How to Attract Candidates When Good Ones Are Hard to Find

With the unemployment rate at 4%, the US Chamber of Commerce is stating we are at “Full Employment”. Full employment does not mean every person in the US is employed. It means the only people unemployed are the chronically unemployed or those unemployed by the natural ebb and flow of business.
You need a hiring process that works even when the unemployment rate makes finding good candidates more challenging and time consuming. This article is intended to help you take a strong look at your current process and see if you can make it better.  Most hiring processes can be broken down into 4 stages. If there is a breakdown at any stage of the process, your chances of hiring the ideal candidate fast and accurately can be greatly diminished. So, let’s look at the process.

Stage 1. Attracting qualified candidates for your open positions  Have a process that attracts both passive and motivated candidates.

  • Job Posting is a strategy that works if you are willing to wade through the applicants. In fact, when it comes to web-candidates you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming…  (This strategy attracts people who are currently looking. Some are unemployed, or underemployed, or unhappy in their current situation.)
  • Ensure your salaries and benefits are in-line with the industry.
  • Create an in-house recruiting team or use a specialized firm to provide an embedded recruiting team whose only focus is to find qualified, passive candidates for your open positions. (CDP has successfully done this for their clients.)
  • Use a Search Firm – CDP has experienced recruiters nationwide that successfully attract hard-to-find candidates in your industry – An average of 89 percent of the candidates we present get an interview.) 
  • On the average, CDP produces 3 matching candidates in 18 days.

Stage 2. Keep candidates engaged throughout the process

Like a red-hot ember that grows cold, candidates who have become excited about your opportunity lose their excitement very quickly.  

  • A recent survey stated that 80% of the candidates who did not accept the job said the process took too long and they lost interest.
  • Give a next step within 24 hours of the interview. 
  • CDP can provide a recorded Video Interview. This will save you time to let you go straight to the Face-to-Face interview.

Stage 3. Assessing and selecting the appropriate candidates.

Don’t let your team overlook great candidates because they keep looking for the “perfect resume”. The interview is where the hiring decision is made. A resume should only determine if the candidate is worthy of an interview.

  • Make a decision.  Have a process that takes a subjective decision and makes it objective.
  • Separate your “Must Haves” from your “Like to Haves”.  
  • CDP presents candidates that have your “Must Haves” and will document these skills with a comprehensive questionnaire.

Stage 4.  Seal the deal with your top choice.

When it comes time to accept an offer, Candidates will often “go emotional”. People hate change, so they will say things like, “maybe my current employer isn’t so bad after all”.


  • Make sure when you get to the offer stage, the candidate will accept.  If the candidate is resigning from their current employer to go to work for you, it must be a better deal.  The better deal should be for a reason other than money.  It should be for an opportunity for advancement, or moving closer to aging parents, or any number of reasons. Your job is to find why it is a better deal.
  • Change can be difficult. When it comes time to resign, candidates might start to rethink their decision. This is normal. Knowing how to help them through this process will ensure a successful transition and great start in their new role.  
  • At CDP, 94% of our candidates accept the offer because we know how to get them through the change.
The right process ensures successful recruiting results.
Career Development Partners offers solutions for companies who, due to limited time and resources, are seeking a more collaborative and cost savings solution.
We have many options to fit your needs, situations and processes.  Contact us for more information, 918.293.0500 or email:


Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Mike Duke

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners. Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

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