If someone asked you, “what makes your company great?”, it’s very likely that your response would be, “the people”. Even if you have the very best product on the market, you rely on great people to sell and support that product. This is why competition for talent is so fierce, and it’s why the companies who hire the best people, win. In order to hire top talent, you need to ensure that you’re selling your company throughout the recruitment process. Everything from your website, to your job advertisements, to your interview process, needs to convince job seekers that you’re their number one choice

Don’t Hide Your Enthusiasm:  If you’re not excited about coming to work every day, how can you expect anyone else to be? When you’re advertising your jobs or interviewing candidates, don’t hold back on telling them why your company is a great place to work. The best candidates are probably interviewing with a handful of your competitors. Think about what makes you different and really highlight that during the recruitment process. By listening carefully during the interview process, you can also find out what’s important to the candidate. Are they athletic and looking to bike to work? Highlight your on-site showers and bike racks. If they are family-oriented, maybe your generous parental leave will seal the deal.

Know What You Want:  Don’t go out hunting for the right candidate before you know what ‘right’ is. Ask yourself if you have a really clear idea of the position requirements and whether there are ‘must haves’ vs. ‘nice to haves’. The candidates you choose to interview should meet all of the criteria that you outlined. Trying to sell a junior position to someone who is over experienced is a recipe for failure – they’ll either be insulted by your offer, or they’ll accept your offer and be out the door as soon as they get a better one. If you’ve been advertising the positon for months without finding any good potential candidates, think seriously about your requirements and who you’re advertising to. A great candidate will be hard to find if you’re selling the wrong position to the wrong crowd.

Know Everything About the Job:  Before you can sell your top candidate on the job, you need to know it inside and out. You should be intimately familiar with the job duties and have a thorough understanding of what your company brings to the equation in terms of salary, benefits, vacation days, etc. If you’re unfamiliar of what duties the person will actually perform day to day in their new role, consider asking someone who currently does that job or one very similar. Sometimes it may even be suitable to include that person in the hiring process to provide the candidate with a realistic job preview, and also sell the benefits of the position.

Always remember that the recruitment process is a two-way interview: the candidate is sizing up their options and considering whether your organization may be a fit for them. Ensure that you’re making a good impression on every candidate: acknowledge their interest, keep communication lines open, take an interest in them as individuals, and show appreciation for their time.  The most qualified and desirable candidates are likely entertaining multiple job offers. Ensuring that your recruitment process is fine-tuned to sell the candidates on the job, and your company, will ensure that you come out on top.