Borrowing from my discipline, the law, the art of negotiation is all about how you appeal to an individual’s emotional response. Here are my 10 tips for closing a candidate:
1. Stay calm and focused:
Do not pressurise your candidate by a “hard sell” of the benefits of the position. Pressure always creates resistance and if they are a high level candidate they may have a range of offers to choose from.
2. Think Creatively:
Outline not only what the company can offer them in terms of career progression, salary & benefits package but ensure you can tell the candidate how they will grow as a person by taking this offer and how that personal growth will benefit them in the long term.
3. Give them a balanced view:
Most estate agents will point out the weaknesses of a property before going to the top three attractive features. By giving a candidate a more balanced view of the vacancy and not appearing biased you are more likely to close the offer.
4. Paint pictures:
Most offers boil down to money and working conditions but you want to paint a picture about how they will “feel” once on board at the new employer. Make it as vivid as possible anchor this feeling in their mind.
5. Get the Client involved:
Candidates like to be “wanted” so if you can get the CEO/Director to give them a call to explain why they want them on the team this can sway the candidate’s decision.
6. Offer lifestyle benefits:
Depending where the candidate is in terms of their life e.g. newly married, has a family the company may offer some advantages to the candidate’s lifestyle e.g. reduction in travelling, opportunity to work from home, flexible hours ensure you know our candidate’s needs and match these with other benefits of the offer.
7. Tell a story:
Fear of the unknown can hold us back rather than propel us forward so if you can tell a true story about another candidate you have placed with this client and how that placement had a positive outcome for both the employer and the candidate this can be a powerful persuader.
8. Use the law of supply and demand:
If it is getting to a nail biting time and your candidate has a number of offers on the table put a “reasonable “ time limit on yours this will make the candidate think quicker and make yours look attractive because it is for a limited time .
9. Walk away:
Statistically one in five candidates will reject an offer so if you are finding all your persuasion techniques are not working just give them a reasoned argument why you feel the offer will benefit them personally and then say you are not going to call them again.. you have nothing left to say but you are available to take their call when they have made up their mind.. this is like the closing argument to a jury at the end of a court case.
10. Be kind:
Throughout this process be unfailingly polite and kind to your candidate. If they are a talented candidate they will be inundated with calls from consultants and getting a pipeline of offers. Some consultants who are pushy, appear stressed or who lack the personal touch will appear unprofessional in contrast to a consultant who is calm, reliable, polite and kind. Your qualities as a consultant can cast a “halo” effect on the offer you are presenting and may mean even if your offer is not the best in terms of package your conduct has enhanced its value.