To close a deal of any kind, you can’t just pitch someone out of the blue. An effective closing requires the type of honesty and transparency that comes from taking the journey together. 

That journey, in this case, is the candidate experience — and it’s a competition for which there is no second-place prize. Quite the opposite, candidates are expected to zig and zag throughout the obstacle course that is the recruiting process, jumping through hoops, interviewing again and again and being assessed along the way. 

When they reach that final stage, instead of helping them over the wall, some recruiters sit there waiting for them to go it alone. 

That’s no way to start a relationship with a potential new employee. To close candidates effectively and improve the experience for everyone, follow these tips:

1. Support your candidates with transparency

There are no tricks or shortcuts to getting candidates to accept your offer — not when they’re investing in themselves and your organization. 

The only way over the obstacles is by going through the course.

However, you can seal the deal by advocating for your candidates. Applying honesty, transparency and care has been proven to work time and again. 

By supporting your candidates and offering them the truth about the role, organization, compensation and benefits, you’re showing them the path forward. 

You should also ask them point-blank about what they need from you and how you can help them come to a decision. This demonstrates your commitment to them. 

If they’ve run the gauntlet and made it to the end, the least you can do is help them scale the last hurdle.

2. Be more interested in the candidate than in yourself

Recruiting and hiring asks us to put candidates on display, pointing out their shortcomings as we identify their strengths, weaknesses and “fit” for a role. 

It’s not an easy process, and candidates tell us again and again how difficult they find it. 

Closing should therefore become the recruiter’s moment of vulnerability. It’s your chance to show candidates the cards you’re holding; allow them to tell you what they’re looking for and whether you meet their criteria for employment. 

This is when you let your guard down and fully embrace whatever they tell you. Otherwise, you risk the candidate’s moving on to an employer who more closely matches their needs. 

Be more interested in the candidate than in yourself. If they’re asking for more than you’re ready to offer, talk to your organization about what’s possible as far as compensation and benefits. 

If it’s totally off-base, give the candidate that insight; it might not be the job for them. 

3. Remember your responsibility to build an inclusive organization

Part of closing involves discussing the numbers. 

Far too often, recruiters go low instead of high when it comes to salary. Whether you realize it or not, that’s a significant factor in issues of pay inequity that exist today. 

Give candidates an equal chance of finishing the race, regardless of their different characteristics. Equity and inclusion rely heavily on hiring practices, and closing is where recruiters contribute directly to the diversity of the organization. 

Listen to the candidates; look to your hiring manager and organization; and figure out a number that suits both sides, without putting your candidates at a disadvantage compared to their coworkers. 

Conclusion

To close successfully, offer your candidates the leg up that everyone is looking for in their career. 

Help them clear that last obstacle by showing that you care not only about the organization but also about the potential employee. 

Remember to do that and you’ll be moving from a great candidate experience to the beginnings of a great employee experience — which works wonders for retention, culture and morale.


William Tincup is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Indeed.