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Who is interviewing who?

If you have tried to hire or recruit anyone in the past year, then you know:

It is a candidates' market.

As we emerge from the pandemic, or at least, move forward with this new normal, companies are looking to grow, add talent to their organizations, and replace the folks that have left (heard of the Great Resignation lately?).

The talent pool is smaller than it once was. There are arguments that this can be because of the stimulus checks, the generous unemployment benefits, the lack of skilled talent, or candidate's desire for something more than what they had. Regardless, the fact remains that finding good talent is harder now than it used to be (even just a year ago).

So what do you do about it?

People want to work for an organization that values them, where they can thrive, where they can be their best selves, and yes, maybe even work from home on occasion. But, how can they determine that with an online (or on campus) interview? It is nearly impossible. The answer is easier than you may think:

Bring the candidates to your office.

Or jobsite. Give your candidates a sense of what it would be like to work with you. What is the parking lot like? Where would they get their coffee? How do the chairs feel? What is the view out of the windows? Do you have windows?

While you may take these little things for granted, these all add up to the experience of being an employee at your company. You may consider these onsite interviews as your way of getting to know the candidates better, but do not lose sight of the fact that it is also their way to get to know you better. They are interviewing you too.

To make the experience better experience for your candidates keep these five tips in mind:

  • Treat them as you would an employee. Welcome them, offer them a coffee, treat them with respect (they don't have to be there).

  • Share a meal with them. Even if it just a snack in the break room, sharing a meal is a communal experience that reduces formality and builds trust.

  • Show them where they would work. Lifting the veil to the "back office" demonstrates transparency and they would get a sense that you are ready for them.

  • Share more about the company than they could find on your website. Expect your candidates to look at your site and check you out on LinkedIn so talk about the why you work there; what it could be like for them; other information about what makes your company great.

  • Recommend places to eat / stay / things to do. If you are bringing in candidates from outside the area, provide them with some local recommendations. You can even have a short list put together that you share with all candidates (no need to recreate this every time).

Remember, in this market especially, candidates are interviewing you just as you are interviewing them. You have the ability to shape that experience for them, so be deliberate about making it a positive one for them.


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