Recruiters, Is Your Interview Process Chasing Away Top Candidates?

When did you last check in on your recruiting process? Learn how to make interviewing more effective for recruiters, hiring managers and candidates alike.

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If you were to ask your last five candidates to describe their recruiting experience at your company, would their feedback be shining or scathing?
Any recruiting process is a three-way relationship with you (the recruiter), the hiring manager, and your candidate. A clear, thoughtful interview process helps you and your hiring manager get the best person through the door, boosts your company’s brand as an employer and leaves a favorable impression on candidates—both selected and rejected.
Make sure that your interview process, which is at the heart of this relationship, isn’t chasing away top candidates. Here’s what to keep in mind when evaluating every stage of the process.

What to do before an interview

Analyze your current interview system

Many organizations think they have a perfect hiring process in place, but this “perfect process” is usually just a list of things they’ve done in the past (which may or may not have even worked). This informal approach may work in the short-term, but strips you of the power to see how you and your team are actually performing. Can you pinpoint what slows your time-to-hire? If you can’t actually write down the steps for each of your requisitions in three to six steps (or identify where things aren’t working), it’s time for an overhaul.

Talk with hiring managers

Right at the time of requisition, be sure you’re asking candidates the right questions. Take the time to sit with hiring managers, dig into what they really want to see in a candidate profile, and set realistic candidate expectations. If the manager is looking for a golden unicorn, this is the time to reveal the reality around that expectation.

What to do during an interview

Keep things flowing as a facilitator

Every recruiter has a unique way of communicating with candidates and hiring managers, which will vary depending on the position’s department and level of seniority. In the critical interview stage, it’s your job as a recruiter to make sure that everyone feels fully supported. Manage expectations for how the process will proceed, treat both candidates and hiring managers as top priorities, and help everyone get the most they can out of the experience through clear communication.

What to do after an interview

Keep candidates in the loop

As an interview candidate, there’s nothing more frustrating than having no idea where you stand in an interview process. We’ve all been there. Consider how awful this is when you’re evaluating your candidate touches. While we can’t have perfect interactions with everyone, we can keep candidates up-to-date.
If hiring for a certain role slows down due to a financial hold up or headcount shift, candidates need to be alerted to this adjusted timeline and what it means for them. Transparency keeps qualified candidates engaged, but also provides a better experience for the people you don’t end up selecting for the role—outside of existing employees, rejected candidates are one of the best referral sources out there.
Remember that everyone who you interview is a walking, talking job board with opinions about your company, and it’s your job to make sure that they have only positive things to say about their experience.

Record hiring manager feedback

Specific feedback from hiring managers and interviewers helps you whittle your applicant pool. After a few interviews, regroup with your hiring manager to 1) identify what they didn’t like about rejected candidates, 2) see if they need to modify the job description and 3) make changes to your interview process itself.

Welcome your new team member

Ready to send an offer letter? Onboarding is its own unique challenge for everyone involved—managers, recruiters and new hires. Learn everything that you need in the Zenefits Definitive Guide to Onboarding: The First 30 Days.

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