When running a business, it’s important to try to be as transparent and authentic as possible. Doing one thing - but meaning or saying another - can have significant, negative implications for your organization, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. Unknowingly presenting conflicting messages throughout the interview process can hurt your company brand, and detract from its ability to attract and hire the best candidates.
The main goal of the interview process is to provide both the hiring company and the candidate an opportunity to determine if there is a mutual fit. On the candidate’s end, more emphasis is often placed on the tangible insight they can gain from the meeting. This can include how interviewers respond to certain questions, inconsistencies with how various team members discuss the potential role and the company, and the aspects of the job that are emphasized vs. those that are minimized. On the company’s end, the assumption is the candidate has most of the required skills to take on the open role. The focus from their perspective is more about intangible insight such as cultural fit, personality, and the overall impression left by the candidate.
Given the candidate-driven market continues to be the reality for the executive, managerial and professional labor market, employers should be giving more consideration to the lasting impression they are leaving with prospective hires. “Companies really should be thinking about the interview process as a critical part of their strategy in communicating their brand and organizational culture,” says Nysha King, media relations specialist for MRINetwork. “Applicants will communicate their interview experiences in the marketplace through sites like Glassdoor, and employers need to ensure that what they say matches the way they conduct business.”
To make sure your company's hiring practices are in line with its mission, values and business goals, King recommends avoiding these four contradictions:
1. Having an inefficient interview process when your company claims to be cutting-edge
You can have the most forward-thinking reputation, but a clunky interview process will quickly disprove any claims that your company is always looking ahead. Make sure your interview process suits the needs of modern applicants. Perhaps a one-on-one interview is not getting to the crux of a candidate's value: You could additionally hold team interviews where candidates are asked to participate in routine business exercises like brainstorming or planning sessions. These types of interviews can yield greater insights into the applicant's personality and potential fit within the team, making for a more efficient process.
2. Hiring for newly created roles that involve clashing responsibilities
With newly created roles on the rise, according to Recruiterbox, a common mistake that many companies make is creating a new role that demands the employee be responsible for duties that conflict with each other. For example, having a graphic designer also be responsible for generating new sales leads could cause productivity issues. While it’s normal for employees to have multiple responsibilities, it’s important to ensure the required duties remain focused when designing a new role.
3. Taking too long to hire a new person when your company values speed
No one wants to work for a company that hesitates to make decisions that could improve culture and revenue. However, when a company drags their feet during the hiring process, that's the impression that top talent receive. Although it’s wise to carefully think over hiring decisions, taking an extended amount of time just makes it not only seem as though your company's management lacks confidence, but that working for your company would be a nightmare of administrative and bureaucratic red tape as well. It is important to streamline the hiring process, and even gather qualified applicants before there is a position to fill.
4. Valuing your company brand but falling short on the recruitment process
Letting what you may believe are small or relatively unimportant aspects of the hiring process slip through the cracks can sabotage your company brand. For example, making candidates wait for several months for an answer when they were specifically told they would be contacted soon, or failing to keep a top applicant in the loop about where he/she stands, are bad marks against you. Instead, making the extra effort to ensure candidates feel valued goes a long way, especially in today's candidate-driven market. If your company is struggling to gain access to A-players in your industry, you can partner with a trusted recruitment firm to help you find the best talent for your needs, while protecting your brand.
Regardless of how your organization approaches the interviewing process, the main goal should be to leave candidates with a positive, transparent experience. “By implementing efficient practices and ensuring that everyone on the hiring team is on the same page, you reduce the likelihood of communicating inconsistent messaging that will be disseminated by candidates, and can be harmful to the company brand,” adds King. The ‘interview’ then becomes more than just a way to qualify potential new hires, but also a marketing opportunity to communicate why the organization is a great place to work.”