How to get candidates to love you during the hiring process

Treat candidates how you want to be treated (that is, with respect). Embed respect into hiring by adding process to operationalize the whole thing. And then stick to it.

How would you feel if the hiring process process was designed with the sole purpose to throw you off your game? When organizations take advantage of the obvious power dynamic that exists in the hiring process, I can’t help but cringe. It’s an interview, not a witch hunt. Recently a woman by the name of Olivia Bland shared a viral post about how she got a job offer — sounds awesome right? Not so much. After what she described as a “humiliating experience” interviewing with the company’s CEO, Craig Dean, the marketing specialist publicly declined their offer and shared her reasoning via social media. In Olivia’s powerful letter she described Craig as “a man who tries his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman”. Her post went viral and the internet had a lot to say.

So, how can you design an hiring process that leaves candidates feeling good and doesn’t put you in the center of a viral lashing?

Train your Team

Quote: "The #1 skills that Hiring Managers are not trained on is, wait for it... hiring!"
Quote: “The #1 skills that Hiring Managers are not trained on is, wait for it… hiring!”

The #1 skill that Hiring Managers are not trained on is, wait for it….Hiring! Before you have anyone involved in the interview process, train them. They need to be briefed on a few key areas; values, mission, how to pitch your company, what to ask, what not to say, closing candidates and conducting themselves in a way that won’t result in the candidate feeling uncomfortable (or land you in the middle of a lawsuit).

Do this: Create an interviewing playbook that guides hiring managers involved in the hiring process on a start to finish approach to interviewing. Pair this with some hands-on training run by your HR and people team would make that much more of an impact. If you don’t have an HR team in place you can engage an external expert to build this for you.

Standardize your Process

No, I’m not saying you need to send all of your Hiring Managers in with a script. Think about what you are looking for though, and how you are going to assess for it through the hiring process. Then, design the interview process to support that. Taking a standardized approach will give your hiring managers the opportunity to stick to a consistent approach as well as remove the potential opportunity for bias (I’ll get into that in a future post). Having a strategic approach with questions to back it up will help the hiring manager to stay on track.

Do this: Create a repository of questions hiring managers can ask in the interview for each unique role you’re hiring for. Leverage your ATS (Applicant tracking system) to support the questions you have developed by referencing them in the interview feedback form.

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