Insight March 16, 2021 Lisa Sacchetti

Losing Top Candidates? Attract and Close the Talent You Need in a Competitive Job Market

Browsing recruitment statistics for hiring in 2021 is the stuff of nightmares for any hiring manager or recruitment professional:

  • The average corporate job post receives 250 resumes.
  • Although a typical interview process takes 28 days, top talent can get hired much more quickly.
  • Almost half of employers surveyed say they can’t find workers qualified for the jobs they have to fill.

These frightening stats apply even more so to the world of EdTech. The world of education has changed and evolved greatly, accelerated by the worldwide pandemic creating ever-expanding demand for online learning and training. So when you make an offer to that ideal candidate, and they turn it down or simply ghost you, it can devastate your hiring process and plans.

Closing the top candidates you need and have been pursuing can be complicated. Delays and indecision of hiring managers, less than competitive offers, inconsistencies during the hiring process, and confusing candidates with irrelevant questioning and not enough real information about your company and business needs are just some of the ways to lose top talent.

When you need to secure the person who is right for your role, but they have other offers in play (as most top talent will), you need to remember that closing starts long before the job offer is made.

Closing Isn’t the End of the Hiring Process

Don’t think of the offer as closing the candidate. You should have closing in mind when you first meet each top candidate. If you wait until after you’ve made an offer to sweeten the deal and convince your ideal candidate that your role is the right one for them, it may be too late. Find out at the first meeting what other roles they have applied to and are interested in and if they are considering other offers. And ask upfront and throughout your time with the candidate how your role and organization stacks up with other offers.

Anticipating obstacles is important, says Katrina Collier, candidate engagement expert at consulting firm The Searchologist. Ask what candidates’ families think about the opportunity, what if any life changes taking your role would create for the candidate, and show candidates their future workspace and co-workers to enable them (and you!) to envision themselves in the role and gauge their comfort levels.

Optimize Your Recruiting Process and Shorten Your Hiring Cycle

With the demands and growth in the EdTech industry predicted to more than double by 2025, can your organization afford a long hiring process and a chance of losing the top talent you need? The more time between initial contact and hiring the candidate, the more opportunity your candidate has to explore other options.

Take stock of your recruiting process. How long is it from start to finish, from initial candidate contact to hire date? Is it more than 30 days? If so, you need to optimize your recruiting process and shorten your hiring cycle.

Schedule interviews as soon as you get responses to your job posting. Ask for samples of work for the interview. Don’t use lowball offers as a cost savings strategy and risk losing your candidate to more robust offers from competitors. Make sure your offers are competitive. Plan to make hiring decisions as soon as candidate matching targets are met, and do not wait to prepare and present offers.

Be careful not to confuse making offers quickly with rushing the candidate. Make the offer to your candidate as soon as you get confirmation that the hiring manager or team wants to hire, then give them a day or so to consider the offer by requesting an answer in a specific time frame.

Listen to (and Provide) What the Candidate Wants

Ensure you’re asking questions about what is important to your top candidates, and really listen to the answers. Then follow up with the information they want. When they ask for more details about benefits or what the work environment for the role is like, do more than give a cursory answer. Talk about the benefits and how employees in your company are using them. Take them to the area they would be working and spend some time there with them.

Ask for a top 10 list of what candidates are looking for in their career, what type of manager they like working with, what hours they like working, what training they expect, and if they want flexible working arrangements, and discuss those things in your organization.

Listening to candidates, really listening and responding to inquiries and expectations, shows you want to understand them and their career goals and how your role fits. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about the competition in the job market and how your company compares.

Even in a Hot Market, You can Build a World-Class Team

If you find it challenging to attract the key talent you need to reach the next stage of your organization’s success The Renaissance Network can help. TRN has been “building world-class teams to impact education” since 1996. 

As a recent example in the past nine months, TRN engaged with a rapidly expanding mobile applications EdTech company that wanted to make significant organizational changes to ensure consistent and healthy growth. TRN helped them secure six critical new hires, including two members of the firm’s senior leadership team and a significant expansion of the sales team. All of the new teammates have been immediately impactful to continuing growth at this education innovator. Their CEO recently commented, “TRN’s advice and insights have been an amazing resource. Their process, combined with their dedication to perfection, extensive experience, and deep relationships, are nothing short of incredible. We are immensely grateful to have partnered with TRN!”

If you would like to learn more about how TRN’s process, data-based tools, and unmatched education network can help you build your world-class team, contact us today.


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Lisa founded The Renaissance Network in 1996 with the mission of building world-class teams and quickly developed a focus on the growing Education and Technology vertical.

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