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Why and When Good Candidates ‘Tune You Out’

One of the things that’s often difficult to remember in this type of marketplace (i.e., one that contains a lot of job seekers) is that candidates—especially high-quality candidates—will “tune you out.”

That’s right. You have an opening, you’re trying to fill that opening, and good candidates decide that your opening is not for them. (Even if you think it IS for them.)

So why does this happen, and just as important, when does this happen? Below are five scenarios that serve to answer these questions.

1. It’s a lateral move—Top-notch candidates are always looking to move forward; that’s one of the characteristics that make them valuable. That’s why they’ll rarely leave their current position if they believe the move is a lateral one.

2. They don’t believe your opportunity will enhance their career—Not only can it not be a lateral move, but your opportunity must also hold the promise of both advancement and enhancement. They’re not going to just jump at anything.

3. They’re entertaining multiple offers—Then there’s the real possibility that your offer is going up against others. If a candidate has four offers, they’re going to immediately “tune out” the ones that don’t measure up.

4. You don’t make them feel wanted—This pertains not only to your offer, but also to your interaction with them, both on the telephone and in person. The fact is that everybody wants to feel wanted, and ignoring this key intangible component could prove costly.

5. You don’t “close the deal”—The decision might come down to you and another company, and if you drop the ball at the five-yard line, so to speak, the competition could score this “talent touchdown” instead of you. So finish strong and make the effort needed to ensure victory.

Great candidates want great opportunities. That’s what motivates them, and how they perceive your opportunity will dictate whether they pursue it . . . or whether they “tune you out.”

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