Employer branding is a buzzword that many people might have thought was just a flash in the pan. However, you should be thinking about the impression candidates have of your business. One poorly executed interview could be blasted to thousands of prospective employees in seconds on social media.
The more you show your employer branding in interviews, the better chance you'll hire employees who are happy and stick around. Candidates who see how you do business and treat your employees will have a much easier time deciding if they want to work for you.
We've talked before about implementing employer branding in your entire hiring process, but today I want to focus on interviews.
Organization, Professionalism & Consideration Are Top Priority
Interviews are a two-way street. You are being evaluated just as much as you are evaluating. If you are unorganized, unprofessional or focused just on your needs, you are not doing your branding favors.
So, be prepared and remember to keep the candidates in mind always.
Successful interviews take preparation. Clear your mind and get re-organized between interviews. Allow time between each meeting so you can finish up your notes and finalize candidate ranking sheets.
Be on time!
Go get a drink, clear your desk, visit the restroom, etc. Spend a bit of time (usually 5-15 minutes) to review their resume, jot notes or questions and decide what you need to find out from each candidate. Tailoring your questions to each individual shows you read their resume and aren't asking 50 people the same, stale interview questions.
Gather information or documentation you'll reference. Coffee or other refreshments ready for the candidate will be welcome.
Respect Their Time
I said it before, but it bears repeating.
Be on time – you require candidates and employees to obey the clock and you must as well!
I would do first, quick interviews by phone. Don't make someone dress up, come across town and have the interview only last 10 minutes.
If you know early on it isn't a good fit, don't stretch it out or give false hope. A simple “Thank you so much for your time! We still have a few things to wrap up and will be in touch next week.” is fine.
Ask The Right Things
Have the candidate review their job history – but not so you don't have to read their resume first! Say, “You've had a great career progression. Could you start at X position and walk me forward? I'd like to hear in your words what you accomplished in each role and why you ultimately changed positions.”
If they've sold windows and doors for 10 years, you shouldn't need to ask “Do you have experience with windows and doors?” That leaves a bad taste in the candidate's mouth. Why did you require a resume or job application if you haven't looked at it?
Ask follow up questions to show you are listening and engaged.
- Show interest and enthusiasm
- Don't bring a phone or laptop
- Smile, make eye contact and show you are listening
- Don't interrupt
- Take brief notes
Anticipate the Applicant’s Needs
- Tailor your conversation to each candidate – think about what they want and need in a new role. If they are relocating, spend some time discussing the area, schools, etc. Cover how your company helps with relocation costs.
- Highlight how your company and role help their career path. If they want growth potential, talk about how often you promote from within and how the process works. If they want to manage, discuss how you build and support your management teams.
- Obviously, most candidates wonder about compensation and benefits. Don't make the candidates guess or feel like they need to approach it. If you need to know how to talk about compensation, check out this article.
- Enter each interview with the individual in mind and have more meaningful conversations. You'll demonstrate employer branding and impress.
Wrapping Up And Follow Up
- Make sure you have answered their questions and lay out the next steps.
- Genuinely thank the candidate.
- Once the interview is over, a quick e-mail thanking the candidate for their time goes a long way towards demonstrating your employer brand.
- By spending some time thinking about how you want to communicate your employer branding in interviews, you will have more success finding and keeping quality employees.