By Heidi Lynne Kurter
The best weapon companies can possess in the war for talent is a solid interviewing strategy that wins over the best candidates. The guideline for interviewing hasn’t changed much, but with new generations coming in, companies are experiencing an increase in rejections and unfinished interviews. They’re quickly realizing the control they’ve once held over how they interview is on the verge of extinction. Traditional interviewing processes were long and drawn out because employers had the upper hand.
Today, it’s a candidate driven market and the new generation of workers aren’t shy to walk away from a reputable company because of their poor interviewing process. Candidate time is valuable and in a candidate driven market it can’t be wasted. On average, top candidates are off the market within ten days yet the average hiring process for companies is 23.8 days in the U.S. and around a month in Europe. This means companies must act quicker than they’re used to in order to secure the best talent on the market.
Here are the three interviewing practices that turn the best candidates off and how companies can win the war for talent by winning over quality candidates
Poor Candidate Experiences with an Unstructured Process
Often times, companies have no strategy when going into an interview. They lack the proper questions, don’t take the time to review the candidates resume or research their background and they fail to meet with all the individuals involved in the interviewing process to discuss the types of questions that will be asked. This creates a poor experience for the interviewee because they find themselves answering the same questions over and over again with each interviewer.
Another red flag for candidates is when asking each individual interviewer the same question, they receive differing and often, contradictory responses. This sends them a message there’s a large disconnect internally creating massive concern for the potential employee should they need support in their role.
How to win them over: Before posting the job position, it’s crucial for the hiring manager and HR to come together and create a strategy for their recruiting process. This includes knowing how many interviews will take place, with who and how long each will be. Once they’ve established who should be involved in the interviewing process, they should educate them on the strategy asking for their feedback to help improve the process while determining who will ask which questions and what the end goal of each interview is.
How Ghosting is Equivalent to a Lack of Communication
To candidates, a lack of communication is the equivalent of ghosting. Fortune describes ghosting as a “situation where one person ceases communication with the other with no explanation”, leaving them without closure. It’s the quickest way to turn a candidate off and create a poor reputation for a company. CareerArc conducted a survey on the candidate experience and found 60% of candidates have had a poor interview experience and 72% of those candidates shared their negative experience online or with someone else.
A clear sign that indicates a company doesn’t value their talent is by keeping their interview one-sided and avoiding answering questions from the candidate. This could occur as early on as the phone screen when the recruiter presses for salary expectations with no intention of communicating their range throughout any point in the process.
If candidates are expected to be on-time to interviews and do their due diligence, companies should live up to those same expectations. Too often, interviewers treat the interview as a low priority leaving the candidate waiting or not showing up at all. Most working candidates interview during their lunch hour or have other obligations to tend to. Communication is essential and candidates deserve to be kept in the loop.
How to win them over: HR is the key player when it comes to creating a quality candidate experience and candidates rely on them heavily to know where they are navigating the interview process. To create the best experience for the candidates, HR can provide frequent updates and maintain communication even when there are no updates. This will ensure candidates are kept in the loop and it shows them their time is valued.
Overwhelming Rounds of Interviews
The average round of interviews for a position is around two to three. Anything more than that can be considered excessive unless it’s an executive position or requires additional security measures to ensure confidentiality will be maintained. It’s no surprise companies lose top candidates in the middle of interviewing due to overwhelming and drawn out interview processes. The new era of candidates values transparency. Companies who communicate early on their recruitment process will be more successful in guiding candidates through it. It’s vital to have a strategy in place to keep candidates updated throughout their journey or else they’ll lose focus and patience, eventually dropping out.
Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Kununu make it easy for candidates to openly express their interview experience with a company to prevent others from wasting their time applying. In an era centered around technology and transparency, a company’s online reputation is more visible than before. Whether they’re accurately portrayed is a different story, but companies should be proactive in laying out what they can expect from each interview round and the length of the process.
How to win them over: If companies require intensive interview processes, it’s vital they communicate that early on so the candidate can decide whether they want to move forward or not. Being proactive and including what to expect in the interview process on the company website and job description can help filter out candidates who lack the patience or desire to go through extensive interview rounds. The recruiting process should be adapted to the quick pace of the market and interviews should be kept to a standard of three maximum unless all rounds are entirely relevant and unable to be condensed.
Companies serious about adapting to the shift in recruiting to attract and retain the best talent need to focus on nurturing the relationships to build trust and set themselves apart from the competition early on. It’s all about creating value and a candidate experience that inspires confidence in their decision to accept the final offer.