Sometimes recruiters think that if they get the most money for the candidate, then the candidate will accept. But it’s not all about money, but more about making the candidate feel like they have a say in the hiring process and addressing their financial needs.
When it comes to keeping a candidate engaged in the offer process, it’s the recruiter’s job to accommodate the candidate’s needs if possible. For example, some recruiters have had candidates who counter even the smallest things, like working from home from one day a week to two days, an extended start date, a flexible schedule, etc. Should the recruiter review and listen to what the candidate lists as needs vs. wants? Absolutely! Should the recruiter feel obligated to get them everything on that list? No; but a good recruiter will try to do their best to make sure the candidate feels like they are being heard. The candidate wants to feel like they have a say in the offer process and that the recruiter is looking out for their best interest.
When negotiating with a candidate, the recruiter needs to have a few points kept in mind:
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- Can I afford this candidate? If not, then be honest with the candidate up front before wasting their time and yours. But don’t let them go so easily. Make sure you explain the benefits and total compensation package before they back out of the process. You never know if they are taking a step back in their career due to a work/life balance or other reasons, so don’t just assume.
- What are the deciding factors for this candidate to relocate? Are they looking to move closer to family? Or live by the ocean for medical reasons? Don’t just reject a candidate because you think you have to pay them to relocate. Ask them if they already moved. Many candidates will move themselves even if there isn’t a budget in your department for relocation.
- If this person is too expensive, chances are they would know someone who is a duplicate of them but less experienced and in your budget. Make sure, before getting of the phone with the candidate, that you ask for referrals. The candidate will be more than happy to stay in touch with you in the mean time for a more advanced position.
The end result of listening to your candidate, giving them a fair offer, and keeping them part of the entire process of the negotiations will win them over almost every time.
Just remember: It’s not all about the money or perks. It is about how you made them feel during the offer process that can give you the edge over another offer from the competition.