Choosing Right Candidate

How To Convert More Candidates Using Psychology

In today’s hyper-competitive recruitment market, the secret to convincing great talent to apply is often as simple as understanding exactly what they want (and expect) from your company.

Unfortunately, we’re too busy to get to know all candidates personally. So, what do we do? Well how about a secret weapon? Try to convert candidates using psychology.

Developing a basic understanding of the subtleties of the human mind can give you a major headstart in the hiring process. Our brains often react in the same way to certain impulses, so there is plenty of scope for finding creative ways to (ethically) encourage candidates to apply.

Be Honest And Transparent

How far should you show candidates the ‘real you’? Should you try and cover up your company’s shortcomings or should you completely open the kimono?

Nowadays, work is no longer a 9 to 5 deal. It plays a major role in all of our lives, and candidates want to understand what they’re getting themselves into. The want to be sure that they’re going to relate to the environment that they’re going to have to spend 8+ hours a day in.

It’s an exercise in trust. If you lie to applicants about your company then you’re asking for bad reviews on Glassdoor and high turnover rates. Tell them the truth however, and you’re far more likely to end up with committed, motivated employees.

So Does That Mean You Should Show Your Shortcomings?

We’re typically hardwired to cover up our weaknesses, but research from social psychologist Fiona Lee suggests that admitting our shortcomings could actually be a great way to draw attention to our company’s strengths!

How Does This Relate To Hiring?

You’re unlikely to be showcasing your company’s financials to candidates, but being honest about your organisation and the responsibilities that applicants will face in their new role, (even if it’s not all good news), will help inspire trust and confidence in your hiring process.

Break Through Action Paralysis

The way you write your job ads might be more important than you think!

We are beginning to become a little more engaging with the way we write job copy, but there might be a few tricks we can use to make candidates more amenable to clicking ‘apply’ – conversion rates are low because so few people are actually prepared to take action.

Research from Dr Robert Cialdini, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, has produced some interesting findings here. Cialdini found that minor copy changes make a huge difference to the way we act. He discovered that when minimal paremeters are set, people are far more likely to take action.

How Does This Relate To Hiring?

This study has the potential to dramatically improve the way we ‘sell’ our application process to candidates. Why not break through the standard human aversion to taking action by clearly stating how long your application will take.

We would all be much more inclined to take a ‘simple, 10-minute application’ than one which we have no information on – it’s not rocket science.

Give Candidates Instant Gratification

We live in an ‘on-demand society’ where everything is just the click of a smartphone button away – it’s no wonder that we’re attracted to anything that offers us instant gratification. How do we harness this?

Effective careers page copy should remind candidates of potential rewards at every turn. Words like ‘instant‘, ‘immediately‘ and ‘fast‘ have been proven to fire up our brain and get us excited. They may just be be the most persuasive words you can use so make sure you work them into your job adverts!

Make Sure Your Company Stands For Something

People are becoming increasingly concerned with a company’s core values (and whether they share them). In fact, recent research from CEB suggests that we’re loyal to what a company stands for, not the company itself!

With this in mind, it’s essential that we communicate clearly and regularly with candidates about our values. Make sure they’re easily available on your website, and a key part of your interviewing process.

You shouldn’t think of these tactics as ways to trick candidates into applying. Instead, rationalise them as good ways to make your company stand out a little more. With the recruitment market as competitive as it is nowadays, we all need all the help we can get to separate from competitors and attract top talent. Trying to convert candidates using psychology could give you an edge!

This post originally appeared on the Seed Blog

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