Engaging the applicant to actually show up for the interview

Welcome back to my series on engaging employees.  Hopefully, you have written an alluring ad and you have received 30-40 responses.  If that is true, I also hope you have already contacted those respondents with whom you want to start a relationship.  Once again, I am going to use the comparison of responding to someone who has winked at you on match.com to reflect on the importance of timing when building a relationship.  If you wait too long to respond, the person you are responding to may actually be offended.  Why did it take you so long to respond?  You must not be that interested.   Remember, once they made the decision to make a change in their life, took the time to write the perfect profile and then finally actually found the courage to post it on match.com chances are they spent every minute after that checking for a response.  The more minutes that pass the less the excitement about taking that next step.  Responding rapidly will more likely keep the positive vibes and excitement growing because you were, obviously, excited about their profile since you responded so fast.  They are looking for the start of something great and an engaging and immediate response from you could lead them to the next step of meeting and chatting with you on the chance that you are that something great. 

Same scenario with your Indeed posting.  If someone responds to it, the faster you reply with engaging communications the more likely you will be successful in starting a relationship with this applicant.  It indicates that you were obviously as impressed with them as they were with your company when they perused your posting.  Your contact rate will be considerably higher the faster you respond but it will still be very low.  I am running a 41% final contact rate which means I never even get to correspond with 6 out of every 10 applicants.  Another reason why it is necessary to have an alluring posting so you receive a lot of respondents to your employment posting.

So, who do you respond to rapidly?  What does a person look like that you want to start a relationship with?  The answer to those questions could depend upon how many people you need. My current statistics show that it takes 16 applicants to end up with 1 hire.  We then lose 1 out of every 2 hires, often within 2 weeks for a variety of reasons.  I am sure you know them all if you are watching or reading this.  Reasons: absent day (and we do terminate anyone who misses a day of work their first week, almost without exception), decided too far to drive (and, yes, that is a qualifying question),  harder than they thought, sudden illness in family, etc. etc. etc.  Bottom line is you need around 30 responses to your employment posting to end up with 1 long term employee.

So where do you start to effectively work all those names? Hopefully, as they come in.   Then it will not be a daunting task when you finally get at it and you end up needing 60 names instead of 30 because the good ones are all gone.  Time and timing are everything when building a relationship.  You start by reviewing the first name as soon as you get the email a new applicant has applied. 

What are you looking for?  That certainly varies by company, but the generic favorites are experienced, bi-lingual, driver’s license, vaccinated for covid, can pass a background check and can walk and chew gum at the same time. Again, depending upon how desperate you are you may need to give up one or two of your favorites to be fully staffed.  The longer you take to ‘wink’ at your candidates the more favorites you will need to give up.  Just like match.com if you see someone who has the majority of your favorites, I recommend you check them out asap before they go on to somebody else. Or do you think you are so hot that once they see you they’ll drop their other choice and come back you?  That’s a lot of confidence. 

How do you respond?  I start with the phone with any candidate that has all of my particular client’s favorites.  I leave a voicemail if I do not reach them by phone.  Ay candidate with experience I phone, email and text with a personal message.  By personal I mean that I change my template to include their name and mention some job they had that makes them perfect for the job they applied for.  This has brought me the best results because, again, it engages the applicant in the text.  Again, how successful would you be at alluring your choice on match.com if you sent them a template text?  If you want to start a relationship with someone you need to take the time to show them, you care enough to know their name. 

What do I say when I finally have the opportunity to chat with them?  I start by introducing myself as a consultant who was hired to help XYZ Company with a major recruiting project.  I go on to explain that they have secured my help because I understand their culture and who would be a good fit.  Then I tell them I am going to begin by verifying the deal breaker questions before we go on so that I do not waste either of our valuable time.  First, can pass a background check? —— Second, have you had the Covid shots?——— Last, is the location of the office convenient for you?.——- These are all dealbreaker‘s for my current client so I don’t go any further if they answer no to any of those questions other than on exception.  If they have experience I ask them if they are willing to get the covid shot or shots. 

Next, if they have experience I ask them to tell me about it and if they don’t why they are interested in moving to cleaning at this time.  If I like what I have seen and heard at this point I explain to them that I live in Austin, Tx so unless they want to come to Austin the next step will be a zoom interview with me to get and give a feel about the culture and background match before we set up a face-to-face interview.  I ask what time would work best for them, giving them an opportunity to engage our relationship building.  If they put the time back in my corner, I choose a time that same day.  I then ask them if they have any questions for me before our interview and I answer them, but most say they will wait for the interview.  I then get or verify their email address and immediately send them a zoom link and ask them to verify receipt of the link.  Then I pray. 

Using a zoom interview allows for same day first interviews because both parties can be anywhere and meet.  I want to know if I want to see this person face to face asap but I do not want to waste a full afternoon waiting for someone who might not show up.  55% of my contacts turn into zoom interviews.  26% of my scheduled zoom and face-to-face interviews end up in no shows.  60% of that 26% are zoom interviews saving a lot of ‘glued to the desk’ time.  From what I have read and heard I will submit this is a good percentage rate.  I will further submit that is because of the immediate and continual personal engagement with the applicant.  It takes time but it gets the job done using the best bang for your buck.

Be sure you are tracking the outcome of each call the current disposition of candidates.  This list of qualified names is a gold mine that should be referred to first the next time you need an employee.  It will save you time and money if you do not need to start all over again.  You have a large list of ‘no contact’ names.  Go to the ones that matched your favorites then.  They still will and may be available.  Percentage will be low but so will time and cost to work them.  In time you will also be able to trend those statistics and know exactly how many postings you will need to run to attain a new hire.  It will also tell you if your numbers are higher than average and where you might need to tweak.

In my next session I will cover the zoom interview, statistics regarding zoom interviews and show an actual zoom interview with a candidate that was hired.  Until then, be sure to look at our engaging residential cleaning kit at https://housecleanerstraining.com.  If you need help recruiting, please contact me at 512-964-9750 text/phone or email me sltinberg@housecleanerstraining.com