Most companies don’t intentionally look to repel talent—although you might think differently after speaking with candidates and those in the workforce. Here are some ways you are turning off talent before you have a chance to turn these people on.
Bait and switch
Imagine clearing your calendar for an interview with a VP or the owner of the company, only to find that you are now meeting with his or her subordinate.
Nothing says, “You’re not that important to me,” like the commonly used bait-and-switch routine that seems to be running rampant in organizations. Hiring managers cancelling interviews at the last minute can do considerable damage to your company’s reputation. Candidate interviews should be inked on your calendar, just like you would do for an important client meeting. Sure, emergencies happen, and that’s certainly understandable. Just make sure they are the exception rather than the rule, and if an emergency does come up touch base with the candidate as soon as possible and offer to reschedule the meeting.
Hiring managers who lack interviewing skills
I received an email the other day from a CEO candidate who was appalled after returning from a full day of interviews with the executive team of a healthcare organization. She simply could not believe that people at this level hadn’t a clue how to interview another executive. She left second-guessing her decision to consider this organization as a place where she might hang her hat.
Candidates are looking at you as closely as you are looking at them. Placing unskilled hiring managers in front of those hard-to-acquire people will result in candidates taking their stellar backgrounds elsewhere. At a minimum, be sure every hiring manager has the skills to effectively interview and is comfortable assessing candidates. Consider bringing in an outside expert to facilitate an on-site behavioral interviewing program for all of your hiring managers.
Hiring managers who are too busy to hire
We’ve all heard stories of people going through a series of job interviews with one company that lasts months rather than weeks. At around week four, candidates are getting a pretty good sense of how challenging it might be to get any work done in the organization. They happily accept an offer from another company who appears to have their act together, while you get to start all over.
It takes a lot of work these days to land the candidate of your dreams. Why risk losing a candidate because your people are too busy to make a hiring decision?
Examine your hiring process with an eye toward removing roadblocks that are slowing down your ability to keep the excitement and momentum going.
Being memorable for the wrong reasons
Most of us have memories of bad interviewing experiences, with few being able to recall those exceptional times. It’s been over twenty-five years and I still recall my interview with the COO of a chain of Boston-based coffee shops. As I was exiting the door, he handed me a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans.
I didn’t get the job, but the sweet smell of those coffee beans and his kind gesture left a great taste in my mouth. Think about what you can do to leave candidates with a great lasting impression — one that will stand the test of time.