How many of you assume that every job application you receive is from a candidate that is excited at the prospect of working for you? A few of you are nodding I’m sure. Well, I’m here to tell you that people apply for job roles for many different reasons, and it’s not always because of the hiring company’s brand.

When you invite an applicant to interview with you, you naturally assume that the applicant wants to work for your company. You have no reason to think otherwise. After all, they responded to your job advertisement didn’t they? Yet are they unemployed and applying for every position that remotely resembles their dream job? Are they running away from a job they don’t enjoy? Regardless of the reason they are sitting in the interview room with you, you need them to walk out feeling excited about representing your company. Particularly if they are a superstar candidate. And if they are a quality recruit, it’s likely they have, or will have, multiple offers on the table. So you need to get your candidates pumped about working for your company.

Getting a candidate to envision themselves stepping through your doors every day and giving their best sounds like an easy task. I mean, you have a great corporate culture, every Friday is casual day, your employees are truly gifted and awesome people to work with, there are opportunities to advance within the company…it’s a great place to work! Right? Umm….do all these attributes align with the candidate’s employer wish list? If the candidate you are interviewing, who is also interviewing you by the way, values professional development, innovation and strong growth strategies, are your key selling points aligning with their principal employment needs?

Understand that recruitment is a decision making process. For both the hiring organisation and the candidate. It takes time to make the right decision. One wants to minimise the risks involved as it is an important decision that affects their long term future. Any fears, uncertainties or doubts need to be laid to rest before a commitment can be made. And commitment comes only once the benefits outweigh the risks. So how does a recruiter alleviate a candidate’s fears and get them to commit to a job offer? You need to identify the candidate’s decision making criteria and demonstrate how your company can deliver on each of those standards. For example, the candidate is looking to advance their career. Explain that you have a mentoring program in place and support employees who wish to undertake further study by offering them flexible working hours. Don’t assume though that your response has given them confidence in your company, ask them if what you can offer meets their needs. Alternately, when they ask about employee incentives, ask them what is important to them before responding so you can directly address what they deem to be non-negotiable factors.

Easing a candidate’s fears will give them more reasons to want to work for your company and fewer reasons to decline your job offer.  But you need to ensure they are excited about working for you. Even if the candidate has no other job offers to consider, an employer that impresses will incite greater motivation in the candidate. And once in the job, it will be repaid in spades. It may even result in them recommending your organisation to their connections in the industry. Their talented connections!

Creating animated enthusiasm in your potential recruits can be achieved in many ways, though you first need to understand the benefits of working within your organisation. You can easily compile a list of pros and cons, but perhaps enquire after a different perspective by asking you staff what they enjoy about working for your company. If you understand, and can articulate the reasons why someone should work for you above all others, then you will reap the benefits of increased productivity and attract greater talent. Thus in determining if you have the WOW factor, the million dollar question you ultimately need to ask is Why would a person want to work here and not somewhere else? If you’re not excited by the response, how can you expect your candidates to be excited?

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