Why should you be kind to applicants?
First, the Conclusion: Being kind to applicants (candidates) leading into and during the interview phase should be part of all company cultures. Treating candidates well during the hiring process is not only the right thing to do, but it will have a positive impact on your organization’s reputation and ultimately, your bottom line. When you strive to be kind to be kind to applicants, you emphasize that your employees are the bread and butter of your organization, the foundation. You care about their future. And looking forward, candidates who have a positive experience during the hiring process are more likely to become brand ambassadors, refer others to your organization, and even become customers themselves.
Here are a few easy ways to actually do it.
We’ll bet that you haven’t read any of this before.
Broaden your Perspective: Being kind to Applicants
Candidates start rolling in for you to interview. If your company is like most, there are far too many of them and weighted toward those who are not qualified for the positions. After 2 or 3 interviews conducted in the morning, and maybe another 3 to go just today, you begin to become a bit annoyed.
Someone making these candidate first round selections is not doing their best job. And your next interview is anxiously waiting in the lobby. Being kind to applicants doesn’t work with my schedule right now!
(It can, however. We invite you to more efficient and substantive hiring: JustInterview).
Just get a hold of yourself. In this instance, you are not the important person, the candidate is (you business is).
What? We’re offering the job. Why do we need to be kind to applicants?
First and foremost, you are now acting as an ambassador for your company, and you are about to greet a potential talented person that could be a company future President, Head of Sales, Head of Customer Service, CEO . . . you get the point. They could also be a person who will remember your business in the future. They could be de facto ambassadors.
Interviews are about the applicants as much as you. They confirm how you invest in, and treat, people who work for you every day. You’re interviewing actual people, not just qualities of a good candidate for a job. You get the point.
Maybe you ought to treat them as you might an invited and respected guest. Focus on the applicant, not just your organization. Sure, the candidate is there with the hopes of working with your company, but you are not the one doing them a favor. Quite the opposite. Be kind to applicants because they’re taking the chance. They’re doing you the favor.
They are taking time away from their lives, their other job or work to meet with you, without any guarantee They are a new potential asset for your company. And always a potential ambassador. Treat them that way.
A Few Easy Ideas. Being Kind to Applicants builds You.
#1 Be on time and patient.
If you are running through a few interviews in the morning and a few interviews in the afternoon, keep them on schedule. To do this you need to spend one hour organizing for each 3 – 4 interviews. That’s 15 minutes each. Look at the resume of CV handed to you.
Take some notes. Think about the plusses and the gaps. Ask about each. Consider it a chance to learn about them– resumes won’t help you know the applicant. You already how to spot a good candidate at interview. But remember that even the best resume is merely a jumping-off point to learning how someone might fit into your business or be a resource in the future. The interview illustrates how an applicant fits into, and adds to, your mission.
Prepare your questions for each of them. (We actually have a method of preparing questions unique to each candidate if you’d like to simply read off a script. It’s included in our assessments service).
If they are running late and do not call or reach out, all bets are off. That’s on them. We are working on candidate punctuality too.
#2 Definitely LISTEN to the candidate.
Active listening is a skill.
We’ve all been through interviews with people that show no interest in speaking with you. Remember how that felt?
If you get the job, you remember this interview and already have a negative opinion about this person.
If you don’t get the job, you have a negative opinion about the company. Do they not realize how their behavior informs the applicant about the inside culture of the company?
I try not to be negative about past interviews, but let’s just say I remember everyone that was uncomfortable due to the behavior of the person interviewing me. I wondered whether good, living qualities for a job interviewee really mattered compared to a fancy CV. They do, if you make them so.
Of, course, it’s hard to continuously engage if you’re not really interested in an applicant– so don’t just fill interview slot. Don’t interview people who you wouldn’t consider to hire. They should of course have good qualities for a job interview. If your struggling to find good candidates, CareerNet can help.
#3. When it’s over, Jot Down a Quick Note.
Right after the interview, write down a highlight from the interview that showed the candidate in a positive light. Nothing too descriptive, something like, “Great enthusiasm for sales commitment”. Or “Good conversation about that marketing campaign.”
Now why are you doing this? It’s not what you think. You are taking a note that is personal to the candidate and you are going to use it in YOUR THANK YOU EMAIL THAT YOU WILL SEND OUT TO THE CANDIDATE that very same day. It will take all of 2 minutes to compose the email and will go a long way to keeping the candidate’s opinion of your company positive, and keeping them positive about their future, regardless of their interview path with your company.
One minute of thought on a post-it note affixed to the resume and 2 minutes of email will separate you and your company from virtually all others this candidate interviews with. The applicant can move forward knowing they mattered to your business.
#4 Be a Good Host.
Offer them coffee, water, tea, the restroom, a quiet place to make a call AFTER the interview. Not difficult. It will also give them a bit of time to recover from what was a stressful time for them and make them know that you value the time they spent. Your organization focuses on people.
#5 Do what you say you will do.
If you agree to track down answers to questions candidates have during your interview– do it. Email makes our communication lives super easy. There is really no excuse for not responding. You have the time. We all do. Devoting your time in this ways confirms that you value applicants and therefore individuals.
Truly, if you follow the few easy steps above candidates will feel respected and that will reflect on their process with your company now and in the months to come.
Remember, when yot focus to be kind to applicants, the positive focus is on you.
You don’t need to be super polite, or even charismatic and smiley. You just need to be kind, professional and interested in them. Today’s technology makes it easy.
Treating candidates well during the hiring process is not only good for the candidates but also for you and your organization. Word will get out. Providing a positive candidate experience attracts more top talent, improves your brand, and helps your organization achieve its goals.
It never hurts to be nice.