Simplicity Attracts The Best Candidates

Top candidates respond to professionalism and integrity

Life can be as simple or as complicated as you make it out to be. That also applies to recruiting and attracting the best candidates. And that means, of course, attracting the RIGHT ones.

To attract candidates to a job, you can put layer upon layer of cosmetics on the job advertisement or job description, and make them as irresistible as possible. This has been called, indelicately “putting lipstick on a pig.”

retained executive search candidateIt would be a mistake, however, to think candidates are that easily fooled. They are discerning creatures. Any job that sounds too good to be true usually is and will arouse suspicion.

On the flip side, of course, any job that sounds unattractive will not draw much interest or many applications.

Successful search firms such as Cornerstone International Group members know that staying focused on Professionalism and Honesty are the most simple and effective ways of attracting candidates, especially the best ones.

This sounds simple and it is. It begins from the first point of contact with candidates. Whether this is a call, email or handling their application, the relationship with candidates starts right there and it is up to the recruiter whether it is to be built on rocks or on sand.

All good things need time to build and to mature, especially relationships. The way in which we manage candidates and their expectations, our sincerity, the honesty of the information shared with them, keeping it real with a sensible balance about the pros and cons of the job /company, the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and career aspirations and fit with the job – all these go to supporting candidates in their consideration, as well building up their interest.

When in the market in search of candidates, recruiters are the client’s ambassadors. The image and presence they project to candidates do not only reflect their own firm’s standing, but even more so that of the client. The famous ‘first impression’ of the prospective employer that the candidate absorbs – which will inevitably color his or her opinion – is created by the search firm.

Good clients are very aware of, and sensitive to, this scenario. They will therefore be extremely particular about who represents them and will be attracted to professional firms having the appropriate synergy in terms of shared values, ethics and professionalism.

Without disparaging contingency recruiting, this core concern will be met most often by retained search firms who, by nature of their engagement, are highly tuned to the challenge of cultural fit and compatibility.

With some exceptions such as interim mandates, all three players – employer, search firm and candidate – benefit from a long term view and expectations where core attributes such as professionalism and integrity carry significant weight.

And if you can frame the challenge in these terms, you can indeed make life a lot more simple.

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