P.A.S.S.I.V.E. Recruiting – Part 4: Sell

by Steven Allard
Handshake between two business partners


Dating back to early in my career, one of my BIGGEST pet peeves was to recruit the passive “A” player the client said they really wanted, only to lose them later. I did everything correct.  I created the interest and intrigue and got them to agree to take time to interview. They showed up for the interview, sat down, exchanged pleasantries with the interviewer and then what was the first question out of the manager’s mouth? You have all heard it, “So why do you want this job?” To which the candidate inevitably responds, “I don’t know, your recruiter called me. I didn’t apply. You tell me why I want this job.”  Well, that pretty much wraps up all of my effort and hard work. So where did I go wrong?  I failed to set the stage and prepare the “Sell” for all the players in the game.

Prepare your candidate

Your candidate should know who the interview team will be. This gets a little more in depth than just sending out an agenda.  They should know how they would interact with each interviewer in their day to day at the client. They should know what the interviewer brings to the table for them. What can the candidate learn from them? What are the benefits to the candidate of working with this person?  I send links to LinkedIn profiles, provide talking points about the persons personality, any interests I know of,  and any other small talk commonalities I can find. In trying to ensure a great candidate experience, I want to make sure my candidate can do their prep work as well. I want the candidate to really know the interviewer before they interview. Everyone talks about the candidate experience, but what does that really mean? I am selling the candidate on working with my interview team.

Everyone knows the Goal

Everyone on the interview team must have a common goal.  That goal is to get the candidate to want to work for us or our client.  We need to make sure our candidate wants the job before we try to set all types of hurdles for the candidate to jump through. I am sure you created an excellent candidate experience starting with your initial outreach. Now it must carry all the way through the candidate starting. We must constantly be selling the candidate on our company or client and position.

Preparing your interview team

Your interview team should have selling points to cover. Do not assume your interview team knows how to effectively sell their company or how to create a great candidate experience. They should know:

    • How you engaged the candidate.
    • What are the candidate’s reasons for agreeing to enter the interview process?
    • What is missing in their current role and why is it important to them to fill that void?
    • How will your company/position address what is missing?
    • What is the candidate passionate about?
    • What are their drivers and motivators?
    • What tools or technologies are exciting you can provide exposure to?
    • What will they be able to learn?
    • How will the company provide some level of community/social involvement?
    • How is the company impacting the world for the better?
    • Any personal interests or passions you know about the candidate.

These are just a few examples. Your selling points must be tailored to each candidate’s drivers and motivations. I like to sum it up in a question, “What will the candidate be proud to put on their resume from having worked at your company?” These selling points should be woven into the conversation at the appropriate points so that they just seem to be natural parts of the conversion and not be obvious.

Picture credits for this article:
314335982 © Hurca! – stock.adobe.com

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