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Attract Top Candidates with This One Simple Step

Remember the day when you landed that perfect role? Everything just clicked when you interviewed. You loved the team, you were excited to work for your potential new boss, the company’s values spoke to you, and the stars aligned.

Wouldn’t you love it if every job candidate you wanted to hire felt the same way… and maybe even bragged about your company to others?

Well, if you are like most hiring managers, you didn’t think that one day you would also hold the title of recruiter. Of course, recruiting top talent is rewarding when it’s done right and it can make life harder when the stars don’t align.

So how do you attract top candidates when doing a candidate search, easily and in one step?

Walk a mile in their shoes!

In other words, it is important to understand what the candidate is experiencing when they consider a new role in a new company. Let’s take a walk in a candidate’s shoes…

As you take that first step it is important to realize the candidate is probably not on the journey you expect them to be on. So, while you are designing the job description, consider what the candidate may be thinking. Then turn it around and ask yourself “if you were the candidate what would intrigue you about the role?”

In addition, it is important to think about the candidate’s personal considerations beyond the role. So many thoughts are running through a job candidate’s mind when they commit to think about your role… and we must be conscious, we may have competition. They may also be considering your competitor’s role at the same time. Their internal conversation will go like this:

  • What am I doing?

  • What will my significant other or family say?

  • I am intrigued and a bit apprehensive all at once.

  • I don’t know much about this company or this role, who can I talk with to learn more?

If a recruiter approaches them:

  • I don’t know this recruiter and they don’t have anything compelling to tell me. OR

  • That recruiter shared great details, but I don’t know. Well, at least they know a bit about me. They seemed to do their homework, so I will connect and learn more.

  • I am pretty sure my current role is better and if that is the case, I don’t have to risk making a change.

  • What if I do like the job? What if my qualifications do align with the job description?

  • I don’t have a current resume and I don’t have the time to write one.

  • I will have to take time off from work to go to an interview and I really don’t know if I can get away with that. Things are too busy and if I am out, it will be obvious.

Then the candidate considers the risks and benefits:

  • I received the job description. I see a bit about the company, which is the same as what I read on the website. I can put a check mark next to the skills required and the responsibilities are all things I can do:

    • Hmm… I can “identify business opportunities” (check).

    • I can “develop relationships and recommend solutions; maintain relations with clients; and identify improvements.” (check).

    • I need to “contribute to the team effort by accomplishing related results.” (I don’t know what that really means, but the rest sounds like my current role).

  • So, the description is pretty basic and I am not sure I really want to make a move for the same position and challenges I have now, but the recruiter did say some things beyond the description that excited me.

  • Now that I think about it, I have been getting a little restless in my job and my boss has not given me any indication of my next role or what he may be considering for me.

  • I’ll call the recruiter and let her know I am still on the fence about the position. I can ask some questions and take it from there.

The candidate validates interest:

  • The recruiter has gotten me more excited.

  • My questions were answered and this position aligns with what I am looking for in my career.

  • I learned more details about the company and the working style of the team; this really fits well with me. I think I can see myself working for the company, if this all works out.

  • I will get my resume done as soon as humanly possible and send it.

  • Maybe I will call that other recruiter about the role they emailed me about last week. Why not I just finished my resume? Why keep my eggs in just one basket?

Now they wait and communication from your company is critical!

  • I am waiting for feedback, but it seems to be taking a lot of time. They must not be interested. OR

  • I was just told the team likes my background. But I have to wait to hear if I will be invited in for an interview.

  • I hope I hear something back soon, so I can share the feedback with my family. After all, this will affect them too.

And so on…

When you were considering a new role, I’m sure you remember having these conversations or something similar. Remembering those times, will make it easier to walk a mile in their shoes; ultimately guiding the prospective employee on a job candidate journey that opens the door to the career possibilities your role brings.

The hardest part of all of this is that every candidate has different interests and different frames of reference. Of course, a candidate’s perception will create their internal dialog. Which means with each thought it is a fine line on how the process progresses or if it derails.

So just take a step back and ask yourself, “what would I be thinking at this stage?” Then make sure the candidates’ questions are answered, even the questions that aren’t asked. This way they won’t fill in the blank with an answer that makes them decline the opportunity to consider your role.


TLR Search helps energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their door, while inspiring potential new team members to picture their future possibilities; especially with hard to fill positions. We are people experts with a specialization in energy and chemicals. We’re a woman-owned recruitment firm that partners with clients to assist them in placing decision-makers at executive levels, supervisors in functional management positions, and experienced professionals in technical roles.


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