The Hiring Tactic That Can Damage a Recruiter’s Reputation

March 14, 2016

Anyone who has been in recruiting for the last few years knows we’ve gone from a buyer’s market to a seller’s one. The talent shortage is intensifying. Finding the best candidate for your open job is getting harder. Time-to-fill rates are getting higher. And, executive teams are starting to walk down the hallway to find out why recruiting can’t get the talent the company needs to reach its goals.

When this happens, you start to see some aggressive recruiting tactics come into play. Getting creative is one thing, acting desperate is another.

The “exploding offer” is not your solution

An "exploding offer" is when an employer provides a job offer and gives the candidate a very short deadline for acceptance, i.e., 48 hours or less. Turns out, this tactic has a lot of negative consequences, which you can read in more detail in this article

All in all, studies show using exploding offers result in 8-13% recruiting deficiency. Why? Because starting a relationship with an employee by putting them under under pressure leads to turnover. This is because the way you treat candidates in the negotiation process tells them you're untrustworthy. And this in turn can have a lasting, damaging impact on your company’s employer brand.

That aside, I think professional recruiters today should skip using this tactic for another reason: it harms your individual recruiter brand.

Why this tactic hurts your recruiter brand (a.k.a. your reputation as a professional)

Every time you push a candidate with an exploding offer, they won’t just remember what company put them under duress to make a decision, they’ll remember who delivered the message. Do you really want to be known as the recruiter who pushes people to take jobs? What are the chances the candidate will refer you to their network after an experience like that? More importantly, how likely is the candidate to work with you again?

Treat candidates as partners and you’ll build strong, lasting, fruitful relationships. Treat them like a commodity and you’ll lose trust and erode your credibility.

Setting a deadline is okay, just be reasonable

I understand it’s important to set a deadline for acceptance. You can’t just leave an offer hanging in the wind. If the candidate isn’t going to accept, you need to move on. But, failing to give them time to review it and evaluate all the options doesn’t really help you.

The fact is, if they’re hesitating about you as an employer, you’re better off giving them a couple of days to figure it out. I’ve seen so many times when an exploding offer was accepted, only to have the candidate back out a week later when the job offer they really wanted arrived.

If you’re worried about a candidate not taking the job, then it’s your company’s fault for not making the offer compelling enough. Moreover, if you’re seeing a rise in candidates passing on your job offers, you’ve got deeper issues around your company culture and candidate experience that need to be addressed.

My name is J.T. O’Donnell and I’m passionate about helping companies reveal their true employer brand. Contact me and my team today to learn more on how we can help you brand yourself properly to attract the right talent.

*Image by Elliot Bennett

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