Ever think to yourself I’d love to have them work for me but I can’t afford them? Just because a candidate has higher salary expectations than your budget can afford doesn’t mean they’re off limits. With this in mind you can be more confident in attracting top quality candidates to your company.

The key to landing a top candidate is to always be closing the deal. Don’t wait until the interview process is over to show them that you want them on your team. Allow your candidate to feel that they are valued from the first moment you meet. Even if you meet by chance at a business conference, make a positive impression and covey that your organisation is in the market for a top performer such as them. It may come as a surprise to you but the best candidates are the ones least likely to see your job posting. So you may find that making a personal approach is the most worthwhile recruitment tactic you could employ.

Highly desirable candidates know that they are in demand so you need to understand that they have a shelf life. During the interview process get details of other offers. Enquire as to the salary, benefits work culture and what they see as the pro’s and con’s of other job opportunities. Knowing their deciding factors and your competition can help you to identify the benefits you can offer that are unique to your organisation and align with your candidate’s motivations. Taking a holistic view and encompassing a candidate’s lifestyle, family and career goals into your job offer will soon have one focusing on more than the financial aspects of transitioning to your company. Knowing one’s personal motivations is a powerful negotiation tool.

I know of many a candidate who has lowered their salary expectations once negotiations are underway, some even being poached from their current, higher paying job! And a lot of it centres on a manager’s ability to upsell those elements of their organisation that are different or better to its competitors, as well as align those corporate attributes with a candidate’s personal and professional needs and desires. So put your best foot forward. Yet as you grow to understand your candidate’s expectations, also establish your own expectations around salary, benefits and goals. Don’t engage in excessive negotiation. Your offer should reflect not only the benefits you can offer them, but the benefits they can provide to you too. Demonstrating you understand a complementary relationship exists shows the candidate you have evaluated and considered their needs as much you own. When they know you care about them, they will know you are serious about employing them for the long term.

Getting the candidate across the line though will take skill and timing as well as a little luck. So don’t delay in making your offer. When pitching for their services have a strong backup plan. Negotiating when you have a plan B to fall back on gives you extra confidence and strengthens your position in the negotiation process. There is the chance too that no matter how great your offer is you may not be able to match the candidates best offer. If this is genuinely the case, you will feel empowered to cease negotiations and move to option B without having lost any time.

When you recognise how to compete for top quality candidates who are otherwise financially out of your reach, you will be able to not only attract but successfully retain their services. Once you have won over one or two highly sought after candidates, other great candidates will soon come knocking on your door. So don’t be afraid to aim high. After all, they can only say no….but they might just say yes!

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