How does a company recruit successful, well-educated, highly desirable executives? What can you do to make your company and leadership opportunity stand out in a hyper-competitive labor market? How do you stop losing your best candidates to competitors? The answers to these questions are found in the three rules of recruiting: Relationship, Relationship, Relationship!
You can take the sting out of recruiting in today’s hyper-competitive job market by focusing on building a strong relationship with prospective candidates right from the start. The stronger the relationship between you, your company and the candidate you want to bring on board, the easier it is to recruit, interview, negotiate and successfully close an offer. A strong relationship built from the beginning of the recruiting process will greatly reduce the threat of counter offers and the odds of rejection, and it will also ensure that those who ultimately join your leadership team will come into their first day full of confidence in their ability to make a significant impact at your organization.
1. Relationship Building Before the Interview
We’ve all heard the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” By making the best possible first impression, you increase your chances of having a successful face-to-face interview while laying a good foundation for closing the deal at the end of the process. Whether it’s a search for a Chief Operations Officer, a Business Unit President, or a Vice President of Research & Development, put effort into the little details and make a favorable impact on every candidate. One way to build strong relationships with your candidates right from the start is to send the following information to candidates in advance of the interview process:
2. Relationship Building During the Interview
Once you’ve laid the proper groundwork prior to your face-to-face meeting, your next focus is to keep the momentum going with a great interview. It’s a chance for you to sell the candidate on the company, the position, and the community (if it’s a relocation). But beware – the psychology of interviewing can get very complicated. Keep it simple and remember that your most important task is to continue “courting” the candidate and sell him or her on the opportunity to work for your company.
“Sell” the Company
Candidates often make decisions based on emotions and then defend them with logic. Think back to the last time you interviewed for a position. What information was most important to you? During the meeting, be candid and offer information that will help the candidate feel good about the position. It is also vital to allow the candidate equal time to ask questions that are important to them and to address related issues that may affect their spouse and family.
Take the time to think through the questions you are most likely to be asked during the interview. Be prepared to answer these following 10 most commonly asked questions:
Be honest and straightforward when responding to any of these questions. If there has been negative press surrounding your company, address it head-on instead of sweeping it under the rug. If you are not feeling as excited about the candidate as you thought you would be, don’t string them along and make them think they are currently your top choice. You should also have a strong timeline in place for the next steps – ideally you want to move quickly or candidates may accept other opportunities while you’re still dragging your feet, but they will be more likely to be patient if they know when to expect to hear from you.
Behavioral Interviewing Techniques
After you’ve done your best to “sell” the company to the candidate, now it’s their turn to “sell” themselves to you. This is beyond the scope of this article, but be sure to check out our article on Techniques for Behavior-Based Interviewing to determine which candidate is the best fit for the job.
3. Relationship Building After the Interview
Making a job change is a complex decision, made even more complicated when it affects a spouse, in-laws, children, grandparents and close friends. After the interview phase is complete, don’t forget to leave a lasting, positive impression on each candidate. The better they feel about the job, the company, the position and you, the easier the decision will be for them. Below is a post-interview relationship-building checklist you can use to solidify your relationship with each candidate after the interview.
If you follow the principles of building the relationship with prospective employees before, during, and after the interview, you will be able to win over your Superstar Candidate!
What does your workplace DNA look like? Let us know in the comments, then share this article with your network of culturally savvy (or not-so-savvy) executives.
Thank you for joining the Ropella community!