Interviews shouldn’t be an obstacle to hiring the people you need to achieve your business goals, but for many employers they can be just that. The candidate experience can make or break your talent acquisition strategy. It really is that simple, and for some employers and recruiters, that complicated.
Boost your interview success with the following tips:-
Limit the number of interviews : Once renowned for their lengthy hiring process, even Google now limits the number of interviews per candidate to four. That’s still too many to hold the attention of talent in your pipeline for most businesses. Three is an ideal maximum number, more than that and you risk losing qualified candidates to your competition, or boredom.
Read through CVs before the interview. Hiring managers expect candidates to show up having researched their company and with plenty of evidence of why they are the perfect fit for your job. Show them respect by reading their CV prior to the interview and rather than the predictable ‘tell me about yourself’, try something friendlier. Ask them to summarise their career in a few sentences. What they highlight will tell you what’s most important to them.
Structure your meeting : Conduct structured interviews including behavioural (or competency) based questions, for example, ‘Tell me about a time when ….’ and questions that can’t be easily prepared for, such as ‘what would you do if…?’
Don’t procrastinate – Schedule interviews quickly, engage with outstanding candidates immediately and be ready to make an offer quickly to your preferred candidate. If you have buy-in from relevant departments, make them an offer on the day. Talent is only on the market for 10 days but it takes an average 27 days to make a hire. If this is the candidate don’t miss your chance.
Create a good impression : Smile, engage with the candidate, use eye contact and positive body language. This is all advice I would give to a candidate preparing for interview but it’s equally as important for hiring managers. Be prepared for candidates to arrive with a list of questions to discover more about your business. The most switched on will ask you why you stay in your job and won't be expecting a hesitant response.
Follow up on the job offer : Once you’ve made your job offer (subject to satisfactory references) don’t give your candidate too much time to accept. In competitive sectors, such as tech, you risk losing them to a more persistent employer or recruiter. Respond quickly to objections and ask your prospective hire if you can now advise your other candidates that the job offer has been accepted.
Don’t fall in love with your candidates : Don’t take your candidate on face value. Inaccuracies in CVs are on the increase, so a thorough post-interview background check is essential. The reference check could save your business the cost - financial and otherwise - of a bad hire.
Audit your interviews : Training your staff how to conduct authentic, effective interviews is a great first step in improving your recruitment process but the only way you’ll know if it’s working is to carry out an audit. According to The Candidate Strikes Back, a report issued by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), 80% of candidates aren’t asked for feedback on their interview experience. This is something that can – and should – be put right. Getting your interview technique and candidate experience right is not something you can take for granted. When was the last time you put yourself through your own application process? If you don’t know something is broken, you can’t fix it.
Use technology : Hiring top talent is essential to the success of your business. Your recruitment function should be measured like any other function, such as sales and marketing, to improve your interview success. Technology means you can share information with key decision makers, track your candidates through your pipeline and find out where (if not why) your best hopes are leaving your hiring process. To quote Josh Bersin on Twitter last week ‘I'm still amazed how hard it is for #HR to invest in analytics. No sales team would run that way’ . HR needs to go from working on ‘gut instinct’ to data driven processes.
Confused by the hiring process? Kate Smedley offers a range of talent solutions including advice on your hiring process and content to boost your employer brand.
Contact me to find out more.
With 18 years of experience in in recruitment, Kate Smedley offers a range of talent solutions for employers and careers advice for professionals.