How to WOW Job Applicants and Get Them to Say Yes!

I had the realization that applicants I was helping to interview weren’t saying yes to job offers because of I fixed it.

I was working at the corporate office telling home care offices around the country how to hire staff...

But then something terrible happened: I started to hear from offices that job applicants were declining job offers and worse going to competitors…

The job interviews were informative and we were completing each part of the interview process. I didn’t get what the problem could be. 

We greeted the person sure.

We got them paperwork to fill out.

We sat down and asked interview questions from our question sheet.

We maybe even made an offer for the position right then.

And then we thanked them for coming in.

After thinking about it more, we didn’t try to make the person feel special. Didn’t ask anything about them. Didn’t try to get to know them. But, that wasn’t enough. 

There was ONE thing missing...

The Secret to Applicants Saying Yes

Does this problem sound familiar? When you have people coming to your home care company, do you just check the boxes and hope they’ll say yes? It is now more critical than ever to solve it.

So, I had a couple of conversations about it with some very successful home care company owners that I knew. 

Immediately, I saw the problem: 

I was coaching the office staff to check off the boxes of the interview process like they were at the grocery store. Say hello...check. Give them paperwork to fill out...check. Whole milk...check. Bananas...check. It was the same process and had the same feeling. Heck, some staff even were annoyed that an applicant even walked in the door. 

There was no connection with the human being on the other side of the table. 

I was embarrassed. Here I was supposed to help these home care offices to improve things like recruitment and I missed the whole boat. 

So, what was missing? 

The key to getting to yes in the interview is:


Give them an invitation to why they would join your family. 

Why is your company special? Why should I come work for you?

Get the applicant to leave the interview and say wow, that was different.  

Sure you need a process to follow to ensure consistency. You need to have the fundamentals down to complete the interview. 

But, our applicants left thinking we weren’t any more special than the next home care company one block over. 

And that’s why we lost them. 

Stories connect. Stories draw us in. Stories create memories. do you tell a story about your company? 

Now, if you are in home care operations chances are you didn’t get here by way of a dramatic acting career at your community playhouse.

That’s ok. 

I’m going to show you how to use your story so applicants will leave feeling connected to your company. 

But, first…

We need to create or sharpen your company story.

A Simple Method to Tell Your Company Story

When someone makes a decision to join a new company it is usually based on emotion. Think back to the last time you were excited to take a job at a company. 

Do you remember saying yes because the employee handbook covered PTO in detail? Or because ADP did the payroll?

No, you joined because you were excited about the company. 

About the employees that you met. 

And about the story of the company. 

Great companies create an emotional connection with you. And they use 3 steps to get you to buy in. 

It goes like this: 

Give them big

The first part gives the applicant the big picture of your stake you planted in the ground. 

You are saying this is who we are. 

Just ask yourself, “What, where and for whom do you do better than anybody else?”

That’s your big.

To illustrate, I made up an example when talking to an applicant:

            “I want to share with you about my company, Agile Home Care. 

First, we are privileged to take care of our community’s most frail and elderly people in vital need of our services.

Agile Home Care was founded by Janet Rizma in 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. She worked as a caregiver for 6 years at a couple different home care companies. With her love for seniors and tireless work ethic, she was asked to become a supervisor and within 2 years she was the operations director of the company. 

She took the leap in 2011 and opened up her first Agile Home Care office. The community fell in love with her. Her company provided great service, all with a big heart. She has expanded to 16 offices in 5 states. She always says, “a happy caregiver, makes a happy client, makes a heavenly match.” 

And that’s what we live each day here. If there is a senior who needs non-medical care in the Greeley or Windsor area, there is no company that will respond faster or do better at matching a caregiver to a client than Agile. We have a specialized personality and matching process that gives us over 93% satisfaction ratings from our clients. Also, we come through for our clients time after time with our “Don’t worry, we’ll be there” 3 hour guarantee to start service anytime a client calls us.”

This sets the tone for creating that emotional engagement. 

So, that’s the big picture for the company. 

But, that’s not enough. That’s not personal enough yet about some lady in a different city the applicant might never meet. 

Next, give them the why. 

Give them why

Now the applicant wants to know about YOU, the person sitting across the table. 

Your story and enthusiasm tells a lot. 

That’s the why. 

Ask yourself, “Of all the gin joints, why do I show up here every day to work?”

And most applicants can tell if you are phoning it in. “This is the best place I’ve ever worked! Every client loves us and every caregiver stays forever and we all sing together in perfect harmony to end every day at sunset.” 

Blah, blah. That’s not going to connect with the applicant. Be real and honest with why you work at this home care company. 

What path led you to work where you do. 

Here’s an example of what it could sound like:

“I, myself, ended up here more by accident. It’s a pretty funny story actually that 

happened during a difficult time in my life. 

I was walking by this very office about 7 years ago. I was headed back from a doctor 

appointment. It was a pretty important appointment as it turns out because my doc gave me the all clear from a cancer scare that I had been waiting to hear for about 3 weeks. 

