How to Be More Transparent While Interviewing Job Candidates

If you’re hoping to improve churn and land your next hire knowing they’re ready for what’s next, let’s explore how transparency can help you attract incredible talent.


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How to Be More Transparent While Interviewing Job Candidates

You’ve been looking for the right candidate for months now, worked with recruiters, and time after time, something misaligns along the way.

Then you finally meet someone amazing. Their resume is sparkling, their LinkedIn reflects their interest in your industry, their references back up their claims and the personality they’ve exuded during the interview is out of this world.

This seems like a no-brainer and you have to hire this person.

Come to find out after a month or so of training, that this person did not accurately portray themselves. Their experience isn’t what you thought it was and their interests and goals are not corresponding with your business.

Strategically presenting the challenges your business faces and setting up your new hire for success is vital for many reasons.

While you may be feeling that experience right now and shaking your head — because we’ve all been there — this is exactly the experience some interviewees are going through as well. We want to present ourselves in our best light during interviews. However, strategically presenting the challenges your business faces and setting up your new hire for success is vital for many reasons.

If you’re hoping to improve churn and land your next hire knowing they’re ready for what’s next, let’s explore how transparency can help you attract incredible talent.

Start with an internal assessment of your business

Something about staring down the person in the mirror can bring out the truth about things. Before hiring someone who you think you need or want, take a look at what your business has to offer. Just like how recruiters tell their candidates to assess their strengths and weaknesses, you should do the same about the day-to-day reality of your company.

Candidates want the truth about morale, opportunity, productivity expectations, and even benefits. If you’re working with recruiters or looking for candidates on your own, how can you communicate what it’s like to work at your company if you have never done a self-assessment?

Some ways you can do this include:

  • Internal anonymous employee engagement survey
  • Generating a 360 manager review
  • Reevaluating your morals and values as a business
  • Assessing learning and promotion opportunities available
  • Comparing benefits packages with your competitors

Business leaders should constantly reevaluate their business. This is not only to accurately present themselves to job seekers, but also to better understand where to create improvements.

Set up your candidate for success from the beginning

Once you’ve taken a deep dive into the reality of your business and how you show up for your existing employees (maybe even made plans for improvements where possible), it’s time to set up your interview process.

This begins at the job description phase where you describe the skills and expectations for the new hire and what it’s like working at your company.

While you could always work on the language and wording with a professional, you’ll want to do your best to describe your business without leading to any false pretenses.

Set clear expectations

Set clear expectations from the beginning. This is important to attract young talent looking for work-life balance. Outline a typical day and week for the role you’re looking to fill such as expectations for overtime, travel, weekend availability, and so on.

If these expectations are inflexible, then some of these answers may deter a few potential candidates. It’s important to remember that your candidates should know what they’re getting themselves into if they accept the job.

Being honest about expectations can help you find the right person for the job and save time and money rather than hiring and seeing yet another new hire become a past employee.

Give examples of your company culture

Regardless of whether your business is work-from-home or in-office, company culture is essential to attracting and retaining new hires. There are plenty of buzz phrases like “work hard, play harder” or “family first.” However, it’s important to back these up with real examples like company outings you’ve organized or work flexibility for family needs.

Adding these details and painting the picture of your company can help the candidate better picture themselves at the business, in the chair working toward your and their goals.

Tell candidates what your pitfalls are

You might need the business to fill a role like a social media strategist. However, you should also consider someone who can solve some of the problems that popped up during your assessment.

A new hire that could work in the HR department and develop your company culture, or someone who can better organize your content strategy and workflows are excellent examples of people who can make a huge impact on your business.

Ask your interviewee if they have any ideas on how to solve the very real needs you have as a company — after all, that’s why you put a job posting up in the first place, to find solutions.

Ask about their career goals

Everyone is looking for a candidate that is ready to put in the work to help reach goals and solve problems. Allow your candidate to explain what their career goals are. How does working at your company help them realize those aspirations?

Even if their resume and accolades look incredible, if their goals don’t align with what you have to offer, this candidate will not stick around for long.

Describe the wrong hire

Your job description will outline the perfect fit for the role — the person’s educational background, experience, work ethic, personality, and more.

You may also want to describe what the wrong fit may be like. This could align with the “dealbreakers” you assume exist for a candidate like late nights and constant availability, and weed out the candidates who are not going to fit in with your business.

By demonstrating that you care about who exactly you hire, you can present your candidate with the challenge to fit in and be part of an exclusive group of hires.

Be prepared for difficult questions

The job market is tight for businesses with open roles. Candidates have the opportunity to be choosy on where they accept a position. If your goal is to hire the right candidate in presenting yourself with as much transparency as possible, you should be prepared for those hard, disqualifying questions.

This process of preparation may bring you back to the days when you were looking for a job. However, it’s a chance to give your candidate the best chance of success.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

Deliver who your organization is with confidence

If you’re ready to offer your best (and worst) foot forward for your candidates, Zenefits has your back. We can prepare you for a smooth onboarding process. We even offer people operations guidance that can clean up your hiring strategy. With our on-demand HR team and Zenefits Advisors, there’s nothing you can’t do.

To get started or to learn more, talk to a Zenefits advisor today.


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