You have to schedule interviews, coordinate the internal interview process, go through the selection process, perform all pre-employment onboarding and offer a position.And even after all that there is never a 100% chance that the ideal candidate will accept.
Because of how exasperating this process can be, sometimes steps can be skipped or not taken seriously. I have seen recruiters who try to get from A to Z by skipping steps B-Y. And while some hiring practices can be made more efficient, it is in your best interest to be as thorough as possible if you are going to succeed. (**Note: Thorough does not mean 5 rounds of interviews for a Salesperson, if Google can hire an engineer in less steps, you are wasting your time).
There is a cliché term out there called “War for Talent”. A lot of people throw it around to try and drive home a point, but I don’t think they really get it. The war is not who can offer the most money, but instead who sells their company the best; from start to finish. Candidates are no longer considered just happy to be given the first offer they get. You need to sell your position/ company to them during every step of the process. If at any time during the hiring process you don’t have it together then you are hurting your chances at getting that candidate.
Below I highlight the top 4 important aspects to the hiring process and how they impact the War for Talent.
1. Application Process
What does your process look like? I know personally I have taken the equivalent to a High School SAT before even being asked to interview in person. I was asked to answer questions that I haven’t seen since 8th grade algebra. And it took roughly 2 hours. (No this was not for a Senior Scientist position). What was the point? What exactly were you grading? Maybe someone out there can draw the correlation better than me, but let’s be honest this process is seen as more frustrating than rewarding. I have said this before, but if you are hiding behind software to do your hiring for you, then you have no clue what you are looking for and don’t deserve to be the one making those decisions.
2. Interview Process- Keeping Appointments/ Dragging Feet
If a candidate decides last minute that they need to reschedule, let’s face it, most people take that as a slap in the face and that hurts their chances at the position. So why do you think that doing that on your end is appropriate? If you talk to most hiring managers they will tell you that the interview process is the least favorite part of their job. So as such there is a greater tendency at not acting with a sense of urgency. Scheduling interviews a few weeks out, or rescheduling because something else (that can wait) came up. The same way you look down on candidates for those activities, candidates are looking down on you. From the minute your company decides this is an approved position that needs to be hired it is in your best interest to act with a sense of urgency. A 5 step interview process that takes 2 and half months is unnecessary.
3. Opening Up About Red Flags
The interview process should be a completely transparent event. You are trying to determine if this person will have a major impact on your organization. It makes sense to leave no stone unturned. So if a red flag pops up it is incumbent on you to address those things right away. Whether it is how long they have stayed in each job, their ability to get along with others or any other issue you see you need to ask these questions point blank. Skating around the issue or not bringing them up only hurts both parties. If the candidate can’t give you a straight answer then a decision can be made easily. But if you are hiding from it and the candidate has good reasoning you are hurting their chances.
4. Total Honesty About Next Steps
We live in a well-connected society. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and more have made this a complete transparent world. Many years ago it was easy to treat people poorly because honestly who would they tell? No longer is that possible. Companies are hurting because people are able to broadcast dissatisfaction to thousands if not millions of people. If you decide to pass on that candidate and go into hiding because you do not want to hurt this candidates feelings, you are just hurting your own reputation. Who says you won’t be interested in that person down the line? Or what happens when they post on Glassdoor about this poor practice? Your companies brand is hurting. Candidates appreciate the honest feedback, because not only do they know where they stand but it also helps them get better when it comes to interviewing down the road.
Whether you know it or not you are a representation of your company’s brand. It doesn’t matter what your mission statement is or your core beliefs, if you handle the hiring process poorly, candidates will view your brand poorly. It is on you to represent your brand to the best of your ability.