Don’t Lose Candidates You Love

Recruiting talent to your company is like romantic matchmaking. The candidate wants a company they love, and the employer feels the same way. The longer the love affair lasts, the longer the employee is happy, productive, and retained.

But don’t lose candidates by failing to sell them on the opportunity in the interview.

How do you find that perfect match in a one-sided “selling” interview? While many employers interview extremely well and masterfully sell their position – still many employers do not.

Many interviews are one-sided. The old rules are simple. The employer is in charge, and the candidate is on the hot seat responding and answering questions.

In my earlier years as an independent recruiter, I’ve sent extremely talented candidates to employers – only to hear back “sorry I think I’m going to pass” from the employer or the candidate. They should have been the perfect match. What went wrong?

I’d always ask for feedback from the employer and the candidate after every interview. One pattern I noticed in these situations was the employers often failed to sell the opportunity to the candidates early on in the interview. The candidates picked up on that. As a result, the candidates didn’t sell themselves as hard as they could have in return.

This misunderstanding causes employers to miss out on great talent. Sure all candidates should sell themselves regardless, but it’s human nature to pick up on the vibe from the employer and react one way or another.

How it looks from the employer’s view:

“The candidate looked great… on paper. But they didn’t sell themselves in the interview.”

How it looks from the candidate’s view:

“I liked them, but I don’t think they really wanted me, and I didn’t learn much about the job in the interview. I’m going to pass.”

I’ve heard those very words countless times! These candidates and employers should have been perfect fits for each other – if only they’d done a better job expressing their interest in each other.

Call it a chicken and the egg issue. You could blame both the candidate and the employer.

But in a talent war for great candidates, employers who don’t step up and sell will lose. The best candidates have the leverage of plenty other interviews, and possibly offers. If they don’t feel wanted, or learn enough exciting things about the job and the company, they’ll simply walk away.

The most effective interviewing is a two-way street.

Talented candidates want to be “sold” on why they should work for you. In turn, they’ll “sell” you hard on why you should hire them. Every interviewer has the power to bring out the best in every talented candidate. Keep that in mind to snag the very best!

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Jonathan Samuels

Hey I’m Jonathan. I created The Sales Club ( and love talent acquisition! I have 20 years of recruiting experience and innovation. I like to work out, watch silly TV shows and maybe have a slice of pizza to break up my healthy eating habits. I hope you enjoy my blog page. Please share them with your friends!

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