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Attracting Candidates: The Right Way to Recruit (Part 2)


In part 1, we explained how recruiting is sales (you’re selling an opportunity!) – and described how the typical pitch means you’re missing out on placements.

As we continue here in part 2 of Attracting Candidates, let’s explore human nature and how you can use psychology to improve your recruiting efforts.

Sales Styles That Inspire Response

To attract candidates to your opportunities, you must appeal to them as human beings and understand the psychology that drives behavior. Consider what humans respond to and understand there are two specific sales styles that create responses:

  • Fact-based selling– This style uses numbers to present a product or service. Phrases often include “we’re rated #1” or “25% more for free.” These numbers/facts influence buyer decisions because people believe you’re more truthful by thinking that the numbers you share could be verified.
  • Story selling– This style uses a case study example or a before/after story. Think of a diet or exercise product or service, for instance. Stories are often supported by metrics, like Jane lost 14 lbs. in 2 weeks. When people hear these stories of success, it turns on their imagination and they picture themselves experiencing those results and feeling those benefits (“If I do what they did, I will achieve that, too.”)

Understanding Attractor Factors

Do you realize that every human being is always looking for a new job? It’s true – and human nature. Every person listens to an opportunity that aligns with their interests and weighs it against what they have in their current situation.

People compare using prime motivators. They consider five things when hearing about a new opportunity for the first time:

  • Better quality of life for them and their family – How would the job influence their life at work and outside of work?
  • More responsibility/challenge in relation to the position – This is where ego comes in because everyone wants to be good at what they do. (Can I see myself being good at this job?)
  • A chance to step forward in their career – People want to advance and move up; that does not necessarily mean in titles and promotion. (Will I become more valuable professionally by taking this job?)
  • Be nearer to family – Location! Location! Location! (Where is this job? What’s my commute? What amenities will I gain access to? Would a move align with the life I envision for myself?)
  • Money – What’s the impact on finances? (Does the compensation fit my needs? How will my lifestyle change?)

As a recruiter presenting an opportunity to someone for the first time, think of human behavior. Understand that people care about the first four motivators before money when hearing about a job opportunity; they assume money will take care of itself. As people begin to feel serious about the position, then money moves to the top of the list because it’s one of the only objective decisions they get to make in the process.

Apply these two important rules as you recraft your pitch to be attractive:

  1. Candidates are attracted to details, not generalities. Be prepared to provide details that separate one opportunity from another. Describing the opportunity in specifics allows the person to either 1) hear enough of what would be interesting to them to look further into it and ask questions, or 2) they’ll recognize it’s not something that appeals to them because they know enough about it to make that confident decision.Note: By trying to hide information in fear of the 1% of candidates that could go behind your back to apply for the job in another way, you’re missing out on attracting the right candidates. Ultimately, it means you’re giving that lousy pitch and getting no’s.
  2. You are never recruiting only the candidate; you are also recruiting the opinions of their friends and family. No one is going to make a career decision without getting a second opinion. You need to make sure your candidate has enough information to help them sell the opportunity to those who have opinions they value.

When candidates are saying no to you based on your initial pitch, it’s because you’re not speaking to the points that they’re listening for. Remember, they’re thinking “What’s in it for me?” Appeal to the motivators that drive them most. Understanding human behavior and taking the time to polish your presentation of the opportunity to be uniquely attractive, will push you to become a more powerful recruiter.

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