Why “Nickel and Dime Offers” Lose Top Candidates—Every Time

by Stacy Pursell, The VET Recruiter®

You’ve probably heard the phrase “All in” before, as in someone saying that they’re “all in” regarding a situation. Well, this phrase is also applicable to hiring top candidates in today’s employment marketplace, including within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

In other words, top talent is scarce to the point that when you DO find a qualified candidate for your open position, you must go “all in” to secure that candidate’s services. And when I say this, I mean during the offer stage of the hiring process.

Along with the face-to-face interview, the offer stage is one of the most important parts of the hiring process. That’s where talent is won . . . but also where it’s lost. That’s because it’s where you show candidates exactly how much you want to hire them.

A matter of motivation

Let’s look at the situation from your point of view. You want to hire candidates who are motivated to join your organization. That’s why you want candidates to show you that they’re motivated to do so during the hiring process. That makes sense.

Conversely, top candidates want to work for an organization that is motivated to hire them. In other words, they want to feel wanted. Consequently, they want the organization that is hiring to show them that they’re wanted during the hiring process. Making a compelling offer at the end of the process is one of the best ways to do so.

I’ve made this point before, but hiring top talent is NOT like shopping for electronics. Trying to get the “best deal for the money” is not a sound strategy. It works when you’re shopping for electronics because a car stereo can’t make the decision that it doesn’t want to work for you. However, a candidate can make that decision.

No, if you want the top talent in the marketplace, then you must be willing to pay for that talent. And you’re not so much paying for the talent than you are investing in the future of your organization. You should expect a return on your investment in the form of productivity and profit, and the difference in the return that you receive between an A-level candidate and a C-level candidate can be substantial.

A-level candidates are scarce right now including in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. That means the type of productivity, profit, and return on investment (ROI) associated with them are also rare. When something is rare, it becomes more valuable and you are willing to pay more for it.

Bottom line: that’s the situation that currently exists in the marketplace.

Low-ball offers = low levels of success

Something else that employers sometimes don’t understand is that top candidates are evaluating them just as much as they’re being evaluated by employers. Everything that candidates see and experience during the hiring process factors into their decision.

I’ve discussed the topic of employer branding before on numerous occasions. Everything that an organization and its hiring officials do during the hiring process brands that organization in the minds of candidates. So if a top candidate goes all the way through the process, only to have the organization low-ball them on the offer, a number of questions will pop up in their mind:

  • Is this offer an indication of how the organization values its potential employees?
  • Is this offer an indication of how the organization values its current employees?
  • If I join this organization, can I expect only moderate, cost-of-living raises?
  • Does the organization value “cutting corners” over practical business development strategies?
  • What kind of turnover rate does this organization experience?

These are not the types of questions that you want top candidates to be asking themselves, not when they’re in the process of deciding whether or not they want to work for your organization.

You’ve probably heard the analogy of the hiring process and the difference between dating someone and marrying them. When you’re dating someone, how they act and how they treat you during the dating phase is probably a pretty good indication of how they’ll act and treat you once you’re married. The same logic applies to the hiring process. Past behavior is typically an indication of future behavior.

From the candidate’s perspective, how an organization acts and treats them during the hiring process is probably a pretty good indication of how the organization will act and treat them once they become an employee. This analogy is at the heart of employer branding.

It’s also a perfect illustration of why low-ball offers ultimately lead to low levels of hiring success.

The mentality and the commitment

What candidates want are reasons to join your organization. What you don’t want to give them are reasons NOT to join your organization. Making “nickel and dime” offers at the end of the hiring process gives top candidates a reason not to join your organization. As I pointed out earlier in this article, this is largely a matter of motivation. Either you’re motivating candidates to join you . . . or you’re motivating them not to join you. Everything you say and do falls into one of those two categories.

If you want to hire top talent in this job market, then you must have the mentality that you will make an extremely competitive offer when the time comes. If you’re not willing to make that commitment, then it’s almost a foregone conclusion that all of the work you’ve done in your quest to secure the best candidate will be for naught.

In fact, if you want to ensure that your organization’s position will be seriously considered by top candidates, then you should have the mentality that the offer you make will be the best one. It will be better than your competitors’ and it will motivate your top choice to want to work for you.

Only top offers close top candidates. “Nickel and dime” offers lose top candidates—every time.

Have the right mentality and make a firm commitment. Both are necessary for hiring success in this current market. Anything less can lead to frustration and having to fill your positions with B-level and C-level candidates.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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