How to Appeal to the Best Candidates so You Never Get a Role Turned Down Again

If you have a vacant position within your company, it goes without saying that you’ll be looking for the highest quality, talented candidates. Whilst the role itself must be appealing, there are other things you should consider to ensure that your role isn’t turned down when you approach senior level talent.   

Establish clear branding (including vision, values and mission for the future)

One of the most important things you have to do as an employer reaching out to passive candidates is to ensure you outline exactly who you are as a business and what your objectives are. Most candidates are looking for more than simply a job that pays the bills, they want to see how they will fit within a company, be supported to develop and feel they are working towards a clear and positive goal which will impact their career.

A recent study from CareerBuilder found that the reputation of your company outweighs the salary you’re offering, with 67 percent of job seekers stating they would accept a lower salary if the company had extremely positive online reviews/press.

Whilst you may be keeping your company confidential at the beginning of the search process, you should brief your executive search partner on your vision and values so they can fully understand your goals and fit candidates to your culture.

Develop branded messages tailored to candidates  

At the interview stage, you need to gain as much information as possible around your candidate’s personal objectives, reasons for seeking a move, career aspirations, target earnings and what they are looking for from a new position and employer. By doing so, you’ll be able to tailor and personalise the ways in which you communicate with your candidates and meet their expectations from the outset. Unfortunately it is quite common, particularly for untrained interviewers, to unconsciously adopt a ‘Halo & Horns’ approach to candidates.

This method can at best be disruptive or at worst detrimental to the business, for example cultural or team fit, performance and productivity issues. 

Ensure you represent yourself well online

If you aren’t recruiting anonymously, you need to make sure that your online presence is strong. With social networks ever growing in importance and becoming a first stop for many candidates when researching a role, it’s never been more crucial to ensure you’re well represented in the social media and digital space. There are a number of websites now available to potential candidates, where they can look at comments and ratings provided by existing employees. Examples include GlassDoor, Indeed, Vault, or CareerLeak.

Social networks can be an eye opener for candidates looking to uncover and understand the ways in which your business conducts itself. By ensuring you spend time on your social strategy, you’re presenting yourself and your culture in a positive light. By taking the time to craft your values and ethos into your messaging, you’re also crafting a human element into your business, which is far more appealing to a candidate than reading your website copy or promotional materials.

Create clear communication channels

Reaching out to passive candidates means you have to work harder to engage and establish communication methods. As you are the one reaching out, your candidates may not have an up to date CV or a bank of experience in one central location. You should aim to show them that you’ve researched them and outline how you feel your role is relevant to their experience, making it simpler for them to respond.


By following our tips above, you’ll be putting yourself in the best possible position when approaching passive candidates, so you can be sure that your job offer is well received.

One of the most important steps when ensuring you convey your needs and goals to your executive search partner effectively is briefing them correctly and fully communicating your objectives and business culture. 

Download our free ebook how to brief your executive search partner or get in touch with a member of our friendly team here for more information.