6 Ways You’re Repelling Candidates with Your Hiring Process

Business person running away from a bad hiring process

6 Ways You’re Repelling Candidates with Your Hiring Process

The candidate interview is a vital part of the hiring process. Employers and hiring managers should be well versed on the appropriate way to conduct interviews to ensure they choose the best fit for the company and culture. The interview process also contributes greatly to the candidate experience, which has been topic of interest discussed at length by organizations like the American Staffing Association (ASA) Here are some of the ways good companies are creating bad experiences that could drive candidates away.

  1. Not following up after the interview

One of the most common complaints that we hear from candidates is that employers and hiring managers neglect to follow up with any feedback following an interview. If a candidate did not get the job, you should communicate this to them. A phone call is preferred, but most candidates would say that they would even be satisfied if they received notification by email. Jobseekers often invest a lot of time and energy into their searches. They may take time off from work, buy a new suit, or pay for childcare to attend an interview. They have an expectation of receiving a response, whether the news is good or bad. It’s not only a matter of courtesy. A bad candidate experience isn’t good for your company’s reputation and can cost you top talent. The candidate experience has become a more crucial element of the hiring experience that employers must prioritize in order secure candidates. 80% of people would take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process. To ensure that the candidates you do want to hire will accept an offer from your company, you have to give them a good experience from the very first meeting. People who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.

Organizations also need to establish a pipeline of employees to fill future open positions. This means making sure that each candidate has a positive experience so that you can call on them again for a position which may be better suited to their skills and experience. 58% of those with a prior negative impression of the hiring organization said they would not apply again in the future.

Employers often discount the need to create a good experience for those candidates they choose not to hire. 61% of Glassdoor users report that they seek company reviews and ratings before making a decision to apply for a job. The majority of negative reviews on Glassdoor are due to a poor interview/hiring experience. If your company encounters these kinds of unfavorable reviews, correcting this process would do a great deal to improve your overall online reputation.

It’s important to consider that in some instances, your candidates are also potential customers. 64 percent of job seekers say that a poor experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from the employer. 

  1. Not clearly defining the duties of the position

One of the top five reasons employees give for quitting a job is that the duties weren’t accurately described during the interview. If the interviewer is harried and hasn’t taken the time to prepare a list of the tasks associated with the job, they may inadvertently leave out certain important details. If multiple people are interviewing a candidate and do not necessarily agree about what responsibilities the job entails, incorrect information may be relayed to the candidate. Some hiring managers are guilty of overselling a position and leaving out undesirable aspects of the job to fill it quickly. This breakdown in communication could lead to an employee leaving a job shortly after being hired due to dissatisfaction with the scope of work. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, SHRM recommends that hiring managers prepare for interviews by:

  1. Determining the critical success factors of the job.
  2. Ranking—according to the job specifications—the most important qualities, experiences, education and characteristics that a successful candidate would possess.
  3. Making a list of qualities, skills and types of experience to use to screen resumes and job interview candidates
  4. Schedule a planning meeting with the appropriate attendees, such as co-workers, an indirect but interested manager or internal customers of the position.

In the current job market, top candidates have more job choices, and they may choose to leave a position if it was not what they were expecting. To avoid costly turnover and onboarding expenses, hiring managers and interviewers should be honest and specific about the responsibilities of a job during the interview process.

  1. Not interviewing enough candidates

Several years ago, a corporate job opening attracted an average of 250 resumes. In a full employment job market, this is not usually the case. Some positions will attract a large number of candidates, while more specialized positions will only have a handful of applicants. Our recommendation, especially for positions like Executive Administrative Assistants at the C-Level, is to have a total of 3 candidates in the final round of interviews.

Monster.com estimates that candidate drop-off can range from 60%-90% depending on the length and nature of your hiring process. In order to account for those candidates that may accept another position or simply abandon the process, you should take steps to ensure that you have multiple candidates to whom you would extend a job offer.

  1. Expecting Perfection

We’re hearing more and more about the skills gap that is further complicating an already challenging hiring landscape. In 2016, 58% of small businesses reported “hiring or trying to hire” and 52% reported scarcity or lack of qualified applicants for their open positions. Finding candidates that already possess the skills that you require for a job is becoming more and more difficult. Unrealistic expectations may lead you to pass on good candidates that could be trained to excel in your organization. Those employers that are adamant that applicants possess a college degree may have to be more flexible about this requirement to fill open positions. Among executive level assistants, 19% of job-holders have degrees, but 65% of job postings mandate them. A significant obstacle for some companies is that they don’t actually know what they want, but believe that they will know it when they see it. This happens often when a role is new and somewhat undefined, or when the employee who held the position before was highly valued by the company. We recommend creating a list of must-haves for the position. This will establish the skills the candidate will absolutely need in order to be successful in the job. In this job market, consider hiring someone who will be a good fit for the culture of the business, and can be taught the additional skills needed for the position. Hiring for cultural fit and training for skills is more critical and will likely make for a better long-term fit. 

  1. Employing the wrong interview style

There are actually different styles and types of interviews that you can utilize which reveal different things about the applicant. Employers who are not as accustomed to the interview process will often employ stock interview questions, such as “Where you do see yourself in 5 years?” or “Describe your strengths and weaknesses.” Because these questions are common, the responses are often rehearsed by candidates. With this approach, you run the risk of hiring someone who is good at interviewing, but not necessarily a good hire. Another common mistake is interviewing candidates in a purely conversational interview style. It is helpful to utilize this style to establish rapport, but to really derive in depth information about how a candidate will perform, we recommend employing a behavioral interviewing style. This approach will gauge how a candidate will react in a given situation. Proposing situational and operational questions will help give you more insight into a candidate’s qualifications and allows them to provide tangible examples of their experience as it relates to a role.  Panel interviews, in which several interviewers are present at the same time, are not something that we typically recommend. If they are not well structured, the candidate can feel bombarded and put off. You may not get the fundamental information you need about the candidate if each panelist doesn’t understand and agree upon all the skills and requirements necessary for the job. We do recommend a “tag-team” approach, in which different team members take turns meeting with the candidate one-on-one. This is a great way to get multiple perspectives on an employee and see how they react to different interview styles. SHRM provides a more detailed explanation of the types of interview styles and formats that you can employ depending on the position you need to fill.

  1. Not utilizing a phone screen

A telephone interview is a way to establish if a candidate has enough of the qualifications required for the position to be invited in for an in-person interview. Utilizing an initial phone screen helps to streamline the hiring process by establishing if the candidates skills, experience and salary requirements are in line with those of the position. The overall average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days. Conducting a 15-20-minute phone screen versus an in-person interview which usually takes an hour, can save you up to 45 minutes per candidate. It is also a useful way to establish how serious the candidate is about making a job change. For those positions that involve telephone sales, or call center customer service, a phone screen is an excellent way to determine phone skills. You can read more about this topic in our blog 5 Reasons Phone Screening Must be Part of your Hiring Process.

Experienced staffing firms can help provide you with tips and recommendations to improve your interview process. In doing so, you will also be helping to enhance the overall candidate experience with your organization, which improves your reputation in the job market, as well as in the community.

Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. http://bradleystaffinggroup.com/employers/

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