Key #7 in my blog series, Hire Wisdom: The 12 Keys to Successful Hiring, is arguably the most important factor in finding and retaining top talent: Respect the Candidate. In my career in Executive Search, I have been overwhelmed by candidates’ negative experiences with companies throughout the hiring process.
A negative experience during this stage can not only lose you the candidate, but also damage your company brand in the marketplace. Also, whoever you do end up hiring will already have a bad taste in their mouth, even before their first day on the job! Respect the candidate and treat them right not only because you want to keep them engaged and maintain your company brand, but more importantly because it’s the right thing to do.
So, what do I mean by “respect the candidate”, and how do you do it? Here are 6 tips to take your candidate experience to the next level:
It may sound crazy, but don’t sugar coat anything. Describe the role and expectations as accurately as possible – the good, the bad and the ugly. Being direct is refreshing and greatly appreciated by candidates. Even if they are not right for the role or vice versa, provide them with some professional development advice to add value and leave them better off for having met you.
Manage expectations when it comes to timelines, feedback, and salary expectations. When a hiring manager doesn’t meet timelines or goes “dark” on a candidate, it can be incredibly frustrating. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard of candidates being brought through an entire hiring process, only to find out that the company could not meet their salary expectations. Don’t waste a candidate’s time. Transparency is key. Confirm timelines and salary expectations at every stage of the process.
In fairness to both parties, make sure any ambiguity is addressed before the candidate is hired. By the time they are signing that final employment contract, both parties should be confident that this is a great fit. Ask the candidate to perform a real-life, on the job case study to see how they perform. On the flip side, be ready to answer any questions a candidate might have about the role and the company. If you are hiring a candidate after only meeting them once, you’re moving way too quickly and you’re not leaving the candidate feeling assured that you are making an educated hiring decision.
The more times you meet a candidate, the more comfortable you feel with each other going into the business relationship. Cultural fit is very important, and is the number one reason people feel excited to come into work every day… or not. It’s time to meet the team! Don’t let them walk into their first day feeling like “the new guy” – manage the interview process so that they walk in on their first day already having established a comfort level and rapport with their team.
You’ve made sure that adding them to your team will benefit you, but will the partnership benefit them? I could reference any number of studies on the effects of employee engagement on a company’s success; if your employees are disengaged, if they’re not challenged, you suffer. So ask yourself, is the role going to bore the candidate? Have you sold them on a dream that the role or company can’t deliver? Be fair and be honest. Don’t set them up for failure.
Will you make a decision already?! As mentioned above, multiple interviews are important, but once you know one way or another whether a candidate is a fit, let them know. Hire them, move the process along, or let them know why you are not hiring them and move on.
A positive hiring experience that leaves the candidate feeling respected is reflective of a great company and of their values. Use these Keys to Hire Wisdom and drive your company in the right direction today.
IQ PARTNERS is a Recruitment Agency with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, & Halifax. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.
Ross Campbell is a Partner and Practice Lead, Financial Services & Insurance with IQ PARTNERS. Celebrating over 10 years of management consulting experience in executive search, recruitment, and training in Canadian financial services and insurance companies, Ross thrives on the belief that business can be done significantly better by investing in the right people.