The Modern Recruiter series: How to increase your joining ratio?

When it comes to hiring, a lot of companies do everything to increase joining ratio but are often unsuccessful. They look at salaries, they look at their responsiveness, they look at their Glassdoor reviews to increase their joining ratio, but it seems there is something more they often miss.

But before going into the way to increase joining ratio, let me share a story I read recently and found it fascinating.

A story of creativity

Long time ago, a lady started a real estate firm and wanted to hire the best salespeople. But she knew she didn’t stand a chance since her company was unknown and the best people would rather work for her established competitors.

Familiar? Many of us have faced this situation before. But what she did to solve this is no way common.

  1. She publishes a job ad that says: “Sales, Real Estate. ONE EMPTY DESK. Only one desk available for a positive, high-energy position wishing to earn large commissions. Exceptional company. No experience necessary. “
  2. The next day, when someone calls about the job, the receptionist picks up first and puts the candidate on hold to be “connected to the company President.” She picks up and tells the candidate that the position has already been filled.
  3. The candidate is shocked since the job listing ad has only been up for one day. She explains how her company has a long waiting list and that positions are often filled right away before the ad even shows up in the newspapers.
  4. The callers are always disappointed. Before they hang up, She offers to meet them saying “ new positions open up from time to time, so why don’t we get together and meet in case of another opportunity.”
  5. She sets up 16 appointments this way and schedules them all within the same 3 hour window. The next day, as she had planned, each candidate shows up to see 3 other people already waiting.

Just for record, this lady was Barbara Corcoran, the real estate tycoon with $65M networth and an investor appearing in the show Shark Tank.

Okay, this wasn’t ethical, but there is a bigger lesson here

Granted that most of us won’t do what Barbara resorted to doing. Lying and presenting a fake picture of our company can perhaps help us hire them but won’t sure retain them.

But if we zoom out and see beyond the lies, what Barbara really did is simple.

She researched about her candidates and crafted the right candidate experience

Usually, when we think of candidate experience, we think a bit narrowly. We think of:

  • how the candidates will see our job and company
  • how will they apply
  • what messages they will get
  • what kind of interview experience they will have
  • offer and negotiation

But what Barbara did was to make every touch point count:

  • Even before the candidates apply, they see a company that is making a bold statement.
  • Everyone values something more when they can’t get it. She used this simple fact to make people more interested.
  • If there is more competition for something, we want it even more. She again used this fact by inviting them to visit their office during the same time period.

Planning your candidate experience is crucial

A lot of companies I talk to are great companies. They each have their unique differences – some offer great work, some have great team members, some have a great culture.

But still, the people they want to attract, don’t end up joining them.

The problem is often that while these companies have the right ingredients, they don’t plan and control the ideal candidate experience.

The key point is – do you know what matters to your target candidates and how you can highlight it in your hiring process?

Let me take some examples:

  • A lot of companies want to hire solid programmers. And what they do? They just use the big words and give hard programming questions in the interview process.But these things don’t give any idea to the candidate about the kind of work you do.On the other hand, making some open source tools or writing a few blog posts where your team has described how they solved some hard problems can not only attract but also position your company strongly in their minds. These blog posts or links can be strategically placed in the job description or in the first message you send to the candidates or even in your email signature.
  • Let’s say you want to attract freshers. You know that their joining depends on the company’s reputation (since their parents have a lot of say in their first job). May be after offering them a job, you could do a 10 min Zoom call with their parents to highlight why your company is the right place for their children. Or may be make a video that their parents can watch about your company to become sure of your reputation?

These small things can actually make a big difference in your hiring process. By not only attracting the right candidates but also in increasing your joining ratio.

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This post is a part of The Modern Recruiter initiative to help hire better in 2020 and beyond. 

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