Make Candidates Feel Like a Million Bucks

Job hunting has always been competitive, but it has become even more so in the past few years. Employees have more choices than ever, and all candidates must be treated like they are special throughout the entire process from initial contact through well after the hiring decision, according to Susan Ellis, Executive Search Consultant at Career1Source.

When a talented employee comes to their existing employer with another job offer, the employee may  expect to receive a counter offer from their current employer. However, Ellis points out that most counter offers don’t end up  working  out over time. Typically, by the time a star employee turns in their resignation, they have been considering a job change for a while and probably have multiple reasons for wanting to switch companies, making a counter offer too little, too late for their soon-to-be-former employer.

Employers have a number of factors to keep in mind when initiating relationships with potential candidates—and a lot of it boils down to the new employer taking the initiative and making the candidate feel good about their decision to join their team.

First, keep in mind that candidates are people, and should be treated with respect. This is more important than ever, when we hear stories of employers going weeks without updating candidates during the interview process. Employers should regularly evaluate their interview process and potentially train employees who interview to ensure that each candidate feels welcome and well treated during the process.

Another consideration is being open to remote or hybrid roles. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the working world has changed, and many prime candidates are desiring a fully remote or hybrid  role. Being open to remote employees also opens up the hiring pool for employers, enticing more outstanding applicants to apply.

Once an offer is made, there is often a gap until the candidate’s start date. This is a critical time that should not  be overlooked, according to Ellis. Employers should actively work to solidify a candidate’s commitment to their new company, keeping them engaged during this transition period.

“You want that new employee to identify  as a part of their new team,  ” she says. “So many pieces can fall apart between accepting an offer and onboarding.”

Employers should work not to lose momentum, building up to the candidate’s start date. Perhaps the candidate’s new supervisor sends an update or two on a project that they want the employee to get involved with on day one—which also sends a signal to the candidate that the employer is making preparations for their start day and is excited to have them onboard.

Of course, all parties involved want to see the candidate succeed and stay at their new company. Recruitment and retention should not stop after the candidate’s first day. Ellis says that she encourages regular check-ins during the first year with new employees, just to make sure things are going well and they are acclimating to the new company culture. Maintaining close relationships with placed candidates is always a best practice.