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Candidate Management: How to Increase Your Close Rate

Posted by Paul Huffman on May 6, 2021




There are many reasons your company might be struggling to close candidates in recruitment. For one, top talent will frequently be considering more than one company at a time. This means that your company is competing alongside multiple offers to tempt the best candidates.


In the search for the right company, great candidates need to know that you’re prepared to give them what they need. They need to know they’ll be offered mentoring and opportunities for professional development.


Here are some tips to help increase your close rate on great candidates, rather than losing them to the competition or never hearing back.


Figure out the candidate’s pain points


In early recruitment conversations, get the candidate talking about what they dislike about their current job. Ask general questions about why they love the industry or challenges they foresee. You don’t need them to trash-talk their current or former employers. It’s enough to ask open-ended questions about their workday and what an ideal situation could look like.


Once you know what a candidate’s pain points are, you can use this intel to sell your job back to them using these pain points. Describe the position you have to offer in opposition to their current job. Don’t oversell or make unreasonable examples. But do make an effort to get to know each candidate’s specific pain points and career goals.


Candidates are much more likely to accept a job offer if they know how it solves their current pain points. Increase your close rate by building intimacy with candidates. In a best-case scenario, you get valuable information about a future employee’s perspective on their work.


Closing is not a one-time event


Companies must continue evaluating a candidate’s interest throughout the recruitment process. Hiring managers and Human Resources staff should be trained to ask, “Has anything changed since we spoke last?” They may not always share if something has changed, but it is the responsibility of the recruiter to continually gauge the candidate’s interest throughout the process.


In every conversation with a candidate, confirm their pain points and ensure that they still wish to find different employment. Each interaction is an opportunity to close the deal.


Use assumptive language to help candidates imagine that they already work for your company. Ask them which projects or clients they’d prefer to work on. Speak about their work as if they already belong to the team. This also works to surface additional barriers that wouldn’t have otherwise been made known. Perhaps a candidate is unable to relocate due to a disabled child who needs localized care.


Take every opportunity to build camaraderie with candidates, and try to close the deal at every turn.


Make it short and sweet


Know what you have to offer so that you can immediately jump on great candidates. Remember that top candidates are probably being courted by other companies. Do not make the mistake of going slow and steady. Recruitment is a fast-paced process and your company needs to be on the ball or it will miss out.


SHRM did a recent survey that found 41 days to be the average amount of time to fill a position. Talent acquisition can be cut-throat, and one way to increase your close rate is to work with a recruiter who can shorten your process. Make sure that your recruiter is highly responsive and is easily reachable during the closing process. If the candidate expresses interest, recruiters must be ready to send over the offer of employment immediately.


Great candidates need to be courted. Headhunting is all about staying flexible and responsive to attract top talent. But headhunters also need to know how to close the deal. It’s not enough to simply make an offer and then sit back and wait. Implement these tips and watch your close rate skyrocket. An amazing candidate is out there right now and they’re ready to grow their career at your company. Don’t let them pass you by.



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