Are you worried about attracting great professionals? Are you concerned that your hiring process might be making too positive of an impression on potential hires? Cast your worries aside. If you think you might be at risk of getting dynamic and talented individuals excited about your organization, The James Allen Companies has curated a list of the 10 most surefire ways you can drive away the best and brightest and keep your company from competing at the highest levels. Even for companies striving to grow and succeed by hiring great candidates, the list stands as a reminder of the mistakes that can cost your organization a chance at the best passive talent.
- Take Your Time When we search for candidates for our clients, we look for the most impressive passive talent that truly matches the opportunity and your organization’s culture. So when we present these proven professionals to you, be sure to stretch out your interview process for as long as possible. Nothing tells a highly qualified candidate that you couldn’t be less interested in them or more incompetent than draining every last bit of energy they have for your opportunity. An added bonus is that they may tell their colleagues how drawn out and painful your interview process was, ensuring that you’ll lose out on attracting other talented professionals.
- Assume They’re Jobless As we said, we seek out passive talent who are too focused on succeeding to be active in the job market. These individuals are employed and successful, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat them that way! If you want to drive away a great fit, there’s nothing quite as effective as making them feel like they should be thanking you for even taking the time to talk with them. Make sure you let them know early and often that they’re lucky to even have a chance at your opportunity, regardless of their past and present successes.
- Make ‘Em an Offer They CAN Refuse So you’ve been dragging out the interview process. You’ve made it clear that you believe you are their only hope in ever finding gainful employment (regardless of the fact they are already employed). But they’re still listening? Now it’s time to play hardball. If they haven’t figured out just how little you think of them, nothing sends the message of how little you value great talent by putting a paltry price tag on them. If you know what they’re making, offer them less. That’ll show them what you think they’re really worth.
- What’s Better Than One Great Passive Candidate? Ten mediocre active candidates! We have stressed in the past that the best and brightest candidates are most often those that are currently employed and not actively seeking new opportunities. The easiest way to discourage these great individuals is to bypass them altogether. By sticking to unhappy and underqualified applicants, you’ll avoid the exhausting work of scaring away impressive passive candidates.
- Put Them in the Pile Just because these great passive candidates didn’t come to you like the average applicant doesn’t mean you can’t treat them like any Joe Schmoe off the street. Sure, they aren’t even actively pursuing new opportunities, but by telling them to fill out an application before you’ll even consider speaking with them, you are all but ensuring they remember why they dislike the entire process, sending them back to the arms of their current employer.
- Resumes: Interviews For Dummies One expert solution to reducing passive candidates to nothing more than a faceless name is to distill them down to a single sheet of paper. Taking a three-dimensional professional and basing your entire perception of them on a two-dimensional piece of paper is an excellent way to keep them disenchanted and in the dark. Remember, there’s nothing a candidate can tell you about their vast experiences that you can’t learn from a few brief lines of text on a resume.
- “Why Do You Want to Work With Us?” Let’s not forget these passive candidates weren’t looking for a new career. They certainly weren’t looking for you. They may not even know anything about you or your organization. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from making it very clear that they are very lucky to have an audience with you. If you want to take this strategy up a notch, passively imply you don’t think they’re quite qualified while also dismissing their credentials.
- Keep Them Waiting Don’t limit yourself to only delaying the overall process of interviewing and making a decision. Take every opportunity to keep candidates waiting, apprehensive and uncomfortable. A key moment to express just how disinterested you are in a passive candidate comes at the interview. If you have the interview scheduled for 9:00 A.M., the candidate will most likely be there early. Keep them waiting until about 9:20 just to give them adequate time to really question your culture and begin reconsidering the opportunity altogether.
- Make it About the Money The best professionals in the industry are serious about what they do and they do it well, which is why you will want to ignore everything about the opportunity and cut straight to the chase. Keep it general and talk primarily about the financial reasons. If they’re only there for the money, then it’s only a matter of time before they leave again. And then you get to start the whole process over! This is a really great tip for not only pushing away serious individuals but for also landing employees who are only motivated by the most superficial factors.
- Candidates are Mushrooms… So feed them crap and keep them in the dark. A common theme among our tips is making them wait, and then making them wait a little longer. The best time to keep them out of the loop is after the interview. They are going to be eager to know how it went, which is why you want to withhold that feedback for as long as possible. And when you do provide it, keep it vague and noncommittal.
In all seriousness, we know you want the most talented and driven candidates that truly connect with your company’s mission and culture. We also know that an applicant being active and/or unemployed should not immediately discount that individual’s potential; however, the best candidates are usually the ones not currently seeking new opportunities. It then stands to reason that they are going to be the ones most easily turned off or discouraged by unnecessary delays and apparent disinterest. If you are interested in landing the best passive talent, like the professionals presented by The James Allen Companies, be sure to NOT follow the aforementioned tips.