How does your company treat job candidates? | Pat Perry

Each year, professional football teams hold their annual draft for college football players.

Across the land there is a fever pitch in cities that have a team. Draft parties are held, preceded by weeks if not months of speculation by experts and fans on player rankings and what players teams will choose.

What if we could transfer the energy, excitement and passion exhibited in the days leading up to the draft to our businesses, when new employees are recruited?

Practically speaking, your employees have significantly more impact on your organization and quality of work life than NFL draft picks.

Successful businesses can ill-afford bad hires. When it happens, the ripple effect can be devastating, especially in a small company.  Conversely, superstar employees consistently change the landscape of a business.

We all want superstars in our town whether they are athletes on our professional sports teams or professionals in our companies. There may not be a 100% foolproof recruiting system in existence, but here are some ways to improve the probability that your hiring process will yield good candidates:

• Make sure there is a current job description for the open position and job expectations are defined.

• Have everyone on your interview team well-versed with the requirements for the open position and the expectations for performance. Everyone should be thoroughly prepared to interview candidates.

• Plan how you intend to attract qualified candidates for the opening and what criteria you will utilize to select the top candidates.

• Each person on your interview team should have specific information they will solicit from candidates and data they will share with candidates.

• Formulate interview questions that have a purpose. Asking questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” seldom provide sound data to support a hiring decision.

• Have a structure upon which selection results will be compared and evaluated.

• Treat job candidates fairly and share the selection process with all candidates. In addition to interviews, utilize other selection tools that will yield critical information about candidates.

• We expect job candidates to be on time (or early) for their interviews and interviewers should do the same. This is one way to demonstrate to job candidates that you respect their time.

• If your organization’s recruiting and selection process takes weeks or even months to reach hiring decisions, consider significantly reducing the time to recruit. Remember that the longer your company’s recruiting process takes, the greater likelihood you will lose qualified candidates.

• Stay in touch with job candidates throughout the recruiting process and make sure you follow up in a timely manner when the process is complete. The number one complaint I hear from job candidates is that they “never heard back from the company” after an interview or even after going through weeks of interviews.

Please do not leave job candidates in the dark.

• Say thank you to all the job candidates that took the time it interview for open positions. Ideally, that follow up is a phone call and at the very least some sort of handwritten correspondence. It will speak volumes for you and your company.

• An additional idea that is gaining notoriety is actually paying candidates for their time to interview. Though this may seem to be extreme, the organizations that have implemented this approach (after checking with their legal counsel), are finding that their recruiting process is shortened, the time during an interview is
more efficient, candidates are impressed and appreciate that the prospective employer is recognizing that their time is of value.

As the competition for talent continues, it may be an excellent time to assess your organization’s recruitment and selection program. Just think of your job openings as a professional sports team draft and your perspective relative to selecting the very best people for your business may in fact yield some superstars down the line.

Perry is host of the national Success Wave podcast, business book author, keynote speaker, former ERC president, columnist, NEO Business Hall of Fame member and named to the 2021 and 2022 Cleveland 500.

Read More: How does your company treat job candidates? | Pat Perry

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