In the tech world, is the closing process one of the unfinished business for many recruitment professionals? How can we make it another moment to connect with candidates for future opportunities?
In our monthly newsletter Joppy&Tech for recruiters and companies, we always recommend some articles from the tech sector that we consider of interest. There is one from the month of February that has caught my attention and it is by Julia Enthoven, cofounder and CEO of Kapwing.
The article focuses mainly on this idea:
In our three years of trying to recruit top engineering talent, we’ve made 36 job offers to engineering candidates, and 16 of them turned us down. Here’s what I’ve learned about convincing engineers to join your startup.
When a company starts a recruiting process the ultimate goal is to hire the right talent for a vacancy. The goal for the candidate is to find the next challenge that fits their career path. I will focus more on the company side for this article.
Reaching an agreement… or not
Once you have found the candidate that seems to fit the position, the process usually starts with an interview (People or CTO – it depends on the company), technical test and 1-2 interviews with the technical team. And then, the closing phase, where the decision is more up to the candidate than to the company.
To give an example: you are looking for a person for Software Engineer among three possible candidates but you can only take 1. After going through the IT selection process, the company already knows which candidate has convinced them the most in all or some of the tests and, after discussion, selects. You call him/her and… He doesn’t accept. What happened?
The company has decided to hire the most suitable candidate, but hasn’t made the effort needed in the closing phase. Julia discusses this in her post with real numbers: she states that 44% of her job offers have been rejected and for 3 main reasons:
- Economic conditions: they did not accept the offer because they chose another one with more advantageous benefits.
- Doesn’t totally fit with the status of the company: sometimes it happens that in the final step you do not see yourself in the company that has made you the offer because you see it as risky, they do not give you security in terms of VISA/Relocation/Remote, etc …. It’s already too big a company, etc….
- Non-alignment with the vision of the company: the candidate does not fully connect with the idea that the company has.
The end of the selection cannot be the weakest link
All the reasons are valid, but… what would have happened if the company had taken its closing stage more seriously? Let’s not forget that the objective of a good selection process is to maximize and optimize the closing of offers to the hired candidate. And as Julia rightly says, in a recruiting process there is :
sourcing – screening – interviewing – closing & GOAL = Hired!
Tips for a good closing process in the tech world
From Joppy we have experienced hundreds of hiring that have made us better understand the closing in IT recruitment processes. Here are some tips:
- Be fast: tech candidates don’t wait for you. If you are sure, don’t wait 24 hours to make the offer to the selected candidate. Just this week we had a call with a client that in a maximum period of 10 days they closed a candidate (from receiving candidates in Joppy to making the offer). And they didn’t even think about it as soon as they saw that it was a good fit.
- Be clear from the first offer to the last. To hire an employee is to seduce them professionally speaking. The more information you give in the proposal including responsibilities, colleagues, career plan, etc… will give maximum transparency and confidence to the candidate. And this is how you should continue to be in the last contact until the day of incorporation, even advancing a proposal of what the first days of the tech professional will consist of.
- Establish strong timings. We are not fooling ourselves: it is logical for a candidate to be in several processes at the same time. That is why, when you make the offer you should comment that this offer is valid for x days (I would not put more than 1 week). It is important for the company to be strong and put its conditions so as not to enter into the game of possible other offers. Julia comments (some companies do it) that if you accept in less than 48H they give you a signing bonus for the speed. This is up to each company but personally I would not want a candidate to accept my offer for an additional economic element of a quick response.
- Surprise the candidate. If you can keep a benefit, etc… that you have not expressly mentioned to the candidate in the interviews, it can be a plus point in the offer. Unexpected and positive surprises at the last minute help a lot.
- Offer reverse references. It is classic to ask the candidate for references from companies where he/she has worked in the past. But why don’t you do it the other way around and offer the candidate a contact from a dev who works in the company or a former employee with whom you still have a relationship? It’s something you don’t do and it again shows transparency and interest.
- Be clear and strong. It is possible that a candidate may want to counter-offer, buy time to wait for other offers, etc… Although the techie market is complicated, the company must be strong in a negotiation. No one is indispensable and the candidate has to see it that way because sometimes giving in can make the candidate not take you seriously… and abandon you at the first opportunity. But don’t be inflexible or a robot. Treat them as you would like to be treated.