How to Make Prospective Employees Want You

All signs point to the “war for talent” dragging on. Low unemployment. Fewer people seeking permanent work. More employees jumping at the prospect of greener pastures. It’s a frustrating and discouraging time for many business leaders.

So how can you make prospective employees want your company?
1. 8 seconds
They have lots of choices. And short attention spans. So you have to capture their attention fast! An oft-cited study by Microsoft concluded you have 8 seconds … otherwise they’re on to the next thing.
The first impression you convey better be compelling; otherwise you won’t get in the game. Whatever their first point of contact is – your website, an ad, your lobby, the first person they meet … it needs to send the right message. And what should that be? Whatever it is that your target employees are looking for. Collaboration? Stability? Fun? Challenge? Figure that out and design your messaging around it. The goal is to create a positive emotional reaction.
2. Don’t piss them off
You’ve captured their interest. That was the easy part. Because now, if you do anything that rubs them the wrong way, they’re going to reject you. An indifferent interviewer? People in the office don’t seem happy? Hard to find a parking spot? There are a thousand reasons why they’ll reject you. Prospective employees today have a low tolerance for what they don’t like. Are they too demanding? Hyper-sensitive? It doesn’t matter. That’s the reality so you’d better deal with it.
3. Appeal to their identity, not just “the job”
It’s not just about the job. It’s about how they’ll feel about themselves if they come to work for you. Being part of a winning team. Contributing to a meaningful social cause. Being a respected part of the community. Appeal to those feelings and let them know that’s what awaits them.
4. Get them in. Get them evaluated. Get them an offer.
Time can be your friend or time can be your enemy. Don’t give them a chance to explore other options. Or have second thoughts. That’s why some companies are now compressing their selection process – speed-hiring. They conduct multiple interviews and assessments in an intensive single-day process. And make job offers to successful candidates at the end of that day. Why? To not give them an opportunity to “ghost” (not show up for) follow-up interviews. And to lessen their interest in interviewing with others.
Yes, the war for talent continues. But you can tilt the odds in your favor. Capture their attention. Don’t piss them off. Appeal to their identity. And get them in, evaluated, and on-board.
Before your competitors do.
Make it happen.
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