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Hiring Hack: Think Like a Candidate

With the high school, college and pro football seasons in full swing, there’s a great lesson being played out that can help hiring managers be more successful when it comes to creating top-performing teams.

As coaches develop strategies, they put themselves in the minds of their opponents. What type of offense do they run, and how can we stop it? Knowing the type of defense they play, what should we be doing to move the ball? In each case, the coaching staff thinks like its target in order to gain an advantage.

In the same way, hiring managers vying for top talent need to think like the candidates for whom they’re competing. In so doing, they stand a much better chance of attracting, hiring and retaining the great employees they need. 

Understanding that candidates have the advantage

There’s no question HR teams are being frustrated by candidates these days. From not responding to messages to ghosting interviews and turning down strong job offers – to say nothing of accepting a job and then not showing up for work – candidates are sometimes making life difficult for the recruiters trying to hire them.

The key to getting past that frustration is to think like a candidate. Once you understand the forces at work, you can begin to take steps to adapt to a challenging environment. 

What are candidates thinking?

There are at least three reasons candidates are behaving differently than ever before. Recruiters should keep in mind it’s not personal; it’s a product of several factors.

1) Options. Candidates have lots of them these days. With more jobs to fill than qualified people to fill them, there is no shortage of landing spots for good employees. 

2) Opportunities. Not only do candidates have many to choose from, they’re being bombarded with them. Text messages, emails, phone calls, LinkedIn requests and other communications promising great jobs are plentiful. 

3) Occupied. You know all the things you’re dealing with: work, kids, families, activities, and more? Candidates have the same pressures, and they’re picking and choosing which to prioritize – and a recruiter may not necessarily be their first choice. 

Breaking through the noise

The key to getting and keeping a candidate’s attention is first, to think like them, and second, to adjust your messaging accordingly. They’re not thinking of your needs – they’re thinking of their own. The organizations that transition their outreach approach to fit a candidate’s style are more likely to be seen, considered, and given a chance to show their value.

Connecting with candidates on their terms requires a fresh way of thinking and doing. Alaant’s professionals know the time and effort it takes, and have the expertise to make it happen. Can we assist your organization in shaping its messaging to get better results? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Tom Schin Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Tom SchinDirector, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services

When he’s not working, Tom is an avid board game enthusiast, from Catan to Canasta, who makes sure game night is fun for everyone (even though they’ll probably lose). He’s also fond of celebrating his status as a child of the ‘80s by watching Star Wars, listening to U2, and reminiscing about his (gone-but-not-forgotten) Andre Agassi haircut.