You already know the recruiting best practices for closing a candidate: build a strong relationship, follow up frequently, keep in touch, and (of course) offer a competitive compensation package. But how do you get a leg up when your competitors are following best practices, too? In this article, we offer 3 unconventional ways to level up your recruiting process and improve your offer conversation rate.
These days, the competition for technical talent is hot. And if you’re recruiting for engineers in Silicon Valley, it’s even hotter! 🔥 A recent study found that 77 percent of CEOs identify the availability of talent as the greatest threat to their organization. For recruiters at start-ups and SMBs, the task of hiring top technical talent might seem daunting: how can you gain an edge against the tech giants when you’re both competing for the same talent?
The key, according to CodeSignal Co-Founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan, is to think outside of the box. Don’t limit your efforts to just well-known recruiting best practices. In this article, we describe 3 unconventional practices that will help you close your top candidates and improve your offer conversation rate.
1. Involve the Hiring Team in Closing the Candidate
Recruiting is not just the job of the recruiter. This is something we all know, but that few companies actually practice – especially when it comes to the final stage of the recruiting process: making an offer and closing the candidate.
Candidates make their decision based on more than just compensation and what the recruiter has said about the company. Equally (if not more) important in their decision-making are the conversations they have with the hiring manager and the team that interviews them. So why not involve the hiring team in closing?
After an offer has been made, consider having the hiring manager reach out to the candidate to say:
- How excited they are to work with the candidate – and congratulations!
- What they most enjoyed about their interview with the candidate
- What make them say “yes” in the debrief
You might assume your top candidates know these things already, but they may not! Besides, who doesn’t want to hear about why people like you and why they want to work with you? A few minutes out of your hiring manager’s day spent drafting a short and welcoming email may be all it takes to push a candidate from “maybe” to “yes!”
2. Invest in Great Tools
Just like a skilled carpenter will have a favorite set of drills, saws, and hammers they use for every job, any developer will have their preferred set of software tools. One sure way to have your technical (and even non-technical) candidates run in the other direction is to ask them to use an antiquated, clunky set of tools in their hiring process.
The impact of bad tools isn’t just about giving the candidate a negative interview experience. If you ask engineers to use an unintuitive interview tool, “that tells them something about your company,” says Sloyan. Even if candidates know they won’t use the tool in their job, they will associate their negative impression of the tool with your company as a whole.
Investing in great tools creates a positive experience for your candidate and leaves them with a positive perception of your company. And, more importantly for closing a candidate, it shows them that your company is investing in setting them up for success and making sure they can do their best, most productive work with top-notch tools.
3. Widen the Top of Your Funnel by Going Beyond Resumes
Too often, when recruiters think about improving their offer conversion rate, they think about what they’re doing at the bottom of the funnel. They might ask: after we’ve identified our top candidates, how do we create a great experience for them that will convince them to accept our offer?
What they don’t think to ask is: who are our top candidates, and how did we decide to focus on these candidates? At the top of the funnel, many recruiters tend to look for candidates who worked for big-name companies and attended prestigious schools as a proxy for talent.
The problem with this is that you end up filtering out hundreds of highly qualified candidates who have the skills, but not the pedigree. “You’re creating recruiting debts, like technical debts, that get paid later on,” says Sloyan. Technical candidates with a high degree of pedigree are a hot commodity and get a huge amount of attention from recruiters.
Our advice? Rather than try to outbid your competition to hire these highly sought-after candidates, widen the top of your funnel to target a broader pool of applicants. This doesn’t mean looking at more resumes, which is a time-consuming and tedious task. It means directly measuring candidates’ abilities through automated skills assessment using a tool like CodeSignal.
When you shift your criteria for “top talent” from pedigree to objective skills, you access a new pool of talented candidates who your competitors are likely to overlook. These candidates will be genuinely excited and grateful for the opportunity to work at your company. And you’ll be closing far more offers – and better retaining great talent – than if you focused just on candidates with the “right” pedigree.
Want to learn more about how you can build a winning organization through data-driven recruiting? Visit CodeSignal to find out how you can measure technical skills effectively and objectively with its automated assessment and live interview solutions.