Developing a Successful Hiring Process: 5 Tips for Creating a Stellar Candidate Experience

May 6, 2016・6 mins read
Developing a Successful Hiring Process: 5 Tips for Creating a Stellar Candidate Experience

Note: This post is a sampling of what the author will be sharing in her talk on “Conquering the Talent Challenge” at TriNet Inspire in Los Angeles on May 17.

Companies of all stages and sizes have one thing in common: they all deal with hiring challenges at some point. Most employers know - or quickly learn - that having the right people in the right roles can make the biggest impact on the success or failure of the organization.

Hiring managers spend a considerable amount of time determining what they’re looking for, refining their job descriptions, getting roles approved and reviewing resumes. They often jump into the interview process without taking the time to think through how they will attract the best candidates to their teams. Often, very little time and attention is dedicated to the candidate experience, which can be a major factor in the decision-making process when a candidate is comparing multiple offers.

In this competitive hiring landscape, the most desirable candidates are often gainfully employed, so having a strategy to attract them to your company and your team is crucial.

Some tips to help:

1) Make the interview about them

Often, companies become extremely focused on assessing whether or not someone is a fit. They spend countless hours, days and sometimes weeks interviewing candidates to make sure that they have the requisite skills for a role. However, consideration for the candidate’s own decision-making process and why the role, team and company would be mutually beneficial to them should be addressed early-on in the process.

People accept and stay at jobs because they enjoy the work they do, believe in the company and management team, work well with their team members, feel their compensation mirrors their value to the organization and feel valued. An interview process that includes having interviewers demonstrate genuine interest in a candidate beyond just their skills results in candidates being more inclined to accept an offer and join the team.

Take the time to get to know candidates and what interests them. Share what makes your company a great place to work and why the opportunity might be a strong next step in their career. Personalizing the process through stories of your own experience can go a long way in making a connection with a candidate. Take the time to articulate the long-term vision and role-specific growth opportunities as this tends to be a factor in accepting a new role.

2) Timing is everything

The adage “time kills all deals” applies to the recruiting process. Timing is everything. When a hiring manager is connected with a stellar candidate, there is a short time frame in which they must act quickly to capitalize on the potential candidate’s interest. We often see passive candidates who are just dabbling in the job market quickly become active candidates and, suddenly, they’re interviewing with multiple companies.

The longer your hiring process drags on, the more competition you invite to swoop in and hire your top candidate. Interview processes for non-executive roles should not take more than two to three weeks. Feedback should be conveyed within 24-48 hours after the interview, especially if it’s positive feedback or there is intent to make an offer (tweet this).

3) Engage in-person as quickly as possible: Companies often engage candidates via a series of phone interviews spaced out over the course of days and sometimes weeks. While this might work for extremely passive candidates, it’s too drawn out and often leaves too much time in between for the candidate to be recruited by a more efficient competitor.

Beginning with one phone interview is usually a great way to assess if there is mutual interest. Coffee meetings are also a great way to get the process started. Moving to the in-person interview as quickly as possible allows for both parties to evaluate mutual fit and interest with fewer obstacles along the way.

4) Communication is key

Once a candidate applies for a role or entertains a recruiting call with a company, thus begins an emotional roller coaster. As they start to think about whether or not they’re interested and interview with multiple people in your organization, inevitably, there are points where interest can wane due to lack of communication. If you take days, or worse, weeks to follow up on an interview, you run the risk of losing their interest and wasting both parties’ time.

Closing the loop with candidates is also important. Candidates often get a sour taste in their mouth when they’ve taken an entire day off work to interview with a company, only to never hear from them again. Building some sort of follow-up process is extremely important as you never know if that candidate might be a fit in another role for the company in the future. By not responding to them after an interview, they will likely not be interested in any future opportunities.

5) A poor interview experience can leave a lasting impression

Often, companies are so focused on vetting a candidate that they sometimes lose sight of the candidate’s personal interview experience and impression of your company. While your priority is to make sure that the candidate is a fit for the role, making sure they don’t walk out with horrible thoughts about their experience should also be a consideration. They should have good things to say about your company and their experience, even if they don’t get/take the job.

*If you’ll be in the Los Angeles area on May 17, 2016 and want to learn more from Nancy about improving the hiring process at your company, we would love to see you at TriNet Inspire, a FREE half-day event taking place May 17, 2016 in Marina del Rey, California.

TriNet Inspire Los Angeles

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