Since the hiring market has transformed from being a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, leaving candidates in the driving seat, it has exposed how some companies and organisations treated their prospects prior to the change.
Obviously, there have been bad apples who have treated their candidates terribly. We often see those brutal rejection emails going viral, but we are talking about a much more sedate kind of disrespect, a one that organisations do without realising.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how interviews happen and, even during these testing times, disrespect has seeped through. Take video interviews, for example. If you were on the receiving end of a video interview, you would want those who are conducting it to be understanding of your circumstances. You would want them to put you at ease. You would want them to show respect. You would want them to give you their full attention. So why are some interviewers checking their emails while they interview? Or perhaps they have the webcam positioned in such a way where it is pointing upwards, up their nose, or at the top of their head, hindering any feeling of eye contact. If your laptop is not working properly, get IT to fix it before you do these interviews.
This blasé attitude towards interviews goes hand-in-hand with a lack of understanding of the commitment that the company is asking of the individual they are hiring. The position that the prospect should be glad we are offering them the job does not sit well with most people. Never forget that you are asking for a life changing career move. This will be a 3-4 year commitment, at the very least, if it is a permanent role.
Where will they live? Can they buy a house? Are these the types of questions you have even given the first thought to? Probably not, because you think it is not part of your job to imagine the life of a possible future employee, but it is. If you cannot empathise, the likelihood is that the candidate will not feel a connection to you or your business.
With meetings and interviews and phone chats and tests, the candidate has a lot to schedule in and one might imagine that you think because they are probably working from home that they have all the time in the world and are free at any time. But what has been your experience of WFH? You’ve probably been working more, haven’t you? So why would their life be any different?
One of the best ways to show some respect is in trying to trim down the process. This doesn’t mean one interview and done, even though some companies have their processes refined to the point where they can do that. We mean you cut any unnecessary interviewers from the interviews if they do not bring anything important to the table. Or you double up. Or you deep dive into the CVs to make sure only the truly hireable prospects go through to the next round. And quit waiting for that perfect ‘golden’ candidate that you imagine is out there somewhere but is not anywhere within the resumes you have received. If they’ve gotten this far, they must have something going for them. It is your job to find out more.
Scaring off perfectly good candidates is not on anyone’s agenda, yet it is still happening. Of course you want to be sure but refining the stages will help. Understanding what a big deal interviews are, even if you conduct them day-in, day-out, is integral to getting the best hires. Don’t become jaded. Approach every candidate like they are a human being and they will treat you like a human being in return.
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