In the competitive talent acquisition space, a company's success relies heavily on its ability to attract, assess, and hire the best candidates. However, despite the best intentions, many organizations inadvertently sabotage their recruiting efforts through a flawed interview process. These processes, if not carefully designed and implemented, can deter top-tier marketing, creative, and tech talent from joining your team.
Following are common ways employers sabotage their recruiting efforts – along with tips on how to better assess your interview process, including identifying areas of improvement and creating efficiencies to attract (and then retain) top talent.
In the world we live in today, ensuring candidates have all the information needed for an upcoming interview is key, whether that be a physical address or a Zoom link. In preparation for an interview, the interviewer should provide a detailed overview of the interview itself which includes the meeting details, time, location, and who will be included in the interview. The interviewee is then responsible for ensuring they arrive at the interview on time, at the correct location, and with an overall understanding of what the expectations will be. These expectations apply to in-person interviews, as well as virtual interviews.
Mutual preparation is key in this scenario, not only will the interviewee feel more confident going into the interview but the interviewer themselves will also feel like they have provided all the necessary information to the interviewee and have set them up for success. All these details being taken into consideration will result in the best interview process for employers.
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It’s essential to ensure that all interviews arranged feel well-organized to the interviewee. Is there a strategic purpose for each introduction? Are conversations repetitive? Are the questions relevant? Candidate feedback shows that questions centered on details that could be found in the resume make it feel as if the interviewer did not review ahead of time. Because the candidate has taken the time to research the company, the role, and the brand, it’s important for the interviewer to have the key qualifications of the interviewee top of mind prior to starting the meeting. This is key to establishing a sense of personalization, preparation, and mutual respect.
A more structured interview will provide a much smoother and more enjoyable interview process overall. The interviewer should be ready to answer all questions about the company and the role and should also be prepared to highlight the positive aspects that the company has to offer. The questions being asked of all interviewees should have a clear framework to avoid inconsistent evaluations or biases. Implementing structured interviews can improve objectivity and reliability in assessing a candidate’s skillset and fit for the role, while also creating a better interview process that benefits both interviewer and interviewee.
LENGTHY AND UNWIELDY PROCESSES
Hiring is a two-way street, and candidates are assessing your company just as much as you're evaluating them. An unnecessarily lengthy interview process can deter highly skilled candidates who have other opportunities on the table. To avoid this, streamline your process without compromising on the depth of assessment. Consider utilizing technology for initial screenings to ensure that only the most suitable candidates advance to the next stages in the process.
Some candidates report that there is poor communication about the hiring process and timeline, or worse, communication stops altogether, leaving interviewees in the dark about the next steps. Employers must remember that by “ghosting” candidates or lacking in communication, they are leaving an impression that may not be so favorable. Whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the company, it is still seen as highly valuable to continue communication with the candidate, even if it is to let them know that they might not be the right fit for the role. It is crucial for hiring managers to realize that an interview process can be a glimpse into what working at the company would be like, so for that reason, it is important to put a lot of thought and consideration into the interview process and the candidate experience.
GIVING OUT TIME-INTENSIVE ASSIGNMENTS
After accommodating multiple interviews and meetings, candidates are sometimes asked to complete a small project or test. While this may be necessary to evaluate functional proficiency or to assess a specific skillset, hiring managers need to keep in mind the time and effort these requests can take. While this assessment step is common for certain roles, sought-after candidates are going to weigh whether doing the assignment is even worth the prospective employment, considering that other companies are expressing interest – or have already extended an offer.
Moreover, while a test or assignment can be used to evaluate a candidate’s technical capabilities, it’s crucial to pay close attention to their interpersonal abilities too. When giving adequate attention to a candidate’s soft skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of how they may interact with your core team as well as those across the organization. Incorporating assessments for communication, adaptability, and teamwork can help ensure a more thorough and successful interview process.
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Candidate experience is often underestimated but can significantly impact your company's reputation. A negative interview process can spread through word of mouth or online platforms, tarnishing your employer's brand.
But if you provide timely feedback, communicate expectations clearly, and treat candidates with respect throughout the process, regardless of the outcome, your interview process can significantly boost your recruitment efforts. Fine-tuning your interview process can help attract top talent and lead to the continued growth of your organization. Remember, the goal is not just to evaluate candidates, but also to leave them with a positive impression of your company, whether they receive an offer or not.
24 Seven specializes in connecting organizations in the marketing, creative, digital, fashion, beauty, and retail sectors with highly skilled talent. Our team is tapped into a vast network of candidates available for full-time and freelance roles. If you’re looking to hire and need help (and fast), we can assist! Contact us today.
This post was updated September 11, 2023.