July 24, 2017

Secrets to an Accepted Offer: Get the Buy-in Early

By Sean Sposeep, Partner, Life Sciences

How quick is your company’s average time to hire? If it’s hitting the one-month mark, you could be wasting valuable resources interviewing candidates and making offers — only to repeat the process when a candidate turns you down.

According to DCRTrendline, the average time to hire is currently around 28 days, which is an all-time high. At the same time, hiring experts know that it’s critical to move fast to get an early buy-in from favored candidates so that they aren’t snapped up by competitors. Here are five ways to do just that.

1. Pay Attention to Your Company Culture

You can’t sell a great culture if you don’t have one. If employee engagement is an accurate gauge of a healthy corporate culture, Gallup’s finding that only 29 percent of millennials are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job is less than encouraging. Exit interviews can help reveal the reasons why your employees are leaving. Did they dislike their supervisor? Was their professional growth stunted? Early buy-ins from candidates require consistent high standards and a spotless reputation. A third-party recruitment firm can quickly assess your past hiring history and help establish a positive online presence for prospective applicants.

2. Optimize Your Processes

Recent research indicates that the top 10 percent of candidates are hired from the marketplace within 10 days. The latest hiring software and automated processes can streamline your search and cut days off your hiring process. Recruitment specialists can also survey the labor market, establish relationships with clients, and use the latest technology to reach out to and place candidates. For example, ThinkingAhead hires the right person for every 4.5 candidates it presents, which exceeds the industry average of eight candidates. Recruitment experts use algorithms in tandem with years of experience to select the best applicants, leveraging predictive analytics to align business outcomes with hiring data.

3. Check-In with Applicants Throughout the Hiring Process

Many applicants end up with more than one job offer, so even if your time to hire is relatively rapid, don’t assume that a candidate will still be available as little as one week in. Once you’ve identified a possible hire, check in with them frequently to find out if anything has changed. Set deadlines, inform your applicant of the timeline, and encourage them to contact you with any updates as soon as possible. You might need to take immediate action if you sense that they’re about to accept another offer.

4. Find Out What Motivates Them and Zero In

Candidates seek alternative employment for a reason. To best sell your open position, find out what’s important to applicants and make sure your position appeals. For example, ask them what they would change about their current job, or what made them leave their last one. Have retention statistics and examples of career advancement at hand, and enable the best applicants to meet other employees at your company — living proof of your development programs. Inviting potential applicants to an in-house experience day can also get early buy-ins, as top applicants have the opportunity to see the inner workings of your firm.

5. Pre-Close Candidates with Competitive Packages

Money isn’t always the greatest motivator, but most of us are naturally drawn an employer who offers the best compensation. Ask your candidates what their salary expectations are, and analyze the market to find out what your competitors are offering. If you can’t compete with bigger firms, be sure to offer flexibility, more vacation, or whatever else will appeal to applicants. Sometimes, the simple fact that a company makes a candidate feel valued can have a huge impact on their decision to accept a job. Revisit the subject of compensation frequently in the hiring process in case the candidate’s circumstances change.

Getting early buy-ins from candidates will speed up your hiring process and ensure better retention. An outside recruitment firm can help incorporate brand-building, reputation management, and marketing, particularly via social media. Time is of the essence for effective recruiting, which calls for the newest technology and the best expertise to meet your hiring goals.