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Clients! Make the Candidate Experience Awesome

Published: 03 April 2019

Author: Julie Robinson

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Interviewing recruitment consultants can sometimes feel like you have won the lottery. In the best of scenarios the candidate understands the responsibilities that come with a recruitment role, has excelled in a similar function from a competing firm, has a good understanding of your business, your clients and would be a good fit with your workplace culture.

Can you say that the impressions you leave on each candidate that you bring to interview are equally positive?

In a candidate driven market, it is crucial to make the right first impression with each and every candidate walking through your door. Whether they come to work for you now or are in the position of recommending you to another stellar candidate now or in the future, your firms reputation is at stake throughout the interview process and there can be no sloppy errors. Here are some key points to help you remember what matters most:

Preparation

Read the CV

We are all super busy, but if you do only one thing to prepare, it’s this. Reading the CV and making sure it’s fresh in your mind prior to their interview shows an investment that is both professional and engaging at the interview. Remember that you are interviewing recruiters, so they will be the first to smell a rat if you haven’t, and frankly, it’s unimpressive. Can you imagine if a candidate showed up having zero clues about your firm aside from its name? What kind of impression would that leave you with? It says a lot about you as an interviewer by whether you choose to make this minimal investment from the get-go.

Sell Yourself - it’s a two way street

Those interviewers and employers that understand the need to sell themselves and present their company in the best possible light during the interview will be the ones that get accepted offers and great new hires starting with them time and time again.

Do your part to ensure every candidate leaves the interview having no hesitations and is chomping at the bit for an offer.

Don’t forget candidates are getting multiple offer choices - do what you can to make sure you are their number 1.

Appropriate

This word should be underlined and caps locked (it’s already bolded) because it can be the most impactful on the candidate impression. Ask yourself is the appropriate person conducting the interview? Are all other appropriate decision makers privy to the candidate and/or attending the interview also? These choices matter because they can enhance the flow of the candidate experience and also ensure that your candidate is meaningfully engaged during and after interview. Be intentional and appropriate when setting up the attendance invites. Speed to hire must also be considered in this market, so do your best to make sure the people that can make the decision are there and the decision can be made fast.

Manners

Some manners are arguably subjective while others are not. Here are some important points that are basic etiquette as an interviewer:

Be on time

Time is money so show your candidates respect for their business and appreciation for the fact that they have put it on pause to meet with you. If you are running late, be sure to acknowledge it right away and ask them how the delay affects the amount of time left to chat. Don’t assume that lost time can be tacked on at the end.

Be responsive

Whether this is the candidate of your dreams or someone you are on the fence about, you have started a rapport with them the moment you invite them in. Be mindful of any unconscious tendency to prolong communication or fluff them off if they aren’t your number 1 choice. Make sure they know your intentions around providing feedback before concluding the interview.

Be flexible

Many candidates whom you might be considering are coming from competing firms. By being flexible and willing to meet candidates at their preferred location or outside office hours shows you understand that you value their time and are prepared to go that extra mile to meet them.

Pay attention

Ding! Beep! Buzz! Our technology has the power to call our attention instantly at any given moment so it’s best to put all devices on silent. Better still leave your phone on your desk.

Have a respectful and considerate decline process

This bit is crucial when it comes to managing your firms reputation. If you were to visit Glassdoor you would be amazed at how many negative comments stem from candidates feeling they were left in the dark about their advancement or nonchalantly rejected without feedback or consideration. Don’t be those companies. Provide timely feedback for every declined candidate and if you want to appear truly progressive, welcome theirs too!

We hope that these guidelines will ring through your head when you’re on a hiring spree and can help guide your process to fantastic results.

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