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This is the second installment in JazzHR’s “Do This Not That” series.
Your job is hard. You’re constantly juggling scheduling meetings, conducting interviews, screening resumes, managing projects, and dealing with all of the one-off questions that come your way requiring time you never feel like you have. With all the constant commotion, it can be difficult to feel like you’re getting everything done. And as much as you try to keep up with the latest hiring trends, and how-tos for doing your job better, sometimes seeing the forest through the trees just isn’t in the cards while you’re just trying to fill that exhausting open req. And even more crucial than what to do is what not to do.
Here are 4 top trending things to avoid to ensure a great hire, and a quality candidate experience:
Let bias get in the way. It’s all too common to size up a candidate based on their address, their university, or their cumulative years of experience. But what if that candidate with 15 years of experience made a calculated career change that was a step back to gain them new experience? What if they aren’t as “expensive” as they look on paper? Remember, you are the gatekeeper of your organization, but with that right comes responsibility. As much as you’re trying to weed out the candidates that aren’t the right fit, it’s also your job to ensure you’re keen to finding greatness in your applicant pool. You never learn the answer to a question you don’t ask. Ask.
Leave your candidate’s hanging. Keep in mind, these people have made you a priority. They have a reasonable expectation that they’ll receive timely feedback. If your application process is lengthy, communicate that to the candidate. Let them know of vacation schedules or that they’re the first candidate that was interviewed. A Workopolis survey noted 44% of candidates never heard back from an employer after an interview.
Granted, these folks probably not the memo that they weren’t getting the job after some time, contemplation, and reflection, but nevertheless, it doesn’t take much time, if any, to send a follow-up note. There’s even software out there now that will send the templated email for you.
Good communication during the candidacy process tells the applicant a lot about the company. Even if this applicant isn’t getting the job, they still have a voice. They may extend their poor experience to other applicants, employees, or, the dreaded Glassdoor review. Communicate with your candidates.
Forget soft skills and culture. Yes, you’re filling a role with a defined set of skills that are necessary for the role. And you may have the seemingly perfect resume on your desk of a person with all the qualifications, certifications, and background you’re looking for. But look deeper. Is this person historically at companies with a similar culture to yours? Don’t just look for industry experience; think about the types of companies on the resume, the size, any location patterns. Is the candidate telling you that they’re organized, fast-paced, or an excellent multitasker?
Think about the whole role and what’s ultimately needed not just to do the job, but to be a solid fit with the team, and within the overall organization. Be thoughtful.
Lie. Do the best you can with what you have. Companies today, especially smaller ones that lack resources, may struggle with providing those extra benefits today’s candidate is looking for. You may not be able to offer a 401k match or unlimited vacation time, but be open about what you do offer, why, and maybe even offer information on what policies or benefits are changing. If your organization allows work from home days, but frowns on them being a regular occurrence, explain this. Don’t simply say it’s allowed if it really isn’t.
A candidate is interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them, and they’re evaluating whether the company is a good fit for their lifestyle and needs. It does you no good if a new hire exits quickly after assessing that your organization isn’t what they thought it would be, or worse if they were misinformed during their hiring process. Be transparent. Remember the golden rule. Honesty is always the best policy.
Have you found yourself caught up in any of these scenarios? Be sure to be thoughtful, thorough throughout your hiring process and you’ll be well on your way to capturing and keeping top talent.
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