September 30, 2015

7 Ways to Defeat Competing Offers


The present hiring landscape looks nothing like the barren market of the early 2000s. The many peaks and valleys that job candidates had to trudge through to apply for a job–let alone a lifetime career–have been turned on companies throughout every industry. Where once candidates sold themselves as the obvious choice for a position, now the tables have turned and companies are working to show off their attractiveness in a flood of open jobs and competing offers.

As the supply of qualified, quality job candidates dwindles, the demand of open jobs is increasing. Candidates are becoming highly selective and will turn down anything that isn’t’ exactly what they want. These wants range from the responsibilities of the position itself, the hours, culture, the wide array of benefit package combinations that exist, and most notably, salary. So, what’s a hiring manager to do to keep the supply of talent on their side with so many competing offers?

Here are 7 tips to lock in the best candidate and make your company a paradise island in the sea of jobs.

Close at the start
Sifting through hundreds of applications can be time consuming, but being thorough from the start can help you in the long run. When you decide who to bring in for an interview, you should already know that this candidate has the potential to really fit with the goals of your company as well as the culture. Could you see hiring this person at the end of the interview? Within the day?

If the candidate makes any mention of a competing offer, politely and respectfully find out what other offers they have and what they are like. This is important so you know how competitive you have to be in your offer, as well as how much you need to sell your company’s attractiveness during the interview.

Show them your path…and theirs
Everyone wants to have a great salary at their job, but the purpose and meaning behind the job will make any salary either worth it or not. A candidate is more likely to take a job at a lower salary if what they’ll be doing is very meaningful to them. The satisfaction of the job outweighs what you can offer in money and benefits.

Find out from the candidate what makes the position they’re applying for meaningful to them. How will it make a difference to them if they get this job? Then both show and tell them how this position makes a difference to the department, company and community. Outline how they might grow with this position too–longevity speaks.

The royal treatment
You don’t have to unroll the red carpet and VIP ropes, but do give the candidates a taste of the energy and atmosphere inside the company they may potentially be working for. Most candidates don’t see what their work space looks like until the day they start! Give them a quick tour of the office or facility; introduce them to key players (if available and applicable to the position); and let them get a feel of an average working day…even if it’s a five minute tour.

Listen, listen, listen
Candidates and companies alike want to be heard. Candidates want to say why they’re the best employee you’ll ever have, and companies want to show that what they have to offer is the most attractive. But listening to the hopes and needs of a candidate can get lost in that.

Find out what’s important to the candidate and why they decided to apply for this particular position among the pages and pages of open job listings. Ask them to create a wish list for their dream job (write this down!) and see how it could fit into your company. Ask what type of team they’d want to work on; what kind of manager they’d want to work for; the type of working arrangements that are most attractive to them, etc.

Pay them their worth
Nobody likes getting short-changed. Ever. When you offer, go in with your top offer. With the number of competing offers any candidate might have in their back pocket, you could lose the chance to counter their offer.

Conduct some market research and ensure that your company’s offers and benefits are within the top of your industry. You’re competing with everyone else and everyone else is competing at market rates–and candidates know it!

Shorten the hiring time
One of the biggest complaints voiced by candidates is the hiring timeline. If they even hear back from a company at the application submission stage or the interview stage, it can take weeks if not months to make any progress. This can be detrimental to your company: you could lose them to another offer while you deliberate for days on end. Make informed decisions in less time, streamline your hiring processes and communication lines with candidates.

Offer quickly
The moment you know, contact the candidate. Don’t wait, because another company might contact them that night and the candidate could accept it in the morning while you’re writing your offer email or getting ready to dial their number. If they say they’re considering another offer, politely inquire of what the other offers are providing that your company isn’t, and see what you can negotiate and/or arrange.

If your interviews have not gone as expected, and you’re finding the number of qualified candidates in the sea are becoming few, have a back up plan. Be confident in your back up plan. Understand that if an offer was chosen over yours, the motivating factor was that you could prevent it from happening again. Nobody likes to keep fishing and end up with no bites–or worse, finding out you didn’t hire the right person–but it could mean that the best candidate for the position is still out there!

Trying to find talented, qualified and fantastic candidates to fill open roles at your company? Let Innovative Career Resources take the wheel in finding and screening possible candidates. They’ll find out for you what the candidate is looking for, what their competing offers might be, and work with you to put together the most beneficial offer to both you and your future employee! Contact Innovative today to find the candidates in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino and Riverside counties who are seeking their next career in your industry!

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