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How to snag the Right job Candidate

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Despite talks of a recession, today’s employers are desperate to find great job candidates – even good candidates. Job seekers quickly lose interest in the hunt and move on.

Job Applicants

I had a recent conversation with one of my HR clients in Jacksonville, Florida. This mid-size company was hiring for an executive role and struggling to find qualified applicants.

It’s a universal problem for businesses right now. The recruiting environment has changed drastically over the past 8-12 months. There are 4 million more job openings than people who are unemployed. With job openings far outnumbering the number of unemployed, employers of all sizes and industries are running into similar problems. A lack of candidates, applicant ghosting and a record number of people quitting one job to take another are all situations plaguing employers and recruiters.

But there are other deterrents that send potential employees packing. When job seekers don’t have enough information about a position, must provide decades of work history up front, or experience a lackluster first impression conversation with HR, they will abandon their pursuit of your job opening.

How to Snag the Right Job Candidate

I talked to my HR client about strategies to find that right fit. Landing the top talent and then keeping that individual on your payroll (Can you say retention problems?) would be a challenge. I share some of the information below, which includes 5 tips for finding the right job candidates.

Recruiting New Employees

Here are a couple of things you could do to help improve your odds of finding candidates and increase your chances of hiring the right person for the job(s).

1. Cast the net far and wide

In addition to listing the jobs on the careers page of your website, be sure to use location-based websites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. Be sure to also post a listing on industry-based sites. Is there a graphic design association with a career page, or a trade association with a local chapter? Find your posting niche. Contact local colleges to include your posting in their alumni career resources. Put your tech team to work and have them add structured markup (specific code information) to encourage search engines like Google to pick up the posting. The more places you have the position listed, the more opportunities you will have to find the passive seeker.

2. Do competitor research

Search for position listings with similar skill requirements or job titles at other companies in your industry and area. Evaluate what they are doing to make the job stand out. Do they provide clarification of daily tasks and expectations? Are they clear about necessary degrees or certifications? Do they provide historical information about the company as a whole? You can borrow some of their strategies and tailor it towards your organization. It helps to know how others are hiring, especially those getting the best candidates.

3. Sell the job to the candidate

You are adept in marketing your services for your business. You create campaigns and communicate to potential customers why you are the best to buy from. You must also market and sell the job itself. You want the candidate to buy into the job and find the description interesting. You have already done part of this by creating an enticing job posting. The next step is to talk about all of the benefits of working with the company. Share a little bit about the department or team they will be part of. Sell the company culture and daily impact of the role.

Make sure the listing is complete. If you have not listed a range for the salary/hourly rate, your posting may get overlooked. Wage transparency has been gaining more and more traction. With so many companies now listing a range, completely omitting compensation details might mean that you will not get the time of day from the candidate.

Accepting a Job Offer

4. Create a great, but easy to use, candidate experience

While we always want to streamline the recruiting process, requiring too much up front from a candidate could deter them from applying or responding to a request for more information. The initial goal is to get them on the phone or video chat to start the conversation.

When I was recently recruiting for an open position at my office, I used the video chat feature built into Indeed. This allowed me to have a quick 15-minute conversation with a candidate to see if they qualified for a full interview. Only after this initial conversation did I then begin to ask for more information. We need to assure candidates that it is worth their time to continue the process.

5. Cut down the number of interviews

Gone are the days of interviews with 3 department heads and two months of debating which candidate is the best. Employers must act fast to snag the employee before they discover a better offer. Every minute counts. Review the application and have an initial phone discussion the day they apply. A quick phone/video screening call saves everyone time from having an in-person appointment that will quickly belly flop.

Give the applicant a time frame and get back to them after you have had the interview. If multiple interviews are necessary, schedule them close together. Dragging out the process could leave you dragging in an unqualified, unmotivated job seeker, when your top candidate selects another employer.

Recruiting is sales and it is our job to close the deal.


We live in a 1-click application age and requiring job seekers to fill out detailed information with the address of every previous job might not be in your best interest – depending on what kind of position you are hiring for. Make sure the application is appropriate for the job and the type of candidate you are looking for.

Too many hurdles mean too much effort in a process with a low likelihood of success (number of jobs applied to versus the number of offers received). The keys to finding and hiring the right employee are gaining their interest, keeping their attention, and completing the process as quickly and responsibly as possible. Recruiting is sales and our job is to close the best deal for our companies.

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