5 Things to Consider When "Selling" a Candidate

What to Consider When "Unpacking" a Candidate

There is a lot of chatter in the air about the industry of sourcing shifting away from its legacy as experts in search toward its future of experts in engagement.  So when you start unpacking what it means to “sell” a candidate here are some things to consider.

  1. You still have the cookie.  It wasn’t long ago when candidates were treated more like cattle then the sought after commodities many of them are.  On the front end as sourcers, in order to to break through to top candidates whom are getting dozens of offers a day we often over sell, which results in exactly what you might expect it to.
  2. Understand the difference in candidates.  Many times, ESPECIALLY with passive candidates it all boils down to timing.  So depending on where they are in their search or why their eyes are wandering for other potential suiters is as important as grilling them to find out they qualify.  This is not just you so you can close them later in the offer stage but its really to understand how to properly vet them through the process.
  3. How hands on is your client?  If your hiring manager take forever to get back to you, is not really engaged in the process, and seem’s very transactional then the odds of you closing the ultra passive candidate is very difficult.  Its critical that you get buy in from the hiring manager so they understand how to balance their phone screens with the candidate between fact finding and explaining the opportunity from their point of view.
  4. Consider the news.  So maybe the candidate’s current company is going through a really bad situation.  While this may indeed by why the candidate is open this doesn’t mean its a pain point we as recruiters should push too hard.  Often, these candidates are indeed happy at their companies or worse feel betrayed.  Know other candidates are probably opening with lines like “so did you watch Mad Money last night, boy Cramer was ripping…”  You don’t want the candidate to look at you as a parachute but rather an amazing opportunity that came along JUST at the right time.
  5. Its start’s with the outreach.  Every time I talk about the need to make your email/inmail messages (because 95% of sourcers are not cold-calling any more) more authentic I get push back from recruiters who think 2% response is a good thing.  Please stop just pasting in the job req and blasting to candidates.  Try this exercise … hand pick 50 candidates to inmail one by one.  Track your response.  Each inmail type from scratch specifically why you are reaching out to them.  I am willing to bet, whatever you average response rate is, it will likely double.

How do you sell the candidate?

What advice do you have for those who are trying to attract a candidate? 

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Jonah Manning

Founder @PeopleOps. Connect with Jonah.

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