Recruitment is an essential part of any business, and as we approach the end of another year, we have been reflecting on the successes and the challenges within Recruitment this year. Throughout our discussions, we recognize the impact the Hiring Process can have on a search and how that overall experience, for both the Company and the Candidate, can influence the final outcome. We’ve observed that some factors, in particular, can effectively contribute to a positive Hiring Process which, in turn, can lead to a positive outcome.
1. The Invaluable Impact of Feedback
Timely feedback is critical to the Hiring Process and providing that feedback to Candidates after an interview has taken place is a great way to maintain their level of interest. If a series of days have passed without any further dialogue between the Company and the Candidate, their level of interest and investment may be affected. In addition, providing feedback to Candidates who are not selected to move forward in the Hiring Process can also add to or maintain the overall brand of the organization.
Consistent communication between all stakeholders involved, including the Hiring Authority, HR, and the Candidate (and the external recruiter if you’re using one!), outlining the process is a valuable practice that can generate ideal results. We spoke with Steve Ilott, (Principle of The Ilott Group – a multi-faceted HR and Management Consulting Firm) on this topic, and he added that “When the interview process becomes too transactional, it doesn’t normally produce a positive result”. Collectively, energy and passion can be key in showcasing genuine interest throughout the Hiring Process.
Additionally, if you are using an Executive Search Firm, Recruiters customarily ask Candidates for feedback after an interview takes place and that exchange of information can be vital to further understanding a Candidate’s motivation as well as identifying any miscommunications that may occur and a Candidate’s level of comfort with the job opportunity.
2. The Visualization of the Working Environment
Depending on the overall scope and responsibility of the opportunity, proper framework of the role is essential to allow the person seeking employment to visualize themselves in that environment. Ways to help Candidates effectively visualize include:
- Providing a transparent, verbal “presentation” on the business, its goals, and the prospect to build upon their strengths.
- Facility tours are a tangible way to showcase what it will be like to be employed there.
- If a Recruiter is being utilized, provide the Recruiter with enough information to allow them to give Candidates an informed introduction on the business and the role. This can set the Hiring Manager up for a more in-depth conversation.
By allowing the Candidate to see themselves in the workspace, much like someone viewing a home before purchasing, these details can go a long way to contributing to a positive Hiring Process, leading to a successful outcome.
3. Acknowledging What Candidates Commonly Value
The number of steps involved is important to consider for both sides involved in the Hiring Process. Too many steps included can drive a person away as it becomes too laborious for individuals to continue. Too few steps and the chance of a mistake in hiring may increase. Throughout our time within the Recruitment Industry, we have found that 2-3 interviews for most positions has been a successful approach, with the addition of 1-2 more interviews required for higher level positions. Any more can be interpreted as unreasonable; as Steve Ilott shares, “Each side of the interview equation must respect the time commitment of the other”. Steve further suggests that “one hour is appropriate for each interview length”.
In our conversation, Steve also explains that following an interview, “managing expectations is critical as the communication gaps can be neutralized if each side understands the landscape”. Furthermore, surprises can derail any progress made within the Hiring Process, therefore it is important to have an established, linear path to your Hiring Process. If the process seems ‘stop and go’, or if there are steps added that are inconsistent with the steps indicated earlier, this might lead to the process breaking down.
When speaking to a Candidate ‘say what you mean, mean what you say’. Indicating that something will happen and then changing direction, increases the potential risk of derailment, particularly when farther along in the process. For example, indicating an offer letter is coming on a particular day, and then not following through, can jeopardize the end result and potential hire.
4. Understanding What Companies Commonly Value
When going through the interview process with an organization, Candidates should be prepared. Some Best Practices that Clients value in a Hiring Process include:
- Taking the time to research the company; this will go a long way indicating your interest level.
- Being on time and respect that time given for the interview; if you are going to be late or are not available, let them know.
- Be humble, truthful, and genuine in your answers.
- Be aware of your body language and eye contact.
- Pay attention to your background displayed during a video interview and keep in mind everything that is exposed on the screen during a virtual interview.
- Be mindful of your social media accounts and postings; you must be aware that the Hiring Authority may search your posts for insight into who they are hiring.
- Have a LinkedIn Profile that is up-to-date and matches your current resume; In Steve Ilott’s words, “Be proud of who you are, the hiring authority will want to see that you are. If they can find a reference before giving you the chance for you to provide them, it is information that your colleagues have said about you” providing valuable insight to the potential employer.
- Prepare questions to ask to show that you are interested in the role and the company; Many candidates have failed on this basis only because they neglected to ask questions that helped them frame the role.
About the Author:
James Howell has built a progressive 25-year career in Operations Leadership within the Automotive and Engineered Electrical product Industries; He has been accountable for full Operational P&L as the Plant Manager with facilities associated to the Emerson Electric Corporation and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. For the last 4+ years, James has leveraged his strengths within Operations Leadership and Lean Manufacturing to strategically support the ongoing recruitment needs of the long-term Industrial Clients of Kitchener Executive Consultants Inc. He has great success in quickly understanding the challenging needs of critical hires within a Manufacturing organization. Having been both the hiring authority for Plant-level critical roles, as well as a job searcher of his own, he has been able to put himself in the shoes of both the Clients of KEC, as well as the passive and active job seekers, that his firm communicates with on a regular basis.
About the Guest Contributor:
Steve Ilott founded the successful Ilott Group (http://ilottgroup.com/) 15 years ago, designed to support both small and large business enterprises within the public and private sectors. The Ilott Group has continually helped organizations strive towards organizational effectiveness. Prior to opening The Ilott Group, Steve developed a progressive career in Operations where he led complex manufacturing facilities as a Plant Manager before transitioning into the realm of HR. Before exiting the Corporate world, Steve was the Direct/VP of Human Resources for A.O. Smith Enterprises Ltd. He can leverage his blend of high-level Operations and Executive HR Leadership experiences to support and coach his Clients in all aspects of their business.