• The Art of Wooing: How To Impress Potential Hires

  • How do you feel about love? I don’t mean the flowers, candy and rapid heartbeat kind-of-love, but rather those warm-and-fuzzy emotions that accompany Recruiting.

    What’s that you say? Human Resources and “love” do not exist in the same sentence? Really? Why is that? (Go ahead and answer, I’ll wait…)

    Perhaps a better question is, “What prevents love from co-existing in your staffing department, especially as it relates to hiring?”

    Right away I sense that you find this ideal to be ludicrous and without merit or professional bearing, but I would argue the contrary. For the purposes of this article, love is defined as a potential hire possessing a zealous desire to work for your company rather than your competitors’ group.

    Love is more art than science in the matrimonial sense and even after the marriage is consummated, there is an extended period of time where both parties strive to make the relationship work. Is the effort to keep love alive in a marriage due to the potential the marriage represents, or is it (and it is) due in large part to everything that came before it? Even the worst of couples endure the cruelest hardships in their relationship because of the courtship that preceded the marriage. To reiterate, a strong courtship prior to marriage increases the willingness of a couple to continue in said marriage. If one is to agree that this is true, then the significance of the interview process should be regarded as tantamount to the continued stability of a company workforce.

    Whereas romantic love is too complicated to dissect into formula, in terms of closing a candidate, there are four factors that convince a candidate to accept a company as a long-term potential employer. If a potential new-hire feels welcome, comfortable, important and understood, then you have accomplished all you can in persuading someone to join your team. The means by which these ideals are initiated is “The Art of Wooing” and like the lost art of chivalry, a true and liberal adoption of the spirit of “Wooing” among companies is rarely encountered. How many companies can you cite that are known (positively) for their recruiting process to the point that people seek to interview simply for the experience? No doubt that this is a short list, but is it a list your company occupies? In the event that your enterprise would not be featured in this queue, I would like to offer some ideas for your consideration.

    * Create an automated phone message from the Vice President of HR welcoming the candidate to the interview process. The VP of HR further espouses their commitment to quality in the interview process and invites the interviewee to email them personally to discuss their experience.

    * When making arrangements to meet with the candidate, the HR Administrator (or whomever schedules the interview) inquire as to the candidates favorite snacks, beverages and music.

    * Have a sign welcoming the candidate to the company and specifically, to a meeting with the recruiter.

    * Have a waiting room designed to relax a pending interviewee, complete with preferred snacks, beverages, favorite music, comfortable chair and aromatherapy.

    * When negotiating salary, express compensation on a per minute basis. What better way to communicate a candidate’s value in your eyes than to explain how you calculated the worth of their contribution down to the minute? (How? Divide an annual salary by 120,000 to get a per-minute wage.)

    * Give closure to the interview process as quickly as possible. (If they are a strong contender!) If they are not a fit for the position, let them know and offer further means to assist them. For example, adding them to a “private” email list for unadvertised jobs, or forwarding an e-book of job hunting tips. (Bottom line? Never let a candidate leave your organization empty-handed.)

    * At the conclusion of the interview, have the receptionist present an autographed Thank-you card to the candidate expressing your appreciation of their time. (A gift card and/or coupon to a nearby coffee house would be nice as well.)

    It has been said that love is a many splendored thing and this is certainly true in recruiting. Treating a candidate like a VIP during the courtship period of interviewing is a strong incentive in retaining said candidate after his/ her acceptance has been processed. Conversely, the opposite of “woo” is a strong incentive for a candidate to consider employment with your competition. We are each of us self-centric on some level, with enough romance anyone can be swept off of their feet. As long as “wooer” has the right broom.

    ABOUT AUTHOR

    Jim Stroud is a "Searchologist" with an expertise in the full life-cycle placement of Executive and Technical personnel, Recruitment Research and Competitive Intelligence. He has consulted for such companies as Google, Siemens, MCI and a host of start-up companies. He presently serves Microsoft as a Technical Sourcing Consultant.