How to Secure the Right Candidate Right Now

After sifting through countless resumes, scanning endless LinkedIn profiles and sitting through more interviews than you can count, you’ve found the person with the skills and expertise you’ve been searching for…

If only there was a way to make sure they say yes to your role right now. A special elixir. A magic wand.  

Well. There is.  

(Kind of.)  

Securing the right candidate doesn’t happen in an instant. It starts before you begin the first interview right up until you share an offer. Your interview process is the linchpin that determines whether you can secure a candidate quickly or risk losing them to your competitors.

Want to ensure your company comes out on top? Reassess your hiring steps using a few ideas that’ve served us (and our clients) well:  

Start with a full picture of the process

Make sure your candidate knows what to expect from your interview process.

Share a high-level overview of each step and the proposed timeline between them. Outline what types of interviews they’ll have and with whom they’ll speak. The more information, the better.

Chances are good – if this person is as talented as they look on paper – you’re not the only company they’re considering. Kicking off your conversations with crystal-clear communication and transparent timelines sets a strong foundation for everything to come.

Keep up the momentum

Do what you can to keep things moving forward.

Obviously, there’s only so much you can control. A key stakeholder gets called away to pick up his sick kid from school. Impending deadlines mean two of your panel interviewers are no-shows. The person with the final say is… thorough and careful… which delays your ability to hire quickly.

Do what you can to keep long pauses between interview steps to a minimum. Continue updating your candidate when these snags occur.

Remember it’s not just an interview; it’s a “mutual evaluation process”

Just as you’re evaluating a candidate, they’re also evaluating you and your organization.

Choosing to change jobs can be a complex process, full of questions and considerations that stretch far beyond the zeroes on a paycheque. It’s likely the biggest decision your candidate is about to make.

Give plenty of space for candidates to get to know your company. Figure out if there’s anyone else they’d like to meet throughout the process. Ask if there’s anything they need to be confident this is the right position for them. Do what you can to ensure they have all the necessary details to make the right decision.

Don’t play your cards too close to your chest

Things are progressing well. You think they’re a great fit.

Tell them.

Find opportunities to share positive feedback with your candidate. (Yes, we’re talking about more than, “You did great! Can you come back for another interview?” That doesn’t count.)

Let them know you’re impressed by how they resolved a difficult situation with their team. They have an eye for detail and colour that’s apparent in their design work. Their ability to increase ROI by 5x is impressive, a skill you haven’t seen in other candidates.

Be honest. Be specific. And tell them.

Encourage transparency

“Has anything changed since we last spoke?”

This is one of our favorite questions to ask interviewees when we catch up after a couple days. It gives them an opportunity to share how the process is going and can lead to conversations about compensation expectations, lingering questions or nagging concerns.

A great way to encourage transparency is by being the first to open up. In case we haven’t said it enough, be clear about your desire to hire the candidate. (Providing, of course, that’s the case.)

Lead with your best offer

“You’re our top choice. We want you to choose us. So, this is what we’re going to offer.”

People want to know they’re wanted. Receiving a solid offer from the start backs up all the positive feedback you’ve given up to this point. Put together a great package for them from the get-go.

Don’t hesitate to give context on how you came to the decision, the comparables within your organization and industry. Make sure they know you’re starting strong because you want them to join your company.

Make it an obvious choice.

Obviously, a magic wand would be much easier. But you’re not Harry Potter, and this isn’t Hogwarts.  

Whether you’re facing a massive overhaul or a series of tiny tweaks, taking the time to update your hiring process is worth it. We’ve watched companies snag their ideal employees in no time flat because they went the extra mile to connect and delight during interviews.  

And there’s no reason you should be left in their dust. 


Ready to Hire? 

Smart, Savvy + Associates is a marketing recruitment agency that connects companies with marketing, communications and creative professionals at all levels, from coordinators to C-suite. Based in Vancouver, B.C., our team of marketers-turned-recruiters have an in-depth understanding of the industry and work diligently to find best-in-class talent for each search. Get started today.