Person considers how to secure sought-after candidates

How to secure sought-after candidates

For companies, this will involve decisive decision-making, planning, and ensuring the offer is tailored to the candidate.

In a tough market where many industries are skills-short, understanding how to secure sought-after candidates is essential.

For companies, this will involve decisive decision-making, planning, and ensuring the offer is tailored to the candidate.

7 tips to secure sought-after candidates

  1. Strike while the iron is hot

The recruitment process can move quickly. When a candidate is presented with several lucrative opportunities, decisive decision-making is required to ensure yours is the one they select. Increasingly in the office, we are seeing great companies lose excellent candidates due to a stall in the recruitment process.

Strategy meeting to secure sought-after candidates

  1. Make them feel like a business priority

Before commencing advertising, ensure the budget (including possible wiggle room for negotiations) is signed off with HR or senior stakeholders in your business. Common other causes for stalls in the hiring process include priorities changing, an internal candidate applying at a late stage or the final decision maker being unable to meet to finalise the offer. Stalls in the recruitment process make the candidate feel they are not a business priority or valued for what they could add to a business.

  1. Plan ahead to prevent delay

As much as possible, plan. If there is an unavoidable delay, communicate this within your business. Assume that without timely next steps being taken, you are entertaining the possibility you will lose the candidate you are interviewing. Motivated candidates will not stop interviewing until they receive a formal final offer. In fact, more than half of candidates report actively interviewing while in the final stages of waiting for an offer. Take our advice, and strike while the iron is hot.

  1. Keep the candidate ‘warm’

Keep clear lines of communication with any candidates you interview. A good rule of engagement is to treat any potential future hire as a business lead. Reach out following an interview to advise of the next steps in the process and to keep the ‘lead’ warm. Keep touchpoints throughout the hire and be honest if there are stalls. Some candidates are far more patient if they feel the process has been honest and transparent.

Team happy about being able to secure sought-after candidates

  1. Be responsive

Being unresponsive to candidates is a leading contributing factor to losing excellent applicants to competitors. In addition, not answering emails or ghosting a candidate is a brand-damaging exercise. Not only will it affect how your brand is perceived by the candidate you have ghosted, but you also seed a negative reputation in your lost lead’s network. So, your interest in being accountable in this area is twofold.

  1. Ensure expectations align

Throughout the last year, job security has emerged as a strong focus for candidates. In fact, in 2020 two in three candidates felt job security was more important than salary. Bearing this in mind, ensure you ask during initial interviews what is most important to your candidate. Their motivations should inform how to structure your offer so that it is personalised and most appealing to the specific needs and wants of your candidate.

  1. Sell the opportunity

If candidates feel nervous because the strength of your organisation is not communicated, you may lose them simply because your competitors were better at assuring them. Clearly explain your organisation’s current structure and five-year business plan. Sell them on growth plans, your pipeline of work and learning opportunities in the role you are hiring for. This is a time to finesse your Employee Value Proposition. Read through these, ‘Compelling Examples of Employee Value Proposition‘ for inspiration.


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