How to follow up with a candidate you really want to hire

By Charlie Knight |

If you find a candidate who you want to hire, the recruitment process can turn on its head. Rather than you waiting to be impressed by a potential candidate, you may now have to impress them. This usually happens if the candidate that you want has other offers on the table. They may be looking for the business that can give them more than the others. This might be a higher level of pay, incentives to work there, or employers that they can get on with. You have to make sure you know how to follow up with the candidate and give them an offer that they can not refuse.

Once you have found the candidate you want, you can send the rest an automated email. Let them know they have not been successful and then you will be free to focus all your efforts on this one candidate. You can wine and dine them, impress them and court them into joining your company. How do you do this?

Don’t Email

The first tip is not to bother with an email if you can avoid it. Emails can be missed and often are. There are far too many small details that can go wrong here. Your email might end up in their junk folder, and if that happens, they will never see it. Or, it might just be buried under other job offers. At this point, the employee will choose the best offer without even bothering to contact the other companies. Instead, check their resume for a mobile or home number. You can then ring them up and give them the good news. On occasion, it might be beneficial to visit them at their home address, but if you do this, you’ll be coming on strong. The employee is going to know how much you want to hire them, and that may not be in your best interest. You should think of it like buying a house. You want them to know you are interested and not that you will agree to pay any price.

Be Direct

You should be direct with the candidate and make sure you know that you do want to hire them. Do not prevaricate or make vague assertions. Offer them the job straight out and make sure they understand exactly what is on the table. At this point, the employee will consider your offer and perhaps, ask for time to consider it. You should give them this time, but give them a deadline as to when they should respond. There is every possibility that ultimately, you will lose this candidate to another company. If that happens, you want to make sure that you can call the next best. Or, that you have time to try and convince them to take your offer instead. That said, you should not overcrowd the candidate, and they should never feel too pressured to accept. You want them to come to the right decision of their own accord. Remember, if you are too forward, they will know they are the one in control.

Consider What To Offer

You need to think about the sales pitch or what you are willing to offer the potential employee. Consider the pay, the benefits, the incentives and the holidays. Make sure that you think about their role in the company and how much it is worth. Typically, if it is a desirable employee, you will need to raise the pay at least once or twice. This is why you may want to start off at a slightly lower number than you would agree to pay. You then have room to let that number grow, and the candidate thinks they are getting a better deal. In reality, they end up being paid only what you would have agreed to pay in the first place.

You must consider the incentives and benefits that employees typically find attractive. Health insurance plans are something that employees are always on the lookout for. Particularly, if they can put their family on the same plan. By doing this, you are providing an incentive that is attractive and valuable to the candidate. Other incentives to consider may be a company car, work flexible hours or the possibility of working from home. All of these factors may encourage clients to sign on the dotted line.

Make It Personal

If you think that the candidate in question has multiple offers, you may want to wine and dine them, like you would a client. Take them to a restaurant and talk about what you can offer them in a more comfortable environment. This usually occurs when the position being filled in the company is of great importance. If you do this, you are admitting to the client how much you want to hire them. At this point, they will be in control, but they might be subdued by this type of treatment. You’ll be able to win them over without losing your position of power completely. Don’t forget that employees are looking for employers that they can connect and interact with. You may want to find some common ground with things that you both like doing. This could be a hobby in your spare time, or sport. They may have talked about hobbies that they enjoy during the first interview.

Find Out About Other Offers

You want to avoid asking the candidate directly if they have other offers on the table. Again, this can cause you to lose your position of power when it comes to negotiations. Instead, you should use your contacts and feelers in the industry to discover whether there are other offers. If you have been working in the industry for a while, you should not find this too difficult. Often it is just a case of asking the question. On occasion, candidates will lead you to think that they have other offers available. However, once you start investigating you find that you are the only one offering them a job. This is why it’s always a good idea to investigate. If there are no other offers or you can guarantee you’re offering the best deal, they have no negotiating power. You can offer them a fair deal and feel reassured that they will accept.

One Person, One Candidate

During the recruitment process, one candidate might deal with a large number of different individuals. They could be interviewed and investigated by HR. They might be contacted and further interviewed by the hiring manager. Depending on the position, they may be expected to pass through a number of different stages. This is understandable because you want to make sure you end up with the best. However, it can make employees feel like one more part of the puzzle and therefore, not important. That’s why when you start to get serious about hiring a candidate, make sure they are only dealing with one individual. This individual will be the person that the candidate connects with, and that makes all the offers. By doing this, you can make them feel as though they are indeed, an important hire.

Be Polite

Finally, this may be a basic piece of advice, but it is nevertheless, important. You must make sure that you are polite with candidates. You should do this all the way through the recruitment process because you don’t know which is going to be successful. By treating your candidates well, you will be building your employee brand and making sure you’re in the right position to get the one you want. Essentially, you won’t have to build bridges back up because you never tore them down in the first place.

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.