Are You Scaring Good Candidates Away?

What do your job candidates and your customers have in common?  To put it plainly, they are often one in the same!  Candidates who apply to your job are usually at least interested in what you have to offer as a product and/or service. But they also may know people in your industry, or even be in your industry already. Maybe you don’t really associate your candidates’ experience with customer service, but as possibly both candidate and customer, they will be left with an impression–good or bad. This means that how they experience your recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process can make them either a negative voice or an ambassador for your company.

As one recent survey shows, more than half of employers never let candidates know that they are not in the running.  When you evaluate your recruiting and hiring process, how do you think candidates would describe their experience? Now that you’re more aware of how important their impression could be to your business, here are three interview process tips that can leave candidates feeling good even if you don’t offer them the job.

1. Write a clear job description to attract top talent. This portion is often the very first way a candidate learns about your company.  A thorough yet succinct description that lists the most important functions of the job and a general salary range is a good rule of thumb.  Often, employers want to list every item on their wish list, leaving the reader feeling exhausted by the time they get to the end.  Or, the description is so vague that the candidate is confused about what the job actually entails.  Finding the balance between the two will help you pique the interest of that perfect candidate. (For job description examples, visit here.)

2. Be responsive.  In the staffing industry, recruiters and hiring managers are unfortunately known for not always responding to applicants and even sometimes interviewees.  Yet according to a recent CareerBuilder survey on the candidate experience, “only 26% of employers proactively communicate with candidates about what stage of the hiring process they’re in.” Often candidates will spend hours crafting the perfect cover letter and resume for your job.  Imagine how frustrating it would be to never even hear anything back after all that effort!  Simply sending even an automated response will at least let candidates feel acknowledged, which will leave a better taste in their mouth than never hearing anything back at all. Plus, even if you don’t hire them now, they may be just the talent you need to hire later on, making it all the more important not to burn a bridge.

3. Keep it simple.  A recent experience with a client of mine can speak very well to this point.  The interview process for this client went as follows:

  1. Candidate completes a phone screen with Junior Recruiter.
  2. Candidate completes a phone screen with Senior Recruiter.
  3. Candidate records a video interview with 5 different questions.
  4. Client selects which candidates to move forward with from video interviews.
  5. Client has phone interview with candidate.
  6. Candidate has in-person interview with manager.
  7. Candidate has final interview with owners of the company.
  8. Candidate passes reference checks, drug screen, and background checks.

That’s EIGHT steps!  And this was for a RETAIL job.  The client had the best of intentions, but unfortunately, I lost many candidates mid-process because they either were offered another job in the meantime, or got exhausted halfway through.

Of course, you should be cautious and not too hasty in making hiring decisions.  The people on your team are the life-force of your company, and having one or two wrong people on the bus can slow everyone down.  However, reminds us, “remember candidates are judging you and your company as prospective employers at the same time as you’re judging them as prospective employees.” As candidates investigate your company during the hiring process, their impression of how you handle the process has the potential to majorly affect their decision to join your team or take their loyalty to a company that treats them with more care.

Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to request an employee or discuss a workforce management issue.

To get the best people “on your bus,” you’ll need to do your homework. Read this to prepare.

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