Seismic shifts are happening in the workplace. The aftershocks of Covid-19 will continue to impact our professional lives for years to come. There are tons of articles discussing “The Great Resignation” and the challenge of returning to the office after full remote work. As job seekers apply to new opportunities and organizations scout for new talent, employers should be reminded of some essential hiring etiquette.
Some companies make the hiring process difficult for applicants by requiring assessments, presentations or multiple rounds of panel interviews. Some organizations fail to communicate effectively to candidates (especially those brought in for second or final round interviews). Ghosting is inappropriate in dating and in hiring! I have been a potential candidate who compulsively checked my inbox for an update that never arrived. I have also been a busy hiring manager who ignored thank you notes and follow up inquiries. Because I have experienced both sides, I can offer some tips to help employers improve selection practices. At the end of the day, the hiring process should be:
- Human-centered: Behind each resume and cover letter is an actual person who has high hopes for the opportunity to work for your organization. Of the hundreds of applicants, one will ultimately be your final candidate. Each name that comes through your system belongs to someone who has a backstory, work history, and professional goals. Keep this foundational fact in mind as you interact with potential hires throughout the process.
- Honest: While hiring calls for discretion and confidentiality, it is important to be honest and forthcoming with applicants, especially those interviewed in later rounds. If you know there has been a delay- say so. When someone is no longer being considered, inform them as soon as possible. If they were a very strong candidate whom you’d like to consider for a different role, tell them. Being honest with applicants is essential to establishing trust and respect.
- Holistic: Employees bring their whole selves to work each day. While it is inappropriate to have in depth personal discussions in an interview (to avoid bias and discrimination), it is important to highlight company culture and the personalities on the team. This allows each candidate to feel at ease to share openly during an interview. It also allows both parties to make informed decisions about fit. Additionally, applicants are looking at the entire package- the job itself, benefits, advancement opportunities, company culture and work-life balance. So when making final offers, be sure to highlight the full deal your company can provide.
- Harmonious: Hiring can be hard. It’s time-consuming, at times frustrating, but ultimately necessary. As companies interact with potential candidates, it is important to remember this is a two-way street. You and the applicants want the same thing- to get the best person in the right job as soon as possible. So find the harmony between your needs and the desires of your final candidates. This relates to setting interview times and platforms, negotiating salaries, benefits and start dates, and communicating at each step in the process.
When companies keep the H first in their hiring process, it strengthens their reputations and helps applicants feel respected, welcomed and supported. When hiring is human-centered, honest, holistic, and harmonious, everyone wins!
Suitie, do you have any tips on how companies or candidates can improve the hiring experience?