Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin

Creating a fantastic recruiting experience — even for candidates you won’t hire

The employee experience begins with the recruiting process. If you want employees to understand your culture and to appreciate the values of the company, to be inspired by the vision for growth and success and to feel excited about how their roles might contribute to that vision, it’s wise to begin that differentiation with the very first touch points. Some of those touch points are your employer brand, recruiting advertising, job fair materials and the career page of your website.

But the most important touch points, the human ones, will be created by the cultural realities of how people in your company treat other people. Especially the people they decide are not qualified job candidates.

In Tribe’s national study on hiring practices, 78 percent of respondents said they would discourage others from applying to a company that had treated them with a lack of courtesy during the hiring process. Are interviewees at your company left waiting in the lobby for their appointments? Do some of their interviewers turn out to be no shows? Or are they run through a marathon of interviews without anyone bothering to ask if they’d like a cup of coffee or a water or perhaps the rest room? If you treat people interviewing poorly, you can’t fault them for assuming that the company treats employees the same way.

But exercise a little common courtesy, and the company can create brand ambassadors from candidates you don’t hire. In the same Tribe study, an even larger number — 87 percent — said that if they were rejected for a job, yet had been treated with courtesy during the process, they would be likely to encourage others to apply to that company in the future.

Treating candidates with courtesy includes letting them know when the company decides to take a pass on hiring them. Candidates want to know the outcome of an interview, even if it’s bad news. It’s interesting – and disheartening – to see how often companies fail to send any further communication to those interviewees they reject.

In the Tribe study, respondents said things like:

“I realize companies get many applicants to positions, but it would be appreciated if they let those not selected for a position after an interview know, rather than leaving them hanging.”

“Contact people one way or the other, instead of just ignoring them.”

“Nothing’s worse than not hearing anything at all.”

If you’re hoping to create a great employee experience, extend your cultural reach to the hiring process itself. For the job candidates you do hire, those recruiting touch points are the first steps along their employee journeys. And for those you don’t hire, a positive recruiting experience can lead to those rejected candidates encouraging other talented candidates to consider your company.

Interested in improving your recruiting efforts or hiring communications? Tribe can help.

Hiring the Right Fit

Talent isn’t the only thing. When it comes to hiring, you’re obviously going to look for the candidate that constitutes the best fit. While skill set and aptitude are important, it’s equally as crucial to find someone that would fit within the culture of your organization.

You may have a candidate that looks to be the ideal person for the job on paper. But as we all know, how someone or something appears on paper is not necessarily an indicator of how they’d do when they got hired. It doesn’t take long to see that the culture and the employee are not a good match and in many instances, the overall work is going to be negatively impacted.

So how do you determine if someone will be a good fit based off of just the interview process?

For starters, first impressions can go a long ways. Both personally and professionally you should never underestimate the importance of a gut feeling. Within the first few moments of meeting someone you can typically get a good read on their personality type and demeanor. If you are getting a good vibe right off the bat, keep the conversation going so that the candidate feels comfortable to show more personality the rest of the way.

Try to eliminate surprises. Be as upfront with the candidate as possible about not just what the job entails but also the office environment. If it’s important to you that employees get along and enjoy spending time together, don’t be afraid to say this. If they’re more of the clock-in, knock out my work and avoid distractions type of employee it’s better that they know these expectations beforehand.

Introduce, introduce, introduce. While your opinion may be the deciding factor, it’s important for others to weigh in as well. Introduce the candidate to as many people that they’d be working with as possible. Remember that they will end up spending a lot of time together if they’re hired so allow for both sides to have a glimpse of what work life together might be like. This can also be an opportunity for the rest of your team to separate two seemingly equal candidates and make the final decision a little easier.

Now let’s hear from you. What type of unique interview tactics have you used in the past to get to know a candidate a little bit better?