Now more than ever, it’s become a top priority – for employers and for job candidates alike – to streamline hiring and recruitment as much as possible. This can often be a challenge, however, because these processes are composed of several individual steps, each of which has the potential to get bogged down if it’s not managed effectively.
Take the offer and negotiation phase, for example. This typically occurs near the very end of the recruitment process, which means that it’s very often handled quickly and haphazardly. But the fact is that this step is absolutely crucial for any successful hiring. Without a smooth offer and negotiation process, the likelihood of the recruitment process as a whole going completely off the rails is significantly increased. It’s understandable, therefore, that this phase tends to be one of the most intimidating parts of the hiring process, both for employers and candidates.
Be prepared to encounter low-balling from clients.
It’s a common best practice for recruiters to kick things off with a client by outlining a candidate’s salary expectations, and how those fit within the client’s range. Still, clients will frequently low-ball candidates, while thinking to themselves: this is just a starting point – they’ll be able to gradually earn more after they’ve been hired.
This is problematic, however, because most job candidates will not be interested in accepting an opportunity that doesn’t pay more than their previous position, regardless of how robust the other perks and benefits might be. It’s essential, therefore, for recruiters to anticipate last-minute low-balling from clients, and to be prepared to gently push back in order to keep both parties interested and aligned.
Keep expectations clear from the get-go.
The initial communication stages among recruiters, clients, and candidates will ultimately lay the foundation for the offer and negotiation phase. By making clarity, openness, and honesty top priorities from the very beginning, recruiters will have a much easier time managing expectations and facilitating a successful hiring process down the road.
When a recruiter is willing to address the most difficult aspects of the hiring and recruitment process at the very beginning, it will make candidates and clients feel much more confident and secure. Conversely, waiting until the last minute to have difficult conversations is virtually guaranteed to create problems.
When a recruiter kicks things off with a candidate by being clear about a client’s salary limitations, for example, it will be much easier for all parties to eventually reach an agreeable compromise. Waiting until the eleventh hour to address this important matter, on the other hand, has the potential to leave one (or both) parties feeling alienated, frustrated, and dissatisfied.
Be a guide – not merely an expert.
It’s also important for modern recruiters to bear in mind that, in many cases, clients and candidates don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. A client, for example, may have a vague notion of the skills that they’re looking for in a candidate, but they may not clearly understand their ideal candidate profile. Candidates, for their part, often spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at salary expectations for various positions and not enough time searching for the right workplace culture or environment.
This presents a perfect opportunity for recruiters to provide some invaluable assistance. Specifically, recruiters need to be able to ask probing questions, such as: What’s your motivation? What are you really looking for? What’s going to really make you sit up and take notice about an opportunity or about a candidate?
Without the guiding hand of a recruiter, employers are often liable to rushing the recruitment process and winding up with a mishire. Similarly, candidates are more likely to end up working in suboptimal working environments. One of the most important goals for any professional recruiter, then, should be to serve as a guide for clients and candidates alike.
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