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Want to Place Quality Candidates? Think Like They Do and Speak to Their Emotions

To effectively recruit candidates, you have to think back to what it was like to be a job seeker. Remember both the excitement and reservation, the thrill of new experiences, and the caution involved in making the best professional decisions.

One way to connect with candidates is to discover what they most value out of work. Find out what gets them excited, and tap into that energy.

In fact, more than 40 percent of the 500 talent acquisition leaders surveyed in LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report said it’s important for professionals to be excited about the job. If you don’t tap into candidates’ passions, you risk getting an inaccurate impression of who they are and what motivates them to succeed.

Here’s how you can improve recruiting efforts by focusing more on candidates’ emotions and experience:

1) Expose the good and bad

Think back to when you were a job seeker. What do you wish you knew? How would knowing both the good and bad aspects of a position have affected your decision to accept the role and your feelings about the outcome?

While it seems counterproductive to bring up the negative aspects of a job, hiding the potential deal breakers doesn’t help anyone either. Along with the job perks, inform candidates of the downsides, including long hours, overnight travel, long commutes, etc.. This creates trust and gives candidates a “total picture” view of the job.

Skilled salespeople are adept at spinning negatives into positives. Even when they know what you’re doing, candidates will appreciate your honesty as well as your ability to explain how the good aspects of the position outweigh the less desirable ones.

For instance, if a candidate is concerned about the time and effort necessary to satisfy continuing education and professional development opportunities, highlight the fact that this will help them gain new skills, which could result in higher sales and overall compensation.

2) Expand on culture and values

Far more than financial incentives play on candidates’ emotions, however. More than 60 percent of the 1,600 recruiters surveyed in the 2016 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey said cultural fit is most important when placing candidates.

While you’re looking for talent that would excel in your clients’ work environment, the candidates you’re sourcing are looking for companies with corporate values that align with their own. In fact, according to the MedReps’ 2018 Best Places to Work Report, 54 percent of respondents said they look for companies that place value on teamwork and collaboration, and another 22 percent want to work for a company that is socially responsible.

To determine the best fit, you must discover what candidates really want out of work by asking pointed questions about their ideal workplace and co-workers. Find out what culture aspects they would have improved on in a previous job, given the opportunity. This is most likely to strike a chord and uncover their true feelings on the matter.

Ask candidates to describe themselves both personally and professionally. Be sure to reveal how they handle pressure and constructive criticism as well as define what success means to them.

Armed with this information, only show them the company cultures they fit best into for the positions you are placing. When possible, tie company values, mission, and vision into the candidate’s goals.

3) Make communication count   

You can find many of the answers to your basic questions through research online. In fact, much of the information you seek is probably provided on candidates’ social media profiles.

There, you can learn more about their professional backgrounds, but also gain insight into who they are personally. You’ll discover their hobbies and interests such as volunteering and causes they care about. You can use this information to make a strong connection in your outreach.

By doing thorough research prior to contact, you respect the candidate’s time by asking only about information not readily available elsewhere. This eases the burden of stress in the timeliness of their job search and gives them the impression you care about the candidates you place as well.

In addition to phone and email contact, schedule video screenings where candidates can answer your questions. Brief yet frequent contact with to-the-point feedback is better than long, drawn-out conversations, or worse, communication gaps that turnoff qualified applicants.

By putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes, you’ll enhance your recruiting endeavors while creating a lasting and positive impression on top talent in your talent pool.

How do you connect with candidates? Let us know in the comments!

BIO: Karyn Mullins is the President at MedReps, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.