You have got to the final stage of your hiring process. You have a handful or less people you’d like to extend an offer and have on your team. How do you actually convince them to join?
I like to think about the closing stage as a deal closure getting near. If you have done your product pitch well, convinced the buyer about your value and solve their pain, you will win the deal. The closure is just putting your agreements on a contract. If you haven’t, well, you won’t get the deal.
Hiring is mostly the same. In the case of hiring though, both sides are a buyer and a seller. Most people think about hiring from the company’s point of view as a buyer only, however, this isn’t true. The candidate is a buyer too. They need to be convinced being hired into your company will promote them, and solve their pain points as well.
Throughout the hiring process, don’t forget to spend time on selling your company and why it is good for your candidate. The way I think about the selling process is as follows:
- Identify core values of the candidate
- Identify pain points of the candidate
- Show how your company and the position will answer candidates needs
- Get to an agreement
Of course, those steps are only relevant if you got to a conclusion you are interested in the candidate from your point of view.
Each person has a set of expectations when they leave the current known job they have, or when they are looking for their first job. And they try to optimize for that expectation when they seek a job. I call those expectations core value, because those are the core items that will be the deciding factors for candidates if a job is a fit or not for them.
Example values are:
- More responsibility
- Higher compensation
- Closer to home
- Better work hours balance
- More autonomy
- Newer technology
- First class teams and people
And the list can go on and on. The main point is to identify what the candidate is trying to optimize for and address that. Showing how your company and what the candidate aims for are aligned can be a great selling point. Don’t forget to keep it true and real. Selling on something you don’t have will be extremely evident when the candidate is an employee on his first days, you don’t want them to leave quickly, and you don’t want to ruin your reputation.
People leave jobs because something bothered them. It might be linked to the core values described above, but it might not. Listen carefully and ask actively what are those things that make your candidate tick. Once identified, make sure you either solve them, in the best case, or don’t suffer from them in the typical case. Again, you are trying to get to an agreed deal, not sugar coating reality.
Be the solution
Similar to selling a product, you need to show how your position solves the pain points and increases value. Once you have identified the items in the previous paragraphs, position yourself as the solution. Of course, being the solution doesn’t mean loosing reason. You should come to the table with your goals and principles set in stone. I am not suggesting to just do anything on earth to be the solution. I am pointing out the fact you should position your sell within reason as solving the candidate needs. It will increase the chances of a closure.
I think the best way to close a hiring process it be knowing that once you offer a contract, it will be answered with a yes. In order to be in that position, you need to make sure you and the candidate are in agreement throughout the process. Asking questions leading towards agreement without committing to an offer help you reach that point. Asking about salary expectations, benefits and perks, and other means of expectations really helps in shaping the agreement.
Yet again, it is OK for you to speak openly about the typical package for people being hired, just make sure not to commit and not to play negotiation. The best method I know about is to set in stone your levels before even starting the process and just fit the candidate into that box. It assures fair and transparent discussions and clear shared goal.
At this point you should simply expect a YES! If you didn’t get a YES, you should do you homework and a postmortem to understand what went wrong and should improve for next time.