It's been a few years since many employers have had this problem, but finally there has been 'some movement at the station' (to quote Banjo Paterson) in the jobs market, and the first signs of a shift to a job seekers' market are starting to appear. As a consequence, if you are a hiring manager, it's time to start honing your skills of convincing prospective employees to join your team.
The recruitment industry is often compared to the real estate industry. Sometimes, I like this analogy, and, more often, I don't. One thing that can be compared, however, is the buying decision. If you were looking for a three bedroom house with a pool, you would be very disappointed to be shown a studio apartment! It's the same when talent are looking for a new career opportunity. They have a checklist of items that they will be considering before they accept a new role.
Many hiring managers, particularly those who are new to the direct hiring process for their own staff, assume that the person will be grateful to be asked to interview and should be lucky to be offered the job. This is definitely not the case, particularly as we see the market start to swing towards the job seeker. To secure the talent you want, you have to know exactly what they are looking for before making the offer of employment.
It almost seems ridiculous to actually write this, but the only way you are going to find this out is to ASK! Please do not assume that you know what the person wants. Don't even make assumptions based on past behaviour. Simply ask the job applicant, 'What are you looking for in your next role?' When asking this, I often prefix the question with a statement asking them not to tell me what they think I might want to hear. A hiring manager is required to make it very clear that to ensure that your job opportunity is the right opportunity for them, you need complete clarity about what they want. That way, everyone will be satisfied. You will know you have enough detail when you have a list of the candidate's priorities for their next job.
If they are shy or coy, make sure you probe and ask again and again, e.g. 'Is there anything else?' Repeating back to them what you have learned from them during the interview often leads to them making clarifications. Once you have this list, you can now make sure that your opportunity matches their expectations. You can use this to 'sell' your role, either during the interview or at a later stage when making the job offer.
Even identifying areas that the job seeker won’t be satisfied with can add integrity to the process, which candidates often react with a positive response. Asking simple questions and building a list can profoundly increase your chance of securing the best talent. Of course, if you use a quality recruiter in whom you trust, much of this leg work can be done for you and on your behalf. I know the consultants at people2people ensure they understand exactly what candidates are looking for in order to affect a good match for our clients. Happy hiring!