June 19, 2018

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Hiring Managers: How Effective is Your Capture Strategy?

If hiring managers would simply look at job seekers as their customers, most of them would dramatically improve their capture rate. That’s because it’s infinitely more effective to "close" the engineer (or sales rep or marketing manager) sitting across your desk than it is to snare someone you’ve never met, assuming the person fits your needs.

Rather than strike while the iron is hot, too many managers leave worthwhile candidates out in the cold. The appearance of indifference often leaves the candidate with bitter feelings and a sense of frustration—hardly the building blocks of a good reputation within the talent community.

To help reduce the number of missed opportunities, take a look at the five most common mistakes managers make during the hiring cycle---and how to avoid them:

  1. Your offer comes too late. If you’ve got a hot candidate, move quickly! Nothing turns off a job-seeker more than an interminable interview cycle.

  2. Your offer is too low. Research the market—as it is today, not what it was last year—and try to stay calm when the candidate states his salary needs. What seems like extortion may actually be the going rate.

  3. Your negotiating comes at the eleventh hour. If a salary compromise is necessary, try to reach an agreement before you make a formal offer. Negotiating after the candidate turns your offer down might be perceived as poor planning on your part; or worse, an exercise in bad faith. As soon as you know the offer will be accepted, go ahead and extend it.

  4. Your story keeps changing. Whatever else you do, always maintain a consistent job description from one interview (or interviewer) to the next. If you and another manager can’t agree on the nature of the job (or you surprise the candidate with new revelations), you stand a good chance of driving talent from your door.

  5. Your body language spooks the candidate. Job-seekers have a sixth sense regarding your sincerity, urgency and level of interest. Mixed signals or indecision during the interview will almost certainly be mirrored by the candidate, who will find a way—consciously or not—to undermine your offer.

It’s never too late to make adjustments. If too many people turn you down (or you can’t find anyone to interview), you may need to rethink your expectations, salary or job description.

Loose Ends Sink Ships

Finally, make sure all loose ends are buttoned up prior to extending an offer. A friend of mine recently accepted a management position with an e-commerce startup before all the “details” of his compensation package were worked out. Unfortunately, that’s where the devils were (in the details), and when the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement, my friend walked away.

A sloppy or ill-conceived capture strategy only gives comfort—and leverage—to your competition. While you’re sweating the small stuff (like whether to calculate the vesting period on a monthly or quarterly basis), your competitor’s offer of a job may already have been accepted.

-Bill Radin

Bill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, tapes and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Bill’s extensive experience makes him an ideal source of techniques, methods and ideas for rookies who want to master the fundamentals—or veterans ready to jump to a higher level of success.