Four Ways To Improve Your Hiring Etiquette
There is plenty of information on how interviewees can make the best first impressions. There are countless articles on how to interview well, give the perfect handshake and follow up accordingly with hiring managers.
However, with unemployment being at its lowest point in ten years, it is time for hiring managers and recruiters alike to rethink their own interview etiquette and strategy. The application and interview process is no longer necessarily in the favor of a hiring manager. Follow these tips to make the interview process less mysterious and daunting for everyone involved.
Remember that candidates are not just resumes or cover letters
Once a position is posted on the job boards, it is not uncommon for a hiring manager or recruiter to be inundated with dozens (or even hundreds) of resumes and cover letters. As an applicant, it can feel as if your resume and carefully worded cover letter is floating in a deep abyss.
While it may be unrealistic to touch each resume personally, consider a game plan for the applicants you do contact. If you contact an applicant, give them a sample assignment or invite her to come in to interview, you should have a process set up to keep in contact with (at least) these applicants until the position is filled. Keep in contact with these applicants regardless of whether you decide to hire them or not.
Communicate A Time Frame
Some positions need to be filled right away. Other positions have a support team built around it that allows for an ample amount of time to pick the perfect candidate. Communicate the timeframe you have for filling a position. This can make a world of difference for an applicant who is currently unemployed, looking to relocate or in another unique situation.
Consider this scenario. Your first interview with Sally goes magnificently and you are enamored with her However, in the interest of due diligence, you interview another dozen applicants over the next two or three weeks. In the end, Sally was the best interview and you are confident with your decision to hire her. You call Sally and offer her the job. Sally, however, thinking you were disinterested in her, has already accepted a job elsewhere. To sum it up, a little extra communication can go a long way.
Know The Candidate Beforehand
A huge turnoff for hiring manager is a candidate who walks into an interview knowing nothing about the company. How rude! This small amount of research should go both ways.
Read up on your interviewee before the fact. Find out where she went to school or what her role was where she worked previously. Not only will your interview questions naturally be more thoughtful, but the applicant will sense the mutual respect and consideration that is crucial when entering a business relationship.
Follow Up (No Matter What!)
One rule of thumb to employ here (no pun intended) is, if you shook hands with the person, follow up with them! Every person has had that experience of death gripping their phone until they hear whether or not they “got the job”. Don’t make it so painful for each applicant. Communicate with everyone you interviewed once the position.
There are many polite ways to let a candidate down if they did not get the job. If you particularly liked one applicant but they were slightly edged out by another, communicate the fact that you were very interested. Encourage the promising applicants to apply for other jobs in the future or let them know that you will follow up in the future if any appropriate positions open.
Remember that you looked for a job once, too. Try to put yourselves in the shoes of each applicant that walks through your office doors. It is a nerve-wracking, stressful time for a candidate. Hiring managers and recruiters should do all that they can to make the experience as smooth and as clear as possible.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.