manager describes goals for the role that have absolutely nothing to do with how a VP describes the same thing, you’re in trouble.
When there are jarring discrepancies between each interviewer’s account of a position, candidates have trouble picturing themselves in the role. That’s the opposite of the desired effect.
You want candidates to be able to envision the contributions they’d make to your organization, so make sure not to let organizational misalignment sully their view.
- Give candidates a taste of company life outside the interview room.
There’s no doubt you’ve made promises about what your company culture is like – on your website, social media, in conversations, etc. Since you talk the talk, candidates will want to know if you walk the walk.
So, have candidates meet other people both on and off the team. Give them a tour of the office. With a glimpse of the coffee or game room, candidates can envision colleagues that turn into friends. The buzz of a busy office can conjure up thoughts of happy productivity. Give candidates enough data for them to extrapolate the rest of the pretty picture. It’ll help nudge them in the right direction once they’ve got your offer in-hand.