Calling All Companies: Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward With Potential Hires?

As a hiring manager, you may be used to holding all the power during an interview—from pitching challenging questions to candidates (What are three things our company could be doing better?) to treating recruitment much like speed dating (if a candidate doesn’t capture your attention right away, on to the next!).

But the hiring landscape is quickly shifting, moving toward what industry pundits refer to as a candidate-powered environment. In other words, the top echelon of employees is becoming just as selective as hiring managers. They won’t bat their eye at just any company—or offer, for that matter.

A 2015 study by Career Builder, which surveyed over 5,000 U.S. candidates, produced some eye-opening results. For instance:

  • The average job seeker uses 18 different sources when searching for a job, up from previous years. Employer tip: Better get to blogging and social media! You may also want to do a quick audit of any online reviews about your company.
  • When it comes to evaluating employers, 80 percent of U.S. candidates use a career site and 70 percent use social media.
  • Only 14 percent of candidates feel employers are responsive during the vetting process.

It begs the question … are you putting your best foot forward with candidates just as they are with you? At the end of the day, the hiring process has to work for both the hiring manager and the candidate. You may find a superstar you wish to onboard, but if you haven’t taken the time to sell him or her on your company, you may lose the individual before the offer letter is sent. In fact, with 76 percent of U.S. candidates willing to compromise on salary for a good experience, according to the aforementioned study, it’s never been more important to put forth a sunny disposition.

So, how can you give your top candidates critical insight into your awesome company and available role?

  • Introduce Fresh Faces: All too often, employers don’t allow candidates to interact with many folks besides senior leadership. Break the mold! Invite your entry-level and mid-manager shining stars into the interview. Even better, give your top candidates and existing employees some time to meet privately. Doing so will give candidates the chance to really dig deep with your existing team members.
  • Do a Quick Tour: There is no better way to give potential employees a feel for your company than to walk them around your office. Let them peek into your game room (maybe even challenge them to a game of foosball?). Show them the shrine dedicated to your company mascot. Here at McIntyre, for example, we LOVE taking potential hires to our visually stimulating timeline wall to give them a quick peek into our rich history.
  • Be Honest: There is no faster way to lose top candidates than to feed them canned answers. Much as you look for depth and honesty from your recruits, they are looking for the same transparency from you. If their job will involve a lot of administrative work, don’t sugar coat it. If you are looking for work horses who scoff at the notion of the 9-to-5 business day, then explain why. Doing so will help you build a level of trust with your candidates.

Your next interview may be around the corner, so this time—just like your candidate—perform some prep work in advance. Do your homework on the fantastic candidate about to walk through your doors, be welcoming, embracing and forthcoming, and get ready to put your best foot forward.