Securing The Top Accounting Candidate With The Killer Question!

Even though hiring managers do a great job preparing for the interview, putting a lot of thought and effort into interview questions and comparing candidates, at the end of the interview, they fail to ask THE question that could close the deal and secure the top candidate.

So what's the question? It's about closing. Closing is a sales term. Every sales rep must close or they may very well lose that business. The interview process is no different, it is a sales process and you are selling the role & the company to the candidate.

Check out these 8 steps that will get winning candidates across the finish line!

1. Move Fast.
If you've made a decision, why wait? Time is always your enemy in recruiting, even in a down economy exceptional talent is rare.

Whenever possible contact the selected candidate later the same day of their final interview. If not, make contact within a day or two at the very most. Not only can you ease the candidate's stress during the post-interview waiting period, but you can also show how thrilled you are to make them part of your team.

2. Always call.
Some companies send emails or letters. Don't. Make the phone call; not only can you convey your excitement, but you can gauge the level of enthusiasm of the selected candidate, too.

3. Be enthusiastic.
Be professional but be enthusiastic. Tell the candidate he/she was your first choice. Explain how impressed others are with his/her background and skills.

It's natural to play your cards close to your chest during the interview and selection process, but once you've made a decision, drop your reserve. Don't worry—conveying your excitement won't affect the salary negotiation process.

Remember, the employer-employee relationship doesn't start the first day on the job. It officially starts with the job offer. Make that moment memorable for the candidate.

4. Apply the 10% rule.
Generally speaking, candidates expect a pay increase of at least 10% when they change jobs. Few candidates will change jobs for the same or lower salary (barring unusual circumstances, of course.) And if they do, they'll feel some level of resentment every time they get paid.

Never offer a salary below their current salary unless there are concrete, objective reasons to do so—and even then, think hard about it.

5. Show the money.
Explain pay and benefits as thoroughly and accurately as possible. Describe the base salary, how any bonus plans work, provide a fairly thorough overview of any other benefits, and describe any other perks. Then follow through with a written breakdown of all salary and benefits terms.

Never give an employee any reason to feel they were the victim of a salary bait and switch—and never make bonus or perk promises you cannot keep.

6. Get a commitment—even a tentative one.
Many candidates will ask for time to consider the offer. That's natural—but that doesn't mean you can't ask questions. Say, "I completely understand... but can I ask what you think about our offer?"

Any hesitation the candidate feels indicates they may turn you down, so ask questions, without being pushy, and see if you can overcome any objections or provide additional information that will make acceptance more likely.

7. Follow up in writing.
Then put everything in an email or letter. Include all elements of the offer: job title, base salary, benefits, annual holidays, leave entitlements, etc. And make sure to set a deadline on acceptance; three days is typical.

8. Ask the "killer question."
If you can't get a good read on the candidate's level of interest, if the decision-making period is dragging on, or if you just want to make absolutely sure the candidate will show up on their first day, ask this question: "I interviewed two other good candidates for this job. Can I tell them the job has been filled?"

Few people will lie about their intentions, especially when lying might affect another person that really wanted the job.