Excite and Delight

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Excite and Delight

Interviewing is a 2 way street, the candidate has to perform so you choose them, however, you too have to perform so they choose you - in some circles there seems to be the (outdated) school of thought that if a candidate really wants the job they will jump through hoops and that there is a long line of people queuing up to join your business – unless you are one of the worlds / industries super brands I’d say have a good look outside, it’s unlikely there is a queue.

Before a candidate attends an interview we’d all expect them to have researched the business, researched the hiring manager and the interviewer, read and understood the job spec and comes armed with their interview ‘A’ game. Look at this from the other side of the fence, is it right for an interviewer or hiring manager to not have reviewed the CV, not researched the candidate and not to provide them with the time or attention they deserve.

What does an engaging process look like, I do remember an old boss describing it was ‘excite and delight’ – regardless of whether they are the right fit ensure they leave really, really wanting to work for you and the business – you never know where or when you’ll run into this person again!

Be engaging:
A role is just as much about the culture fit with the hiring manager as the role and company so engage with the candidate, a formal ‘tell me a time when’ interview will get answers but in a very structured way. Explore aspects, build conversations, generate passion and you will get not only to see the real person but it’s likely they will get more out of the process.

Set the scene:
Ensure you start the interview with an explanation of why the role has come about and what you are hoping to get in a candidate and from the interview. Use this as an opportunity to tell the company story, excite the candidate by the opportunities in the business once joined. Setting the scene will help the candidate ensure they provide you with answers which are relevant to that which you are seeking and to the challenges / opportunities the business has.

Have a list of open, thought provoking questions:
Having a list of questions will enable you to compare answers from a number of candidates, however, it’s important to keep these questions open as these will galvanise more from the interviewee.

Research the candidate:
How many times have you researched the candidate and asked questions about some comment on linked in, some recommendation or a post they posted on social media? It’s likely in this 6 degrees of separation world that you know some of the same people, you may have worked with some of the same people, this knowledge will be key in gaining references and recommendations not to mention this actually demonstrates your genuine interest in them as a person which will drive engagement.

Speed through the process:
Someone once said ‘a fast game is a good game’ and this equally applies to the interview process. Too much time from 1st interview to feedback to 2nd interview and the candidate interest will disappear – something I have recently seen on LinkedIn was perfect to explain this:

Recruiter - Offer declined, the candidate has accepted another offer

Manager - Why? How did that happen?

Recruiter - We took too long

Manager - It's been only 3 weeks since I talked to her

Recruiter - 2 weeks too long, she had been on the market for 3 weeks when you talked to her. Any talented person will have multiple offers within a period of time, I would say 4 – 6 weeks they are off the market

Manager - So how do we overcome this challenge?

Recruiter - The issue starts with the hiring process. If it's a lengthy and boring process that does not cater to the talent pool. We will lose every time

Manager - How do we refine the process to retain top talent?

Recruiter - Treat talent the way they want to be treated. Do not set high walls for them to climb, shorten the hiring process with prompt feedback and collaboration between departments, create job descriptions that make sense, promote your environment and the product or project they will be a part of. Finally, ask for feedback on the hiring process from new hires and tend to their feedback. The hiring process has to be exciting and innovative to attract and cater to top talent. "Birds of the same feather flock together"

Be gracious and thank them!
At the end of the interview thank the candidate for their time, it’s them who has taken holiday from their present role, travelled what could be a significant distance at their own cost to meet you. Sure, they are after a job and obviously want something from you, however, on the flip side, you too want something from the successful candidate.

Deadlines for decision / feedback
Only provide deadlines for feedback / decision if you know you can deliver, if it’s unlikely, don’t make assurances, it’s better not to provide a deadline than make assurances and miss. In addition feedback is amazingly important, declining a candidate in the right manner can make a brand ambassador out of them for life! 

It’s not terrifically difficult, it’s not a dark art, however, it does deserve some thought and consideration.

If you need any more information on how Cactus Search can help you as an organisation or as a candidate, please contact: