If you’re first to present a job offer, does that ensure you’ll snag the candidate?

Hiring Managers Losing Job Search Candidates Who Reject Offers

I read a recent article posted by Matt Deutsch on PRWEB. Matt is the Chief Content Officer for Top Echelon, a recruiter job sharing network. He suggested in this article titled, Top Echelon Recruiter Survey: Why Candidates Turn Down Job Offers  , that the first company to make an offer will usually be the one who gets the candidate.  After 30 years of executive search, I've got to look at this comment as being wrong. It has nothing to do with candidate motivation or why people take jobs.

I'll take a 180 degree different perspective on this blog post by Matt Deutsch – which is tough since we share a common last name.

 

Maybe desperate candidates who are long-term unemployed jump at the first job offer due to desperation. In 30 years of executive search, over 1000 search assignments, and interviews with over 250,000 candidates, I have NEVER believed that good candidates take jobs based on the order in which they are presented.

 

For most candidates, particularly top talent, the sequence of job offers – first, middle, or last – has nothing to do with the acceptance rate.

 

The real issues of whether good candidates take jobs is not different today than it was over half a century ago when Maslow published the “Hierarchy of Needs”. Top caliber candidates take jobs based on principles of self-actualization.

 

In our hiring methodology, we call this the LIB curve – what am I going to learn in this job, what impact will I have, and what will I become for having been in this job for a period of time. When hiring managers fail to address these specific issues, candidates decline or ignore their job offers.

 

Since most hiring managers and HR professionals do a TERRIBLE job of discussing the LIB factors in an interview, they typically struggle to hire the best talent. It's the same issue for compensation, most top caliber candidates will sacrifice some portion of compensation if they feel the learning, impact, and becoming will put them on a steeper curve of success.

 

Recruiters don't lose deals because their clients can't move fast enough – which is the underlying message in this post by a recruiter network. Recruiters lose deals because they don't know how to help their clients convey the value of a job offer beyond compensation. They lose their candidates to competitors who do a much better job of showing candidates the learning, impact, and becoming elements of a new job.

 

Peter Cappelli makes a convincing case for what hiring managers should do in terms of considering long-term unemployed candidates. He frames it with the need to demonstrate social responsibility.

 

I've been conducting executive search for almost 30 years. In that time I've worked on over 1,000 executive searches, and between my parrtners and myself, probably interviewed over 250,000 managerial and executive candidates.

 

The hiring manager perspective on long-term unemployed candidates has not changed much in those 30 years. Most hiring managers have a prejuidice against unemployed candidates – considering them “damaged goods”. The unstated thinking is that if they were any good, they wouldn't be long-term unemployed – in fact, they wouldn't be unemployed ever.

 

Perhaps this thinking is misguided and inappropriate. That's not the issue. The real issue is that the perspective on long-term unemployed candidates is a tribal hiring element. For example, I learned to be biased from my boss, who learned a generation ago to be biased from their boss.

 

Until we break this tribal hiring paradigm of employed/unemployed candidates, NOTHING will change. One way to break the paradigm is to train hiring managers to be more objective and rational in their decision making process. Until training, coaching, guidance lowers, eliminates, or changes our long-term bias against unemployed candidates, there is no hope that the perspective will evolve through the next recession or the next 10 recessions.

 

What is your organization doing right now to help hiring managers learn how to assess, interview, and measure candidates from a rational and objective approach to overcome the bias of unemployed vs. employed?

Barry Deutsch

Where Do Candidates Come From?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket when recruiting top talent

This sounds like the typical question your 3 year old might ask?

Have you ever really thought about where they come from?

Candidates come from a number of different sources. I’m going to tackle the 4 major sources over the next few weeks in these blog postings.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t get to see the best ones. Instead, the only use ONE dominant source and it’s usually not the best source. This is known as “putting all your eggs in one basket”. I'm going to challenge you with a  “disruptive” thought: if we only use one method of finding candidates and it’s not the best method – what’s going to happen?

I’ll tell you what happens:

  • frustration
  • anger
  • desperation
  • more frustration
  • resignation
  • lowering standards
  • accepting mediocrity

This occurs because you’re using a technique of advertising that’s been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution and it just doesn’t work well in today’s social media-interactive-engagement oriented climate. Posting traditional job descriptions onto job boards is a worthless recruitment strategy and a complete waste of money. Occasionally, you might get lucky and find a gem – but it’s not an on-going rigorous process that fills your pipeline with great talent.

The traditional job description combined with classified job advertising (job board ad posting) primarily attracts the bottom 1/3 of the candidate pool. It attracts the rejects, retreads, dysfunctional, poor performers who will NEVER succeed in your company. It’s very difficult to separate the “wheat from the chaff” as the adage goes.

Here’s the scenario that most companies experience:

You post your job on one of the major job boards

You get 300 responses

Out of the 300, you can’t figure out what keyword did 298 click on to apply for the job. They are so far off the mark, it’s bordering on comical. Two in the group looked pretty good. Unfortunately, they went on and off the market in the blink of an eye – since 50 other companies were advertising for the same exact job with your same job description boilerplate language.

3 weeks after you posted the advertisement, you’ve got nothing to show for it except the 6 hours you spent reviewing resumes while watching Dancing with the Stars.

Now you’re faced with a dilemma – what to do? In most cases you will REPEAT and RINSE – you’ll run the same ad again hoping for different results (welcome to the insanity of traditional recruiting). What do you get – same results as the first time.

Except this time, you’re tired of the process. You crave for it to be over. You’ve got real work to do instead of wasting your time trying to hire someone. After 5 more weeks, you’ve managed to line up 3 candidates.

You know that not one of these candidates can achieve your expectations. However, you’re done – you want nothing more to do with hiring at this stage. So you pick the “cream of the crap” and hope they manage to make it through your 90 day probation period. You could deal with rehiring someone in 90 days – right now you just need a break.

I know you would never fall victim to doing this – but what about all the executives and managers who work for you? How many times does this occur in your organization on a daily basis?

STOP using just one method of hiring – posting on job boards – and especially STOP using the traditional job description as your advertisement. The job description is not an ad – it’s a job description masquerading as an ad – and it’s a complete turn-off to top talent.

I recently wrote a companion article to this blog post titled Hiring Mistake #7: Fishing in Shallow Waters. Fishing in Shallow Waters occurs because we try to easily and quickly skim the candidates floating near the surface of the pond. If you want to get great employees, you must fish deeply in the pond. You can read more about one of the greatest mistakes in hiring – fishing in shallow waters – by clicking here.

Are you frustrated by posting job descriptions on job boards and getting weak candidates? What other methods are you using to attract better candidates?

We’ve created a quick 15 minute phone review called “I could have had a V-8 to find better talent”. The hundreds of companies that have called us and asked for the 15 minute review are stunned at how easy it is to find great talent outside of generic job board postings. Are you ready for your “I could have had a V-8 to find better talent” review.

Fire off an email or use the contact form on our blog to send us a note asking for your 15 minute review. If you’re done wasting time attracting the bottom third of the candidate pool through traditional recruiting techniques, start right now to make a change to start getting the top 25%!

While you're going through this process over the next 48 hours of pure disgust over the quality of candidates you've seen off your traditional job advertisement, don't forget to download a copy of our award winning and popular guide to hiring, “You're NOT the Person I Hired.”

Barry Deutsch