“I Accept!” How to Get a Candidate to Accept Your Offer (In the Face of Other Offers)

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on November 25, 2014

For tech companies looking to launch “the next big thing,” Seattle has become the national hotspot for collaboration and innovation. Unfortunately, that also makes it a major hot spot for tech hiring – which means that companies, not candidates, are doing the job hunting in many fields.

According to a recent KING 5 news report, many tech job candidates are juggling multiple job offers. Some employers seeking software engineers find themselves emailing up to a thousand candidates via LinkedIn and other sites, only to receive 30 or 40 responses from candidates looking for an interview.

A 3 percent response rate from candidates sounds daunting – and it is. But companies that know how to offer what candidates want stand a better chance of landing a “yes” from their top choice. Here’s how to rise to the top of a candidate’s “offers I’m considering” list:

Start by Closing

Any sales professional can recite their “ABC”: Always Be Closing. Begin learning what the candidate really wants and needs from the first moment of contact.

Is the candidate highly ambitious, always thinking about his or her next step up the career ladder? Clarify exactly what the candidate’s chances of promotion are and how they will know they’re approaching the goal. Does the candidate have a passion for volunteering and concerns about work/life balance? Highlight the company-sponsored opportunities for volunteer work, telecommuting, and flex time options. Have a candidate who loves to create and innovate? Talk about ways the company can support this work.

When you know what a candidate wants, you can demonstrate how the company can provide it – making your offer more promising than other “standard fare.”

Hire More Quickly

Hiring is a serious decision, and it should be treated as such. But one sure way to lose a superstar candidate is to wait too long between steps of the hiring process. The longer you let the candidate hang, the better the chances he or she will say “yes” to a competitor’s offer.

Ask for work samples before the interview, along with a resume and references, so you have personalized information to discuss during the interview stage. Schedule multiple interviews in a single day, and schedule a “discussion session” with the hiring team immediately afterward. With candidates fresh in your mind, you’ll make a better hiring decision – and improve your chances of becoming the first offer on the table.

Talk to Your Recruiter — Often

Most companies seeking high-demand talent may turn to their recruiter for suggestions, but forget to follow up as the search kicks into high gear. Talk to your recruiter throughout the search process. Your recruiter can help you shorten the time to hire and reach out to candidates whose professional approach is a great fit with your company’s culture, improving the chances that the candidate will put you first on their list. The more you talk to your recruiter, the better your recruiter’s results will be.

At TERRA Staffing, our experienced recruiters take the time to match promising candidates with employers who offer the right professional and cultural “fit,” improving the chances that when you extend an offer, they will accept. Contact us today to learn more about our technology staffing services in Seattle and Portland.


Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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