Volume 64: How Companies Mess Up Interviews

With the demand for quality candidates the highest it has been in decades (according to the US Department of Labor, there are fewer than 1 unemployed persons per job opening in the US as of May 2018), the candidates that you’re interviewing are likely also interviewing with your competitors. So, simply, how can you improve your interview process to attract the best candidates?

Length of the Process:

To get someone hired in today’s world, it often has to be approved through several layers of local and corporate bureaucracy. A company that can whittle this process down has given itself a pretty significant advantage over its competitors, most of which have similarly long and painful processes.

To paint the picture: first, there’s a phone interview with a corporate HR person, they talk to the Plant Manager on the phone, they meet face to face with roughly 45 people at the plant, and then have another phone call with another corporate entity.

This is fine, except those things tend not to happen within days of each other, but spread out over weeks and weeks. This is untenable for candidates that find themselves unemployed, under-employed, or otherwise in an unsustainable situation. And those that are in a more stable situation just simply lose interest as the process drags on. A competitor is going to move more quickly, or maybe the spark to make a change will fade out before it’s had time to be fed.

Very simply, the red tape and extra hoops are costing you, and the industry as a whole, qualified candidates.

If you’re not able to cut into, or streamline, this process at all, my recommendation is to at least communicate the process up front. This way, the candidate has an understanding of what is to come, and isn’t left sitting on their hands waiting.

Unity of Vision:

What Corporate HR and the Plant Manager want can sometimes be very different, and often, the result of this is that a lot of people’s time gets wasted. Corporate doesn’t share candidates that have the traits that the Local Leadership is looking for, and the Local Leadership turns down candidates that Corporate pushes through.

So, when a position opens, talk to each other!

Set up a conference call with all involved in the hiring process. Agree on one vision of which skills and background are the most important, and move forward with that in mind. Talk about the challenges of getting candidates to tough locations, or into tough jobs, and how to overcome them.

 It’s often easier to attract candidates to a subpar facility in Balmy, FL than it is to MiddleofNowhereFrozenTundra, WI. Figure out, as a group, how to overcome this challenge.

Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say:

Very simply, if you say you’ll be in touch with someone, get in touch. It can be an uncomfortable call to tell someone that you’re passing on them for an opportunity, but it’s the right thing to do. Even sending an email allows the candidate some closure.

On the other hand, letting people hang out to dry is really bad look for a company. In an industry as tight knit as ours, leaving candidates without any response leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths and will give your company a bad reputation in the marketplace. I get that you’re busy, but no one is too busy to send a three line email informing someone they’re not being considered further. That basic decency is all most people are looking for.

Ask yourself, if a company treats people that interview with them without that basic level of respect, why would one assume they treat their employees any differently?

Why would you want to work for a company like that?

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