Quality candidates invest a great deal of time, money, and effort into making a great impression during the hiring process. However, these rock star candidates may jump ship if you do not reciprocate in putting your best foot forward. Providing excellent candidate care could help you hire quality talent. Simply put, candidate care means creating a positive experience for your potential new hire through a smooth interview process, timely decision-making, and consistent communication.
Smooth Interview Process
As the hiring manager, you are the face of your company during the interview. Think about all aspects of the interview and how you would want to be treated if you were the candidate.
Carefully read the candidate's resume a few times over and prepare questions to ask in advance. If you are interviewing with others, coordinate with them on who will ask which questions. Your preparedness and organization demonstrates to the candidate that you are serious about hiring him/her.
Think through the intangibles that could make the experience seamless for the candidate. If parking at your company is tricky, see what you can do about reserving a space up front so your candidate doesn't worry about those logistics. Wherever you are conducting the interview, ensure that the space is clean and organized. If your schedule is usually filled with other meetings, make certain you set reminders for yourself on the interview day so you don't keep the candidate waiting because your prior meeting went late.
Most importantly, treat the candidate with respect. Be mindful of your body language, make eye contact, actively listen to his/her answers, and be engaged.
If you prepare for and warmly welcome your candidate, you increase your chances of making a favorable impression.
A long, drawn-out interview process is sure to drive top-notch candidates away. Schedule interviews with a sense of urgency because if you think the candidate is a star, your competition is likely to agree with you.
After final interviews, don't sit on making an offer to your dream candidate. If it takes weeks to make a decision, the candidate may feel jilted and look elsewhere.
If there are any tedious aspects of the hiring process, see what you can do to simplify or streamline the issues to make the experience as quick and painless as possible for your potential new hire.
The hiring process is a two-way street, and candidates may be turned off to the job if you fail to share important information or feedback in a timely fashion. When it comes to candidate care, consistent and relevant communication makes all the difference between a warm candidate and a former candidate.
After each step in the hiring process (completing a phone interview, asking the candidate to turn in a work sample, conducting an in-person interview, etc.), you should communicate with the candidate. A follow-up email or phone call acknowledging what the candidate has done builds your relationship because it signals that you are respectful of his/her contribution.
In the world of candidate care, the old adage "no news is good news" does not apply. If there is ever a hold-up in the process, keep your candidate in the loop. If you explain what the situation is and what is being done to resolve it, your candidate may think twice about moving on.
As soon as you know what the next step is, communicate with your candidate. If you are interested in moving forward, clearly explain what will happen in the following stage. The hiring process should not be a guessing game to the candidate--provide all of the necessary details (who, what, when, where, why) so he/she can focus on excelling at the task at hand.
If you have determined that the candidate is not a fit for the role, he/she deserves to know that decision in a timely manner, especially if he/she was far along in the interview process. If you are able to give feedback on why you are no longer considering the candidate, respectfully and succinctly explain the decision. If the candidate built a rapport with you and felt taken care of during the process, he/she may feel inclined to apply for another job with your company in the future.
If the interview process is disorganized, decision-making is slow, and communication lapses, the candidate may decide to pursue other options. Candidate care is key in making quality talent feel valued and excited about joining your team.
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