What entices an executive to leave the safe haven of a job in the middle of a global pandemic and economic recession? Persuading talent, especially one who is passive, to accept a job offer in this market has its challenges because emotions and anxiety are running at an all-time high.
A candidate may fall in love with the idea of your opportunity, but when reality sets in they might fear the position could be eliminated due to the tenuous economy and rampant virus. As the saying goes, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
If you have a candidate with cold feet, you aren’t the only one. In the past four months, Talentfoot has had more candidates turn down offers than in all of 2019. Of course, 80% of the candidates we pursue are not actively looking to make a move – but, you can’t ignore these numbers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 1.8 million Americans quit their jobs in April. July 2010 was the last time the “quits” statistic was this low.
These numbers indicate the deep uncertainty in the marketplace. According to Quartz, “When more people voluntarily leave their jobs, it means there is a general sense of optimism about the future of the economy.”
As a hiring manager, it is your job to make the best case to a candidate as to why they should accept the position when it is time to extend an offer.
Below are six tips to receive the acceptance you’re seeking from your number one pick:
State the obvious.
All Americans are dealing with repercussions from the global pandemic. Executives are reluctant to accept an offer because they are concerned about job security. Hiring managers need to address this issue directly. A candidate may ask, “do you have a ‘last in, first out’ policy?” You better have a solid answer prepared to ease their anxieties. Your candidate may be concerned about returning to the office or commuting. Talk through these topics and your organization’s ongoing plans in the face of the virus.
Sell the benefits.
Compensation is a top priority – but what else do you have to offer a new employee? For example, your organization may expand its work from home policy in the aftermath of COVID. Perhaps employees receive a work-from-home stipend. Emphasize all of the benefits, even the ones that may seem small like employee recognition events and anniversary celebrations.
Sweat the small stuff.
Ask your prospective hire what is most important to them in a new position. For example, one priority could be culture. Maybe they want a collaborative environment or regular team-building events. Give concrete examples of how your company encourages collaboration or recognizes employee achievements. Show them how your company will fulfill their expectations. Does your candidate have children? They may be facing tough choices because of the uncertainty of school and childcare. Find out how you can accommodate those concerns.
Empathize, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “how can I appeal to these wishes?”
Every job has its challenges. Do not hide these from your potential employee. Tell them about pain points they may encounter. Talk about how the pandemic impacted business and the challenges you face as a result. Was your organization forced to furlough or lay off a portion of the staff? Talk about it. Address how these decisions were made. Do not hide anything from your candidate. They will notice that something feels “off.”
Show some love.
Get an employee not affiliated with the interview process to meet your executive. This is your candidate’s chance to ask questions in a different setting and form a bond with your people and your company. Pick an employee who represents your values and can speak to why your organization is a great one. This personal touch will welcome your candidate into the fold before they sign the offer letter.
Detail the path forward.
Candidates want to know how they can grow inside your organization. Tell them about a plan to ascend the ranks. Hiring managers can articulate the career path for the open position and clearly communicate the milestones for achievement. Show your candidate that there is room for them to move forward within your company.
This is a tough time to take a new job.
Once you find the right talent for your position, you’ve got to do more than woo them. Think about this move from their perspective. Why would your potential hire leave the safety of a known entity and take a risk in an already risky world? Consider what would convince you to take this leap of faith.