Recruiters often say that the purpose of a first interview is to get invited back for a second interview. This is because the decision for next steps then rests solely on the shoulders of the candidate, and options are limitless. But does every candidate who interviews with your organization want to be invited back for a second interview? If not, consider the possibility that although the interviewing process is designed to both screen as well as sell, there are ways to maximize the odds of candidates craving an invitation to return.
Every encounter with your brand influences a candidate’s perception of your organization, which impacts your firm’s ability to stay in the driver’s seat when deciding which candidate to hire. Employer brand and candidate experience are inextricably linked, and they matter greatly for recruiting and retaining talent. How can you communicate your brand while simultaneously improving the candidate experience throughout each step of the selection process?
Get On The Same Page
How employees represent the company’s mission and brand is as important as anything said by human resources or leaders during the hiring process. Within the first interview, a candidate needs to grasp an understanding of what is unique about the organization, environment, and opportunity. If a candidate was to ask “why your firm” as opposed to others, do you know how your employees respond? The “why your firm” moment is an excellent opportunity for an employee to communicate the elevator pitch of the organization. Consider providing employees with an example of a strong and succinct elevator pitch script to be used in both social settings as well as the interviewing process. Make sure all individuals involved in the interview have a concrete understanding of the mission of the firm, the vision for the future, and alignment of organizational goals.
Personalize The Experience
Once upon a time, business was rooted in personal relationships and one-on-one interactions. Then came decades of technology, with automated recruiting, email, job boards, training videos, all of which remove the human element of relationships.
Electronic and telephonic communication works well, but video communication personalizes the candidate experience significantly. As a way to incorporate videos into the hiring process, Tallmadge & Hill partners with a leading video interviewing technology platform so clients can share their stories in their own voices and communicate their brand with depth and personality.
Additional videos can enhance the experience even more. Employees talking about why they love the organization or key customers sharing why they value the firm serve to provide multiple perspectives to potential candidates. Videos with clips from around the office and spotlighting superstars can be an effective way to share “why your firm” to prospects considering applying to your organization.
Create A Compelling Story
Prior to a first interview, provide candidates with an “About Us” packet highlighting the history of the company, growth plans, success stories of employees, and other items that will engage them on a human level. Sharing testimonials from recent hires who can attest to how much they enjoy their new roles and the firm, or snapshots of recent promotions and advancements within the ranks are also great ways to get candidates feeling good about your organization.
Consider having a binder in the lobby for candidates to flip through while waiting for an interview. The binder could be stocked with pictures from company events, parties, charity events, or volunteer initiatives. Including company newsletters, quarterly updates with announcements and achievements, and photos from events and cultural initiatives add a sense of the company’s personality and may appeal to candidates.
Take time to evaluate the lines of communication between prospective candidates and your internal hiring team. When a candidate applies to your organization, is an automatic response sent to notify that the information has been received? If the candidate interviewed and is no longer in consideration for the role, how is that communicated to the candidate? Set expectations and do not leave candidates in the dark; be clear about what your process is, when they can expect feedback, and how quickly a decision will be made.
Recent interesting articles pertaining to executive career advancement:
How To Answer Interview Questions About Your Goals: A Guide For Candidates (Forbes Magazine, August 30 2023)
How Founders Of Fast-Growth Companies Make Time for Balance and Self-Care (Inc. Magazine, August 2023)
Pay For New Hires Is Shriveling (WSJ, August 21 2023)
3 Ways To Improve Your Job Satisfaction Without Completely Starting Over (Forbes Magazine August 14 2023)
The Quick Fix To Improve Your Resume In 5 Minutes (CNBC)
Recent interesting articles pertaining to how best to lead and hire great candidates:
The Great Reshuffle Is Over. Welcome To The Big Stay (Fortune, August 14 2023)
Here’s The Best Leadership Training Technique That You’re Not Using (Forbes, May 8 2023)
Are Collaboration Tools Overwhelming Your Team? (Harvard Business Review August 2023)
How To Rally The Troops At Work When They’re Older (and Maybe Wiser) Than You (WSJ, August 20 2023)
The Disconnect Between Remote Workers And Their Companies Is Getting Bigger (WSJ, August 23 2023)