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While securing candidates is a top priority for recruiters in all industries, selling is only 50% of the game in the staffing business. As staffing professionals, if we don’t fill the job order we’ve worked so hard to get, we’ve lost the battle. However, it’s important to keep in mind our work doesn’t end once we set up a candidate interview. We often work closely with hiring managers to ensure that interviews have the best outcomes possible.

First, let’s start with the basics. With a growing labor shortage and skills gap throughout the U.S., it’s become an ongoing struggle for many companies to find top talent. Today’s employers are all aiming to court an A player. But old habits die hard, and unfortunately, too many hiring managers still have the mentality of “what can you (the candidate) do for me?” As a result, they often miss opportunities to acquire top notch workers simply because they haven’t shifted their mindset to “let me tell you what’s in this for you!”

As staffing professionals, we have a tremendous opportunity to coach our hiring managers to think differently about the hiring process.  In fact, we often explain to them that interviewing candidates is a lot like dating.  While we’re very interested in how the object of our desire can positively impact our lives – and we vet them carefully for the attributes we believe will improve our condition – we also understand they get a vote in the process and that we will have to put our best selves in front of them to entice them to come aboard. Along these same lines, hiring managers must SELL the job to the candidate – just as staffing pros do when pitching an order.

To implement this approach, it helps to understand what “sells” so you can coach your hiring managers accordingly. Here are three key factors to keep in mind when executing any recruitment strategy:

  • Your employer branding. Motivated employees on the job hunt typically aren’t just seeking a pay check – they’re looking to be part of an organization they can feel proud of on many levels. Articulating your mission to candidates and developing a strong employer brand will help you attract and retain the best talent in your industry.
  • Growth opportunities. Employees with goals to accelerate their careers are quick to judge employers based on perceived professional growth opportunities. Companies that communicate a path for advancement to candidates will ultimately do a better job at attracting individuals with long-term potential.
  • Freedom and flexibility. Now more than ever, employees are striving to achieve work-life balance. Flexible schedules and remote work options are examples of workplace benefits that should be highlighted to candidates in job descriptions and interviews.

By helping your hiring managers successfully court candidates during the interview process, you’ll ultimately make better placements – which will in turn improve employee retention for your organization at large.

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