Although I’m a few days late following Valentine’s Day, (I blame the chocolate and cupcake coma for the delay), in keeping up with the luuuuurrrrrvveee theme, it seemed timely to talk about the importance of courting your candidates.

Similar to the courtship in many rom-coms (see here, here & here), winning over your sweetheart (or future rockstar candidate) takes some finesse….and time. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re engaging and courting your candidates to guarantee they are your next great hire!

Be Patient….It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

I literally bite my tongue as I’m writing this. This is by far my biggest weakness, but I have found in my many years of recruiting and hiring, that quality goes A LONG way. Understand that your initial engagement with a candidate may not mean they are immediately ready to make a move.  However, that leads me to my second point…

Be (Semi) Persistent

Don’t just pass on a candidate, or overlook them because they don’t immediately bite on the opportunity you’re presenting. Often times the best candidates are not currently available (thus making them seem EVEN MORE enticing, and highly sought after). Just like in sales, think about how often your competition throws in the towel on prospects that can’t fill an immediate need – BE. BETTER. THAN. THAT!

I can tell you countless stories about candidates I have courted for anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, who I’ve eventually placed because of consistent follow up, communication and being patient and persistent in my engagement.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Don’t just rely on your Recruiter/HR department to manage this relationship. If you’re a hiring manager, a peer, or even a CEO, it goes a long way with a candidate to know that the entire team, or organization has a level of interest in them. This could be as simple as an email, or a coffee, lunch, etc to stay in front of them, and continue to remind them about your level of interest in having them join your organization!

These are some pretty basic principles, but from a candidate perspective will go a long way, and really set you apart from ABC, and XYC companies.

Have you had success in your recruiting and hiring efforts? Tell me about your best (or craziest) candidate courting experience!