You’ve done the heavy lifting. A qualified sales candidate has been identified, you have extended an offer, and the hiring process is in progress. The end is in sight for this open role. Now, you can take a deep breath and relax.
That’s the idealistic picture of the transition from the recruitment process to the hiring process. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly accurate.
According to a recent SilkRoad and CareerBuilder survey, an extended offer does not mean the recruiter’s job is over. More than half — 51 percent — of survey participants said they’ve kept looking for other jobs even once an offer was extended and the background check process as in progress.
This really puts the power of candidates into perspective. They already have the upper hand due to low unemployment numbers, and now we’re seeing that even when it seems you’ve won them over, the battle for top talent is far from finished.
Now, more than ever, hiring pros must take a microscope to candidates’ expectations. Top candidates — especially top sales candidates — aren’t going to wait for you to get all your ducks in a row. If a better opportunity comes along, they’ll take it.
Here are three candidate expectations you have to meet if you want to make the hire:
1. An Easy and Mobile-Friendly Application Process
Sales candidates are in control of their careers right now, and they’re moving through their job searches at lightning speed. They’re constantly in search of the next career move, which means they’re always on the prowl for a new job — even when you think you have them on the hook.
New opportunities are always at sales candidates’ fingertips — literally. According to Career Builder CEO Irina Novoselsky, 70 percent of the website’s audience is searching for jobs on mobile. This means your application process needs to be mobile-friendly. The faster sales candidates can click, apply, and sign, the more content they’ll be with the process — and the less time competitors will have to poach them away.
To see if your application process is up to snuff, try applying to your own positions. How long does it take? Do all the forms and platforms work on mobile devices? Be sure to test how easy it is for candidates to stop and restart the process again later — this accounts for the inevitable interruptions job seekers will run into along the way. Resuming a stalled application should be frictionless.
2. Quick, Personal Follow-Up
Sales candidates know what it’s like to be in your position. They “recruit” customers on a daily basis, and they hold themselves to high standards in that endeavor. They’re holding you to the same set of expectations.
One of the most important standards sales reps set for themselves is quick and personal follow-up with customers. They know their customers are inundated with other offers and aren’t going to wait long to close a deal.
The same goes for your relationships with sales candidates. These pros aren’t going to wait around for your updates or offers. They need quick and frequent follow-up that is personalized based on previous interactions and their unique personalities. Make them feel you’re truly invested in their future with your company.
3. A Candidate Experience That Accurately Reflects the Employee Experience
The candidate experience has been a crucial concern for recruiters and employers for a while now, but these days, candidates expect that experience to carry far beyond the hiring process. According to the CareerBuilder survey, 68 percent of job seekers see the candidate experience as a reflection of how the company treats its employees.
Unfortunately, in an effort to win candidates over, some hiring pros have unconsciously begun treating candidates in ways that aren’t true to their companies’ actual cultures. This creates a disconnect between candidate and employee experience, which can cause new hires to jump ship quickly.
Instead, recruiters should aim to create open and honest candidate experiences that aren’t about winning over every single sales candidate. It is better to focus on attracting those candidates who relate positively to your already established employee experience. It’s okay if a few people who don’t click with your candidate experience fall out of the funnel, as that makes more space for top talent who will connect with your company on a deeper level.