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Is your company’s Candidate Interview Experience hampering your Employer Branding?

Today we see 2 types of start-ups evolving on a massive scale – early stage start-ups and tech start-ups. Both these genres of start-ups have one major concern – finding right talent at the right time. The question facing most start-ups is, “How do we set up an organisation which has sustainable growth, has an environment that encourages innovation and attracts the right talent?”

As a niche recruiter within tech start-up space I have realised that ‘a good candidate experience’ plays a key role in attracting the best hire for any organization which in turn drives growth and innovation within the company.

Unfortunately, for most tech start-ups; candidate experience is the least important factor while recruiting. Let me give you an example.

One of the well-funded tech start-ups in India were interviewing for – Engineering Leadership role. The recruiter connected with a senior candidate from the Bay Area with a strong experience in building platforms capable of massive scale catering to millions of consumers. He even ran his own start-up which was acquired by one of the large internet businesses globally. The recruiter did a good job getting the candidate interested to come to the table and got him interested in the organisation. Two rounds of exploratory conversations with the Founders and two weeks later, the candidate was flying to India to meet them.

The first meeting was delayed by almost an hour as the interviewer was running late. The interviewer then met the candidate for just 20 minutes as he has to rush for a product release.

The second meeting was with one of the architects, who questioned the candidate on his ability to build a platform from scratch and asked text book questions on Python and Kafka. Though the candidate answered the questions with utmost ease, he was slightly uncomfortable with the way the meetings were progressing. It turned out that the interviewer did not even refer to the CV that the candidate had painstakingly prepared, covering his expertise and achievement over the years. The rest of the day was spent meeting people from Product/Business/Operations as the founders were away meeting the investors.

After the interview the candidate very politely informed the recruiter of his decision NOT to progress with this opportunity.

What I want to highlight here is, that a candidate who was initially extremely keen on the career opportunity and the organisations and travelled all the way from the US and was simply turned off by the interview process.

Today, providing a positive candidate interview experience is not only the right thing to do, IT’s A MUST. In a candidate driven job market like ours a bad candidate experience can impact the employer brand beyond repair. Experiences during job interviews, whether bad or good have a lasting impact on the candidates perception of the brand and therefore a negative candidate experience can turn the best hires away and possibly tarnish a company’s reputation and growth. Making sure that the candidate has a good experience during the interview is something the recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers need to work together.

A few small steps to a good Candidate Experience:

For Recruiters

·Prepare the candidate – share details about the organisation, interviewers, hiring managers

·Send them the schedule for the interview day along with the process and the names and titles of the interviewers. This would help them research on the interviewers background.

·Prep candidate for the interview, the interview styles of the interviewers

·Prep the interviewer for the interview. Share information about the candidate with the interviewer. You would not want to ask “why are you looking to move out of your organisation” to a passive candidate. The candidate would simple reply in the negative and you lose out on a great candidate

For Interviewers

·Respect the candidates time, be punctual. If there is a change in your schedule communicate with the recruiter/candidate

·Interview with consistency and transparency.

·Be open with the candidate if asking questions that are outside the job scope.

·Set expectations from the start.

·Go through the candidates profile in detail before the interview.

·Provide constructive feedback irrespective of the outcome of the meeting. Candidates have a right to know the reason why did they weren’t hired

 

This article is written by Mr. Roger Miranda, Senior Consultant, Antal International Network

How To Avoid A Bad Hire

Recruitment is a tedious process and what’s even more exhausting and frustrating to deal with – A BAD HIRE.  It’s a nightmare finding out that the candidate you qualified as “The Best Fit” for the role turned out to be a total misfit.

Bad Hires result in a drop of productivity, employee morale, disruptions in the team and most importantly it impacts the manager’s productivity. Surprisingly most hiring managers are aware of these aftermaths and yet, at times, they end up hiring the wrong candidate.

If so, why do you end up hiring the wrong candidate? How does a candidate you qualified as perfect for the role take a 360 degree turn, and turns out to be everything you weren’t expecting? Were there any red flags that you ignored during the interview process? Is your interview process fail-proof? These are just some of the few questions to analyze when you are faced with such a situation.

We at Antal examined these phenomena from an outsider’s view and here is our analysis on factors which possibly lead to a Bad Hire:

  • No clarity on the Role: Before you leap into the hiring craze it’s important to have clarity on the position you want to fill. Analyze: How many times have you paid attention to the following criteria:
  • Understand/review the role; is there a new skill that may be needed for the role or some other traits you are looking for?
  • Browse internally before you venture out, there maybe someone within your company or team who could best fit the role.
  • Decide on the time frame/urgency to fill this position. This means knowing the impact the vacancy has on your and your team’s ability to reach the business objectives? How does this vacancy affect your business goals?
  • No access to the right talent pool or no right Recruitment partners: How can you source the right candidates? Do you have access to good, qualified candidates who are willing to make a move? What are the various sources your company access to have support in hiring this critical vacancy?
  • Companies today rely too much on automation – LinkedIn, Job Boards etc. Recruitment is much more than just drawing CVs out of job boards and matching them to job profiles. Not all candidates are active on job boards or professional networking sites. Not all candidates are regular on LinkedIN and the ones that are there may not necessarily respond to your job post. This is where a recruitment partner steps in. Recruiters have multiple networks – and can leverage this to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many who are “Passive” and off the radar of your in-house team or in some cases, even your network or contacts within the industry.Desperate to close role: Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the urgency of closing a position, you source a CV that matches the job profile & that candidate is hired, sometimes overlooking critical hiring stages like reference checks.
  • Discounting red flags: Sometimes, an instinct or gut feel gets overlooked. These can sometimes be the obvious red flags which come up in the hiring process, and for whatever reason, you chose to ignore them. Maybe you trivialized some sort of feedback from a member of the hiring team or didn’t follow up properly on an issue raised by a reference; no matter what the rationalization was, ignoring these warning signs comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
  • Falling for the Halo Effect: We often meet people who we instantly draw a liking towards- it could be for the way they conduct themselves, attire or even similar affinities like alma mater, faith systems, location of birth—you get the drift. We start forming a positive perception about this individual. Many a times interviewers get carried away with conversation that could be emotionally driven for e.g. some difficult personal situation that the candidate is going through and the interviewer may relate or sympathize with the candidate. These situations or perceptions very often form the bases of hiring decisions that are not the best.

Deep evaluation and precaution in hiring decisions help you understand whether a candidate will contribute and help build a business or disrupt the team functioning, halt growth and bring down employee morale. While hiring you must remember that it’s always One Bad Apple which spoils the rest!

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