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Creating a great interview process will help bring great candidates on board

Business Insider columnist Linda Clark-Santos offers tips for creating a candidate interview process that is good for business.
Business Insider columnist Linda Clark-Santos offers tips for creating a candidate interview process that is good for business.

To grow your business, you need to attract talent. Tips for the interviewee abound, but too many hiring managers miss the opportunity to manage the candidate experience well.

Too often, the candidate is subjected to a boring and repetitive interview process and then left wondering what happened. Technology has transformed the recruitment process—which is both good news and bad. A company now can track and report applicant flow like never before. That’s good. For the candidate, however, the process has become impersonal and frustrating. That’s bad.

In reality, many hiring managers miss the opportunity to offer a personal touch while gathering information to select the truly best candidate.

So, how can you as the hiring manager change that?

First, select the interviewers carefully. Choose those who will be working directly with the new hire. Done right, the interview cycle can be an important first step in “onboarding” the recruit. Consider the interview schedule as a preliminary 360-degree view of the potential hire. Thus, you can tap into the thinking of key players while increasing the likelihood they will feel more committed to the new hire’s success.

Second, look beyond the technical requirements of the open position. Provide direction to the interviewers by asking each to probe on a specific set of topics or characteristics. For example, one could focus on technical skills and requirements. Another might focus on cultural fit. Another might concentrate on managerial or leadership competencies. This makes the interview process more interesting — and challenging — for the candidate by avoiding a repetitive rehash of the same tired interview questions. Plus, you gather relevant information from several critical vantage points.

Finally, inform the candidate upfront how the interview process will unfold including next steps. Too many candidates are left in the dark about the hiring decision. Keep in mind that candidates who are not selected may describe their experience—good or bad—with your company via word-of-mouth or social media.

Good candidate experiences can build your brand as an employer. Bad experiences can destroy it.

Your choice.

Linda Clark-Santos, Ph.D. is a consultant and executive coach. LCSBusinessInsider@gmail.com.

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