We see lots of literature aimed at candidates about how to prepare for an interview and the Dos and Don’ts of interview etiquette, but often forgotten is the need for employers to represent themselves in the best possible light too. As a recruiter, the last thing I want to experience for both employers and candidates is to have a candidate turn down an offer of employment, that should have been perfect for them, because of their experience throughout the interview process.

Great candidates are very hard to find, we all know the difficulties that come with finding the “right” candidate, who matches the brief, aligns with your cultural values and is the right team fit. Now think about the fact that you want that candidate to pick you at the end of the interview process and not one of the other companies that are also trying to employee this unicorn.

Other than the values, positioning and branding of your business and the role on offer, there are some basic things you can do to help the highly sought-after candidate pick you when the offers flood in……and they will, top talent always have multiple offers.

  • Make them feel welcome. Extend basic courtesy, offer them a drink, make sure other employees are welcoming and engaging towards them whilst they wait for their interview to begin (believe me this is always fed back to us positively, when a candidate feels acknowledged by the wider business), collect them from the waiting area and make them feel welcome. Thank them for their time at the end of interview and walk out with them.
  • Learn about the candidate. Make the interview a two-way street for information. Engage the candidate to discuss their personal goals and ambitions, how do they like to work? What motivates them? It is this interest in them that will help the candidate decide to accept your offer and not accept the offer from your competitor at the end of the process.
  • Promote the wider benefits of your business and personal experiences. Sell why your company is the one they want to work at. If they are good they will have already done their research and will know a lot about the business and will have a PD to tell them about the role, so be sure to discuss the day-to-day benefits of working for your organisation and why you enjoy working there. Providing examples of successful people in the business and their journeys is also advantageous when employing an ambitious and goal-oriented person.

I think the key thing to have in mind is you don’t want the candidate to reject your offer because they were not treated well during the selection process. If every candidate has a positive experience, the best applicant will accept your role and the unsuccessful ones will be ambassadors for your brand. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, everyone talks about their experiences good, bad and otherwise, therefore it is much better to have people walking away feeling valued, respected and positive about your organisation.

Interviews should be an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other and decide if they are a match for one another. I wish you all the luck in finding great new team members who are equally as excited about joining your organisation as you are about hiring them.

This article was written by Harvest Recruitment Principal Consultant, Rebecca Johnston.

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