Companies need to get real and sell themselves to the top talent
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I was chatting to my father over the weekend about his experiences of job “interviews” in the 1960’s when he first left college. Morose interviewers firing open questions over an imposing oak desk whilst portraying the demeanor of a disinterested headmaster thinking “why on earth should I bother giving you a job?”.

This kind of arrogant interview style was commonplace where there is a rich choice of candidates to employ; where jobs are few and interviewees are plentiful.

Fast-forward to 2014 and the vast majority of the market sectors we operate in genuinely struggle to identify and recruit the top talent in their sector. A shortage of highly skilled people coupled with an improving economy and falling unemployment makes the battle for talent even more intense.

It may surprise you to read that even now, a frightening number of companies and hiring managers still interview candidates with the attitude of “I’m doing you a favour coming to work for me”.

It’s an accepted fact of life that job seekers have to be enthusiastic, well prepared and articulate at interview, with the very best interviewees having a clear ability to articulate why they are the best fit for that particular job. Interviews are simply a “sales process”, and the individual who has the best presentation and sells themselves most effectively in the eyes of the hirer will be offered the job.

Conversely – the shrewd hirer also realizes that it’s a 2-way process. They must prepare professionally and present their company and job as being the right fit for the candidate and a great career move. Face-to-face interaction and a real concern to ensure that the candidates needs are met at two of the key attributes to getting the right individual into the right job. Fail to prepare – prepare to fail.

So – a useful tick-list to prepare and execute the perfect interview (as a hirer) is:

  1. Read the candidates’ CV fully & note down any questions. Reading the CV for the first time in the initial 2 minutes of the interview is unprofessional, not acceptable and is the single biggest candidate moan following a bad interview.
  2. Pre-conceived perceptions can be very damaging. Conduct each interview as if the candidate is ideal for the job. On many occasions we’ve experienced interviewers who are initially luke-warm to a candidate having read their CV, but then half-way through the interview that the candidate is ideal. The problem is that initial 30 minutes of disinterest has put the candidate off and it can be very difficult to salvage the situation.
  3. Treat the interview more like a “discussion” than an examination. Most candidates are nervous and the more you can do to quell these nerves the better chance you have of the candidates true abilities coming out. Far too many great interviewers turn out to be average employees.
  4. It is imperative you can answer the question “Why should this person join our company” – and that you convey this fully during the interview. It’s much easier rejecting a keen candidate, than wanting to recruit someone who isn’t “sold” on your company. Again – treat every candidate as is you are interviewing the ideal candidates that you must hire.
  5. Ask challenging, scenario based questions relevant to the job requirements. Avoid “stock questions” as it’s easy for a good interviewee to rehearse answers. Test the interviewees reactions to common situations experienced in the job and “role-play” can be a very powerful tool.
  6. Always follow up on interviews – particularly if the candidate is not successful. Company PR is very valuable – and we have a lot of experience of companies that interview candidates then don’t follow up; so when they want to recruit in the future candidates’ won’t attend interview due to their reputation as a time-waster.

#wynneconsulting

Date posted: October 11, 2018 | Author: | 1 Comment » | Categories: Recruitment & Headhunting

One Response to Companies need to get real and start selling themselves to the top talent to have any chance of hiring them.

  1. Randy Grasser says:

    Thank you Wynne, great article.
    I have been fortunate enough for most of my 25 year career to have been employed through recommendation. Exposed too little of this “Hiring Game” we call recruiting and interviewing. I call it a game because that is exactly what it is. Here is what we know to be fact.
    1) Recruiters, regardless of their efforts are at the mercy of the hiring managers. Having been a hiring manager, I know all too well that if I have someone I have worked with in the past that I know can fill the role, I will actively work to get them hired. Sometimes that means I must lead them to a recruiter as part of the process.
    2) If the Hiring manager has been recommended someone internally, even if they do not know them, they stand a better chance than those unknown individuals ( who by the way may be better qualified)
    3) Employers today discriminate on all levels. One can be ruled out based on where they live, what nationality they are, even if they have a tattoo! None of which has anything to do with their skills or experience.
    4) If a person is a good salesman, does that mean they are good at technical abilities? It’s like saying a rocket scientist that cannot effectively speak in front of large groups is not the right person to build a rocket. Being a sales person is good if you are applying to be a sales person! Many technicians who are brilliant in their role, are not good at promoting them sells, why? Maybe their ego is not overdeveloped, maybe their confidence lay in their true abilities and not in a board room being questioned by those who, by the way most often have little to no understanding of the technical details the job actually requires..
    a. I was interviewed on one job by the accountant! The role was as Lead Quality Control Manager for electrical and Instrumentation. I sat there for an hour as he told me how the budget was out of line and even how disgruntled he was the VP of Administration would not listen to him……in my interview!
    5) You say it is becoming harder and harder to find a fit, maybe one should closer examine the real process. Talented people are being screened out by ATS systems simply because the Candidates do not have key words in their CV. Hiring managers are inundated by recruiters, offering all too often the same CV that was pull off of LinkedIn, causing rejection as many are told if you receive the same CV from more than one recruiter reject it. Recruiters now a days are becoming more like used car sales man, lacking professionalism. I personal researched 500 recruiters, tracking their experience and education, less than 1% had the education and experience to properly fill that role. Recruiting has become the joke within our industries, yet we are forced to deal with them.
    6) Desperate candidates are told, not to show desperation, yet they are about to lose their homes or are on their last dollar.
    7) I see every day, postings by recruiters, many of which are false or misleading, which only encourages mistrust and a lack of integrity within the industry. It proves there is no policing and that the Used Car sales people are drowning out ligament recruiters.
    8) Recruiters contact people them never follow up, as you mentioned in your article. The excuse is, we’re too busy. All the shows is the clear lack of professionalism, it needs to be part of the job! If recruiters cannot face telling people they did not jet the job, then they should not be in that position. It is the right thing to do, and they are cowards by not informing hopeful candidates.
    Wynne, as you can tell and are probably well aware of there is a growing level of frustration amongst the very community recruiters rely on. I along with many of my colleagues, whom once respected the recruitment professional see the industry as a façade. You need to police yourselves, and stop hurting people that are already unemployed and hurting.

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