Make Candidates an Offer They Can’t Refuse

As an employer, you want to hire the best candidates. Some will be interested in immediate incentives. Others will want long-term benefits. Think signing bonuses versus vacation accruals and a flexible work environment. In your recruiting efforts, you want to find the right mix of benefits and perks in order to attract desired candidates while satisfying company goals, policies and budget considerations.

But the work doesn’t stop at hiring. Retention of top talent is equally important. Many dissatisfied employees are likely to leave their jobs in 2014. Competitive compensation and a sense of not feeling valued in the organization are the top reasons that employees look for new opportunities.

A successful sourcing professional will learn to balance the benefit of immediate perks to sign on top talent with the longer term benefits required to retain them.


Listen to Candidates

The key ingredient in making a job offer that seals the deal with a top candidate is to listen to the candidate’s individual needs. It’s easy to assume you know what will make a candidate interested in a position and ultimately accept it. The way to ensure that you understand candidate desires is to ask probing questions and listen to the responses. Before or after reviewing your benefits package, ask the candidates which benefits would be most valuable. The answer will likely reveal their values and priorities, and it can be an indicator as to whether or not they’re a good fit for your organization and the targeted department. Just as savvy candidates are taught to ask probing questions of a potential employer, consider the questions below as you seek to gain an in-depth understanding of your candidates’ desires.

  • What management style do you prefer?
  • What are your expectations in terms of your work schedule?
  • What type of training or career development is important to you?
  • Describe the highlights of the best work environment in your current or past employment.
  • When were you most satisfied with your job and why?
  • Describe an ideal work week.

Actively listen for key terms and concepts such as:


Combine Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits

You can’t give all candidates everything they want, and most candidates understand this. Offer an attractive combination of immediate, ongoing, and long-term benefits that speak to the candidates’ needs. This will help them to feel valued and respected.

Younger workers often perceive an uncertain financial future, and long-term benefits that suggest security are valuable. However, frequent job changes, a surge in entrepreneurship, massive layoffs, and the slow fade of long-term careers makes a 401(k), for example, a standard perk at best. It’s not enough to stand out. The same goes for verbal promises of future advancement and raises. Even perks such as tuition reimbursement and employee referral bonuses are competitive, though they may not be competitive enough to attract a candidate.

In addition to the long-term, the here and now has become more important as well. Today’s working generations are less likely to settle or suffer for many years in order to make it to a long-term work payoff. They’ve seen too many people let go just before they should have been rewarded.

Luckily for you, not every perk has to cost the company excessive money. Keep in mind some of the immediate and ongoing benefits that you can offer.

  • Upfront full vacation packages
  • Health benefits that start immediately upon employment
  • Signing bonuses
  • Short-term bonus opportunities
  • Remote work options
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Discounts for local and common services (cell phone packages, dry cleaning, airlines)
  • Free lunches
  • Onsite daycare
  • Onsite fitness facilities and classes
  • Paid time off for volunteer work
  • Flexible/casual dress code

One good resource as you brainstorm options is the CNN feature, “100 Best Places to Work For.” Check out the perks that these companies offer and consider ways that you can match or compete.

When charming top talent, remember that we all have immediate, long-term and ongoing wants and needs. Listen to candidates for clues regarding their values and priorities. Familiarize yourself with the perks you have at your disposal so you can put them in play during interviews. Then watch your reputation as a cutting-edge employer that offers modern benefits spread like wildfire.
At Simply Hired we want to navigate the ever-changing landscape of successful recruiting with you. Stay with us over the next few months as we explore best practices in recruiting and look at examples of employers that do it well. You can sign up to receive future newsletters and feature articles in our preference center.

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