Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why do we Romance the Stone, but not the Candidate?

It is our job as recruiting professionals to romance the candidate. We need to ensure the candidate is receiving the message we intend to send. As in every relationship, communication is the key to success. When communication fails, so will the relationship.

The Three Top Ingredients in a Successful Candidate Relationship:

1). Communication: We have to talk and ask questions about each other. We need to better understand who each of us really are. Send emails, leave voicemails and keep the interactions warm. Communication is verbal and nonverbal, be sure your words match your body language. Send any information you can without compromising your business confidential information.

2). In order to build relationships you need to invest time in both personal and professional interactions. Contact is essential and necessary, contact in person is better than contact electronically (virtual).

3). Relationships need time. Do not rush the candidate. Time is critical, but time to decide is an important step to allow ample determination of a good fit. Remember, we are not putting posteriors in a chair we are putting key personnel in strategic positions. Think of it like trying on a nice pair shoes. Get the right fit the first time.

Now ask yourself: How can I Uniquely Romance the Candidate?

  • Invite the candidate and their direct family for a site visit and city tour if living out of town. Allow single candidates to bring a friend. Singles like company too. If the company will pay for a family of four or five, why not allow a single candidate the companionship of a friend. Stories are full of intangible value and word of mouth is the best marketing strategy. A good friend to share a new experience will enhance the trip.

  • Pick up the candidate and family/guest at the airport. This is especially important if the candidate is international. Often times we don’t think about the individual and the stress of being somewhere new. Many people from around the world only have a Hollywood interpretation of the United States. Check out the hotel to ensure it is up to par and then stock their fridge with a few free snacks and drinks. Go the extra mile and it will make a huge difference.

  • Take the candidate and guest/s to dinner. Select a restaurant that is appropriate for conversation and yet fun. Be sure to ask the candidate is there are any diet restrictions (religious, cultural, and food allergies) and the easiest way is to accomplish this, is to ask the candidate what type of food they prefer.

  • Make the visit memorable and fun. Show off your company, town and entertainment available. Fun is always good.

  • Give the candidate the + and – of the area. Never sugar-coat the negative. Let the candidate know the pros and cons of the area up front.

  • Send a cool thank you to the candidate. A few examples include food! Huge cookies with a message, fruit with cool recruiting gadgets, meal voucher in their home town when they get back and so much more.

Oh the things we can do if we only make the effort. Intangible benefits are worth calculating. The proof is in the pudding: Whatever that means to your candidate.

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