When was the last time you interviewed for a job? If you are responsible for applicant interviews and employee selection and have not been on the applicant’s side of the desk in the last few years, it’s time for a refresher course in how it feels. It’s the one way you can authentically project the empathy, consideration, and respect that will attract the best and brightest applicants to your organization.
Furthermore, for many applicants, the recruiting process is the first time they may have contact with your company. How your organization handles recruitment is a signifier of how your organization approaches everything from employee management to technology. Improving your recruiting process is a critical step in attracting and retaining top talent. Not everything needs to be overhauled - identify the pain points in your recruiting process that tend to discourage many applicants, and start from there. The best way to discover what needs improving in your recruiting process is to learn from how other companies recruit.
Here are some suggestions as to how you might go about it:
If your company is big enough, you can simply go to a different branch or location where you are not known and apply.
Apply at one of your competitors, and hope they call you for an interview. If their reply is “thanks, but no thanks” or they don’t get back to you at all, notice how that makes you feel.
If you belong to a trade or professional association, as an activity for one of the monthly meetings, set up a program where hiring managers from different companies interview each other.
Role play the process with someone outside your organization who is also responsible for interviewing.
Next time you see a “Now Hiring” sign in your travels, stop in and ask for an application or tell the manager you are interested in the job. (You’ll find that just asking – even when you don’t really want the job – is not an easy thing to do.)
Take your outside experiences and apply them to your organization’s hiring process. When improving your recruiting process consider how your process compares to others. Is the online application too time-consuming? Does your automated system screen people out just because they don’t have a certain credential or experience? Are you properly communicating with candidates in every step of the process? Taking these steps and considering these factors will help your hiring team better empathize with candidates and craft a better recruiting experience.