Attracting Candidates Through Personal Interactions

Attracting and Retaining Staff in a Competitive Job Market

At the beginning of January 2023, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. We haven’t seen a rate this low in over 50 years. It’s excellent news for the economy, but those of us trying to attract and retain staff are concerned because we’re currently facing a low-employment market. To compound this issue, there’s stiff competition to attract a smaller pool of candidates.

In this battle for talent, Ask Fuel First answers a question: How can we differentiate ourselves to attract and retain candidates?

Words Matter: The Difference Between Recruitment and Attraction

Suppose you’re about to ask someone out on a date. Would you say you were “recruiting someone for” a relationship or “attracting someone to” a relationship? They both have the same goal of starting a relationship, yet each phrase evokes a different emotion. Lou Radja, a Portland-based speaker, points out that “no one wants to be recruited, but we do want to be attracted to or be considered attractive for something special”(Nepom 2020). In this low-employment, high-competition market, our focus on finding new talent should be to attract candidates to start a working relationship with the hiring practice.

Making It Personal Counts

Everyone wants to feel enthusiastic about an opportunity. And personal interactions take that enthusiasm to the next level. That’s especially true for job candidates. They want to know who they’ll be working with and how they’ll benefit from the experience or, in this case, the new position. Be intentional about taking their initial enthusiasm and building the foundation of a relationship through personal interactions.

Your Personal Pitch

An essential element in this equation is considering the job opportunity’s attractiveness. But how can you explain why this job is attractive to candidates? The answer is to develop a compelling personal pitch. Using the correct vocabulary to explain why this opportunity is attractive and how it will benefit the candidate elevates your hiring process.

A personal pitch, or an elevator pitch, is a quick overview of why working at your practice is worthwhile. You only have about a minute to plant the seed of enthusiasm in the mind of someone seeking a job, so it’s important that you create a concise yet convincing pitch. Focus on three key messages you want someone to remember: 1) highlights of the practice, 2) highlights of the position and 3) a call to action.

The purpose of the pitch is to attract a candidate, so make sure your key messaging is about them, not you.

Key Messaging

Start your personal pitch by highlighting the practice. Ask yourself the following questions to create this introductory message:

  • “What would make this candidate want to work at this practice?”
  • “What’s different about our practice that could be alluring to a candidate?”
  • “Why would a candidate like working at our practice?”

Some examples include the following:

  • “Bend ENT1 provides ENT and audiology services in Bend, Oregon. You would be part of a team that works hard and plays harder together.”
  • “Bend ENT provides ENT and audiology services in Bend, Oregon. You would join an award-winning team known for their excellence in providing a meaningful experience for their patients.”

Next, highlight the position so the candidate will be interested in hearing more. Ask yourself the following questions to brainstorm ideas for this key message:

  • “Why would someone want to work in this position?”
  • “How is this position beneficial to a candidate?”
  • “How can an employee grow in this position?”

Some examples include the following:

  • “In this position, you would have the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives.”
  • “Flexibility is part of this position. You can choose if you want to work on-site or remotely.”
  • “This position is often a stepping stone to future leadership roles.”

Finish your personal pitch with a call to action. This is important because it informs the candidate of their next step. To prepare, ask yourself, “What do I want the candidate to do following this conversation?” The answer may be that you want to engage them in a deeper conversation, so you’ll decide on an appropriate question to start that discussion. Some examples include the following:

  • “When can we schedule a call to discuss the position more?”
  • “Here’s the job description so we can review it together.”
  • “What would you like to know about this position?”

The overall personal pitch might sound like the following:

“Bend ENT provides ENT and audiology services in Bend, Oregon. You would join an award-winning team known for excellence in providing a meaningful experience for their patients. If you’re interested in growing with the practice, the assistant front office position is often a stepping stone to other leadership roles. What would you like to know about this position?”

Your personal pitch will differ from our examples and your competitors because your practice is unique. The vocabulary that you’ll use should highlight the best aspects of the practice and the unfilled position. By making each experience with a candidate personalized, you’re building the foundation for a long-term working relationship.

1 Bend ENT is a fictional practice used to provide examples.


Aden Nepom. 6 August 2020. “The Changed Podcast – Lou Radja” [Video]. YouTube.

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