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Securing your ideal candidate – are you pulling out all the stops?

Here are our key tips to ensure you secure the ideal candidate

Sourcing your ideal candidate is one thing – securing them is another.  In a candidate driven market the best talent has more choice and it becomes tougher to secure key players that will add value to your business.

Here are our key tips to ensure you secure the ideal candidate:

  1. Know your perceived value proposition

In a buyers’ market it’s imperative to make your business as attractive as possible to potential employees. The best candidates have a plethora of opportunities and are very selective.

You need to create an employer brand that communicates your unique value proposition and differentiates you from competitors. The information that you provide to candidates during the interview process is not the only information that they will use to make decisions about your firm.

Job seekers consult several sources, online and offline, to develop their perception about a company. Understanding how people talk about your firm and how your competitors are selling against you will enable you to develop a stronger brand proposition that manages any negative rhetoric about your firm.

To understand how your brand is perceived;

  • Google the company name, are the results positive and current?
  • Search for the company name on Twitter, what are people saying?
  • See what your current employees are saying about you on sites such as Glassdoor
  • Consult with HR to review exit interview and other employee feedback
  • Ask the recruiter you are working with
  1. Sell a long term opportunity

As demand for talent increases, top candidates are able to demand increasingly higher salaries.  In order to compete in this market you need to offer more – an exceptional opportunity.

The best candidates have clear career goals and need to view your job opportunity as a pathway to achieving them. Take the time to understand each candidate’s motivations and demonstrate a clear commitment to their career development.

Mid-senior level hires are often looking to elevate their profile and establish themselves for future executive-level positions. What is your firm offering to support them in this? Leadership coaching, mentorship and sponsorship programmes, as well as opportunities for further learning will support this, however can you offer your candidate more to support their unique personal development needs? Pull out all the stops when it comes to key hires and be prepared to re-evaluate your job specifications to make the role more attractive if necessary.

  1. Remain Honest

Never overpromise and under deliver at the end of the hiring process, or worse still, after the candidate has started. Remaining honest and managing expectations will help attract and retain top talent.

Consistency is key within the hiring process. Ensure all communication is on message, be it online, offline, written or verbal. Ensure HR and Line Managers are aligned and that your recruitment consultant is fully briefed about your organisation, the position and the opportunities available to the candidate.

  1. Get the package right

Salary is a key determining factor for candidates. Make sure you know the benchmarks within your industry in order to make informed decisions about the salaries you offer, don’t underestimate how important additional earnings can be for candidates, such as sign on packages, equity and bonuses.

For niche roles and key hires, benchmarking salaries can be difficult, as several factors need to be considered and there can be huge variation according to context. Consulting a specialist recruiter can help you understand such nuances and they will be able to advise you on a competitive salary range for your firm.

Although salaries help to attract the best candidates, they are not the be all and end all within the decision making process. Ensure you also offer competitive non-salary related benefits in comparison to the industry average, and if relocating candidates from abroad, ensure your relocation packing is attractive. Again a specialist recruiter can advise you on what your competition is providing.

  1.   Prepare for counter offers

No organisation wants to lose their top talent – when a key candidate resigns, their employer is likely to offer them a counter-offer to encourage them to stay.  In a candidate-driven market there is a greater chance that candidates may choose the counter offer over a new position.

Prepare both yourself and your candidate for this possibility. Predetermine your plan of action should a counter offer arise so you can act swiftly. For top candidates it may be worth increasing their pay and benefits packages to secure the highest calibre candidates. Non-fiscal benefits can also be great negotiation factors if you are not able to offer a higher salary. Why not offer more annual leave, flexible working or other additional benefits to seal the deal.

Furthermore, you should also proactively talk about counter offers with the candidate. Explain that counter-offers are likely to happen and prepare their response with them – if you don’t feel comfortable having this conversation with a candidate, ask your recruiter to manage this for you.

  1. Run an efficient recruitment process

During this highly competitive period it is more important than ever for your hiring process to be efficient in order to secure the most talented individuals. It is imperative to reduce timescales, ensure a comprehensive and consistent selection process and quickly close candidates before your competition.

Avoid drawing your process out over a number of weeks by organising candidate open days in which you can conduct all stages of the process on the same day, including candidate interviews with all relevant Line Managers and HR personnel. A concentrated hiring process will enable you to quickly identify the best talent for your organisation, make offers and close candidates before your competitors.

Fast decision making processes also have the added benefit of proving to candidates that you really want them. Candidates who feel committed to are far more likely to accept your offer.

  1. The power of the feel good factor

Finally, don’t underestimate how important it is for your candidates to develop a good feeling about your firm. Every experience that your candidate has throughout the recruitment process matters; be it with the receptionist that greets them on entry, the HR professional that guides them through the process or the line manager that conducts their interview. Consider your recruitment process and any pitfalls that might jeopardise the overall candidate experience.

Always be open and transparent with candidates throughout the process, talk through the positives and potential pitfalls of the role to manage any potential concerns that your candidate might have – your candidate is more likely to respect your organisation for their honesty. For highly technical roles, ensure that the employees your candidate engages with possess the necessary expertise in order to position your firm in the best light.

Furthermore, candidates want great working environments. Pull out all the stops to impress them in terms of facilities, resources and working conditions; aim to start building a relationship with the candidate before they sign on the dotted line – why not take them out for joining drinks to make them feel part of the team.

By Kieran Behan, Managing Director at Phaidon International, an award winning staffing group, proud to deliver excellence to clients across 59 countries, through 8 specialist recruitment brands.

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