I didn’t particularly like my current job. I was working as an accountant at Wachovia 

bank. Every day was the same for me, look at spreadsheets, crunch numbers, lunch, meeting about numbers needing to be better, then home. I was on autopilot. 

So, I’m walking by this office after getting the good news from my doctor. I overhear this 

lady talking to someone right outside this office door. She is thanking this other woman 

for her years of service. She knew everything about this person. She knew the names of 

all the clients she worked with. She knew the names of the woman’s two children. She 

knew that the woman had just completed her schooling to become a LPN. She even 

knew her favorite musical artist was Prince. She was so kind. 

And next, here I am standing there looking at her. She literally stops mid-sentence and 

looks over at me. She could have easily said, “Hey creep take a hike!” as I was totally just standing there. But, she says, “You like Prince too, huh? You look like a Purple Rain guy.” To this day, I don’t know what that meant, but I started talking to both of them in the conversation. I learned that this was the owner of Agile home health, Janet. She was up from Arizona to help with some things here at the office, including hiring someone to recruit staff for the company. 

Well, the rest was history. I instantly liked it. Janet was as kind, and a leader, every time I saw her. She taught me how to talk to people and what to look for in a great hire. And the people who work here, many of them, remind me of Janet. Such a caring bunch. That’s hard to find. I come back because of the people I work with and the great work we do for seniors.”

I’ll bet no one has shared a story like that in an interview you’ve been a part of. 

I mean, it’s usually just ask the applicant a whole bunch of questions and then done. It should be a two way conversation. You’re selling your company just as much or more than the applicant is selling themselves.

So, that’s the why. Not complicated. 

Last, you want the applicant to feel like the time is now to join you.  

So, give them a sense of urgency.

Give them urgency

When I was younger and single, I once had to hunt for an apartment. 

I had my first real job and needed an apartment somewhat close. I probably went to 6 or 7 different apartment complexes when I was looking. After a couple weeks I narrowed it down to two places. 

The first place was the logical choice. It was the closest to work, almost brand new, looked beautiful, had a ton of amenities and looked over a golf course. 

The second place was further away, a few years older, shared a parking lot with a strip mall and was next to a busy street. Seems like a no-brainer right? 

Well, the only reason the second place was in the running was because of the sales person. She was good. During our conversation, she kept talking about the limited availability of the apartments, the reputation of the apartment company and specific features like the gym for a single guy. And she kept using my name. 

“Lucas, this is the perfect spot to spend the next 5 years of your life.” 

“Lucas, I will reserve the perfect apartment for you that meets your exact needs.”

“Lucas, I can already tell we have found home for you if we can close before your apartment is gone.” 

These might sound cheesy now, but in the conversation these seemed genuine and urgent at the same time. On paper there was a clear winner for an apartment. With the right person interacting and engaging with you when you are kicking the tires, it can change the outcome of your decision. 

That’s what your applicant needs to feel at your company. 

Ask yourself, “How can I create urgency to join my company?”

If you conveyed to an applicant things like: needing to find the perfect caregiver for a new client that recently signed on with your company, needing to hire 7 staff members this month to meet the growing client needs, needing to hire the right person to join your family and serve your mission, etc. 

Can you create a sense of urgency for that applicant to join you now? 

Let’s take a look at a couple of people and companies that give you big, give you why and give you urgency. 

Example # 1

Tom Bilyeu is a master at creating an emotional connection. He started a company, Impact Theory, to help others develop their passion and make a mark in the world. 

In a recent video he posted, he gives the big of his ‘crystal clear vision’ of what he wanted to do with his company. He wanted to make an impact in people’s mindset. 

He was the ‘IT guy’ that everyone would ignore. But, his vision was so important that he knew to keep going.

He discusses the turning point in his life, his why. He just wanted to feel alive again, he was so unhappy. He wanted to do something that mattered in the world. 

He’s engaging. You are drawn in by his vision and dedication. You want to be a part of it. You want to get started on a journey like his. And you want to start now. 

Watch the video here

Example # 2

Best selling author Jon Gordon also finds a way to connect with you. Author of books like “The Energy Bus” Gordon fuels his day with positivity and asks his team members to get on his energy bus to achieve great things.

He has a great story about facing his fears and finding what he wanted to do with his life. 

He had been fired from a “” company, had no health insurance with a wife and two kids, sunk his money into a new restaurant venture, took out a second mortgage and credit card debt and didn’t know what to do next. 

He decided to face his fears on New Years. He went to the coast of Atlantic Ocean. He decided that he was going to let fear go and would trust he would find his way. So, he jumped into the ice cold ocean water.

And he used this turning point in his life to build his business and career. He now jumps into the ocean each year on New Year’s. 

What a powerful, yet relatable story. He creates a connection and gives you his big, why and creates a sense of urgency to join him on his journey. And improve your own journey.

So now it’s your turn

Can you TELL YOUR STORY? Can you take 15 to 30 minutes to write down your story?

Imagine the impact you will have on applicants that have an interview unlike any other.

Use the 3-step rule. Tell Your Story.

Give Them Big.

Give Them Why. 

Give Them Urgency.

Create that connection with each applicant. Give them a reason to join your company.