Today’s hiring market is not the time to take any chances with your talent management strategy. We cannot say it enough – job seekers are in the driver’s seat. They are being courted left and right. And if they are among the highest demand talent cohort – they’re also being approached from up and down, back and front. You get the picture.
Now is an opportune time to review the interview process and identify weak spots that may be scaring candidates away. Here are a few areas where we’ve heard feedback from talent post-interview:
Poor Prep 1
It’s not enough to provide a candidate with an address for the location of their interview meeting. Candidates are often caught off guard by omitted commute details, parking distances, security requirements, missing floor or suite numbers – all adding unexpected stress and minutes to their arrival. No one wants to show up at their interview sweaty and anxious from walking further than they had expected (or from sprinting in interview clothes), unforeseen check-in delays, or from the frantic scouring of email chains for location details.
Make ‘Em Wait
Candidates often report back that while they do everything they can to ensure they are on time for their meeting (after all that’s the polite, considerate, and responsible thing to do); they often are left waiting for the interview to start. Not exactly the best impression to make on a person who probably took pains to rearrange their schedule to make time to meet you – often during their workday. What’s the message in this delay? That the candidate’s time is less valuable than that of the hiring company’s? Is this the attitude the employer takes with employees? Hiring managers need to realize that candidates will see this as an indication of what the potential employee experience is like.
Poor Prep 2
Now that the candidate has been ushered in, was thought put into who they are meeting with, and who will explore which areas of their background and fit with the role and company? Is there a strategic purpose for each introduction? Are conversations repetitive? Relevant? Too clever or pretentious (news flash – no one likes those brain teaser questions). Is the interviewer prepared? Candidates sometimes tell us questions center on details that could be found in the resume, making it clear that the interviewer had not even reviewed their qualifications ahead of time. The candidate has taken the time to research the company, the role, the brand, and has prepared to present themselves as a valuable addition to the team. The expectation for preparation on the other side of the table is not an unreasonable one.
You Want Me to What Now?
After accommodating multiple interviews and meetings, candidates are often then asked to prepare a homework assignment. While this may be necessary to verify functional proficiency or evaluate problem-solving ability, hiring managers need to keep in mind the time and effort these requests require. Does this assignment seem like “consulting for free,” resulting in an end product that the company could implement without credit or compensation to the candidate? Companies need to keep in mind that sought-after candidates are going to weigh whether doing the assignment is even worth the prospective employment, considering how many opportunities are out there in the seeker-favoring market.
Clear as Mud
Some candidates report back that there is poor communication about the hiring process and timeline, or worse, communication stops altogether, leaving candidates in the dark about next steps. 24 Seven’s research of the candidate experience found that lack of communication is the worst sin a hiring company can commit. Employers must remember that while they retreat into their communication black hole, top candidates move on with the companies that make them feel wanted from the first moment of contact.
Um, No Thanks.
By the time employers get around to making a job offer, hiring managers are often perplexed that their most desired candidate has been wooed away by a competitor. But if they took a hard look at their hiring process, they will find that they scared the candidate away with a foretaste of the potential employment experience.
Ready to examine your candidate experience from end-to-end? Click here for a list of our 7 Candidate Experience Sins to see if you’re suffering from candidate kryptonite.