Recruiting Roadmap: How to Succeed in a Candidate-Driven Market

Ryan Joseph
by Ryan Joseph

Four ways to woo new hires in the post-pandemic security job market

If you tried to make a hire recently and it took you longer than expected to fill or it is still open, you are not alone. In this environment our industry is experiencing a “resurgence” – business has picked up significantly and many companies are recovering from pandemic-related turnover.

In a job-driven market, there are fewer openings, so the companies that are hiring get to call the shots. Candidates are readily available and there is less competition wooing candidates. However, our industry has now shifted to a candidate-driven market, in which companies must roll out the red carpet to court candidates for highly competitive and readily available jobs.

Hiring is an art not a science and there are a lot of variables that go into a candidate’s decision-making process. It is possible for hiring managers to learn the drivers of their potential employees before they start and what it will take to retain them long term for better outcomes. Here are four ways to succeed in a candidate-driven market:

1. Assess the candidate’s motivation: Why would a candidate leave a company for another organization? Today, it is not enough to have full benefits and a 401k; in fact, money is not usually the deciding factor for a candidate. When moving to a competitor, job seekers want to know if the grass is really greener at your organization.

For hiring managers to convince a potential employee to come do the same job for them, it is critical to assess the candidate’s career motivators. Whether it is progression, training, money, less travel, etc., determine what will be able to win them over and ultimately retain them in the long term.

2. Maintain communication: I am not saying the hiring process needs to be less than a week, but it is important to keep momentum in between interviews. Going a week or two between interviews (or longer) with no communication is a red flag, and this lack of communication causes candidates to feel a lack of interest from a prospective company. If it is manageable, I would recommend communicating in between interviews through e-mail. Obviously, hiring does not take priority over day-to-day operations and demands of business and vacations may stand in the way of setting up next steps; therefore, outsourced recruiting efforts can be a solution if a company is really time strapped.

3. When ready to make an offer, do not delay: The candidate-centric market is characterized by highly competitive and readily available jobs; thus, it is not uncommon for candidates to be in the middle of multiple interview processes. Sometimes the first offer is the one that gets accepted – even though it may not have been the best one. Waiting too long to make an offer gives another company the opportunity to scoop up the candidate. That person may have been most interested in your company, but since the other company stepped up and did not delay, the candidate “felt the love” and made their decision swiftly.

4. Never offer without a trial close and expiration: Even candidates with the best intentions can fall victim to a counteroffer. As a rule of thumb, I suggest that all companies make a verbal offer and ask for candidate commitment before sending out a formal offer letter. While this is not a foolproof method, this ensures that a candidate makes a verbal commitment to a company and takes away the risk of “offer shoppers.” Once the verbal commitment is made, a formal letter can be issued with a 24-hour expiration period. By this point, the candidate should have already established that this job is for them, and it should not be difficult to sign and accept within 24 hours.

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