Posts Tagged: interview

4 Reasons to Partner with Talent Experts to End 2016

October 26th, 2016

Each company has individual challenges and needs when it comes to meeting its talent recruitment objectives. When you hire a professional recruitment partner, these experts can take a close look at your the recruitment goals and work to build a customized talent sourcing plan and strategy. So how exactly can a recruiting partner help to close out 2016?

Market Knowledge

Talent Acquisition partner will know the candidate market just like a broker knows the stock market. This includes having a solid grasp of who the best talent is, knowing what their salary expectations will be, and understanding career expectations for a specific niche skill set. A candidate with a fantastic background doesn’t not sit around applying to job postings. These candidates are highly sought after, and usually well-known to a recruiting firm. Some might reach out to the best recruiters and get their name out there. This results in talent acquisition professionals having a consistent pulse on pools of talent that may be a fit for your openings.ID-100249468

Increase the Talent Pool

When businesses decide to try recruiting on their own, usually, they will only be able to reach a small portion of the talent pool. When companies put out ads, they will typically be receiving responses from people currently in the job market, receiving plenty of unqualified resumes. However a good recruiter, knows the best talent out there and will proactively reach out to passive candidates to to see if they have any interest. Don’t limit your talent reach by simply posting the job for active candidates to apply.

Candidate Screening

Screening candidates is a learned skill. Recruitment partners will take the vetting process a step further, and speak the multiple people who have not only supervised them but worked side by side with the potential candidate. Thorough screening and vetting is imperative to make sure the candidate is a good fit for the organization and reduces the likelihood of quick turnover.

Save Time

When managers and team leaders are tasked to lead  the hiring process, it takes away from time spent on tasks that will grow the business. If you’re without a Talent Acquisition team, a manager who is responsible for a key part of the organization. is spending their time looking through resumes and coordinating interviews. Recruiters are experts at weeding through applicants and making sure that only the best talent is put before the hiring manager. Not only will the recruiter screen the candidates for a skill set, they are also making sure they will be a good fit for your culture and goals for organizational growth.

Do you need help hiring, screening, sourcing, or just some recruitment strategy consulting? Give us a call at (877) 746-8450

How Smaller Businesses Can Attract Quality IT Talent

October 19th, 2016

Many companies experience difficulty attracting qualified information technology candidates. Specifically, smaller businesses face even more of a challenge. A rapid growth in the technology space has led to incredible value for even the smallest of businesses to invest in IT software and processes. In turn, IT talent has become increasingly in demand. From offering sky-high salaries and generous benefits, businesses are pulling out all of the stops to try to attract technology talent.Programmer at computer desk working on program design. Software concept. Vector illustration flat design. Man working at desktop computer laptop. Coding web technology. Development applications.

So what can small businesses do to beat their bigger competition for this niche pool?

Look internally and locally. While not all businesses have a robust IT department, it may be worth identifying any talent already in the company who would be able to step up. In addition, hiring from within cuts down on expenses related to training a new employee on business processes. Try partnering with local schools or programs to attract computer science majors, offering an exciting opportunity before the future candidate hits the open job market.

If your recruitment team has identified external candidates, its important to make quick decisions. Do not leave candidates dangling, he or she knows the demand for their skill set. IT candidates likely already have other offers and any delays give other companies an opportunity make the first move. High level professionals wont often sit around waiting for a decision.

Also, think outside of the box when attempting to attract IT candidates. While salary is important, smaller businesses can compete by marketing the opportunity for development and training. Tech talent values a work/life balance, and the flexibility to work remotely if needed. Perhaps offer to pay for a certification of interest to the candidate, as IT professionals also value the opportunity to work on exciting projects and have meanin

gful and purposeful work. Its crucial to focus on where the company is headed, and what future investments in technology are coming. What’s the 3 year plan?

Small businesses must play to their strengths to attract and retain Information Technology candidates. What can you offer that is more valuable than the soaring salaries offered by large organizations? A work/life balance, ongoing training, and true feeling of value to the company may set you apart when recruiting IT talent.


Do You Really Know Who Would be Best for Your Team?

September 28th, 2016

When there are open positions to fill, you have the chance to add team members who can enhance your current status quo and take your company to the next level.  On the other hand, if you hire the wrong people, you could be facing an epic fail that will be costly on budget, as poor hiring decisions typically result in expensive turnover costs.

flat vector design of employees or executives in meeting. this vector also represents company meetings discussions and opinions employee interaction & engagement

So, how do you combat the potential pitfalls and find people who will be perfect for your team?  Many decision-makers are far removed from the day-to-day tasks of the people under them.  Ironically, these same leaders are often the people tasked with choosing which candidates to hire.  When you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, this system is set up for failure.  If you want to hire folks who will truly fit well with your existing team, you need to go directly to the source, and seek input from the people who will be working next to the new colleague.  Remove yourself from your role as a leader, and become a learner, the results can be astonishing!


Gathering Employee Feedback Boosts Engagement

When you seek assistance from your existing staff, employees will appreciate the fact that you trust them enough to want their feedback.  This simple act shows that you trust your team and want what’s best for them — two key elements to boosting existing employee engagement.  If you don’t want to be stuck filling more positions in the near future, it’s vital to learn how to build and retain employee engagement at every opportunity.

Integrating the Input of Existing Employees

Before you even begin calling candidates into your conference rooms, consult with your team members.  Begin by bringing everyone in as a group.  This will allow people to bounce ideas off each other as suggestions are made.  Make note of the following characteristics:

  • What do they do everyday?
  • What traits make the existing team work well together?
  • What are the downsides to the work they do?  (Although this isn’t a pretty question, the honesty can help open discussion for further improvement in the future, and it can help you identify candidates who can withstand the downfalls in the meantime.)
  • What can your team or company do to improve?

Each of these questions will likely lead to longer discussions from which you can derive plenty of information that you can take back to leadership regarding both the addition of your new team members, as well as changes that should be considered for your existing employees.

Invite Your Employees to the Interviews

Rather than relying on your instinct, bring a team member or two to the interviews.  They will likely think of questions you may not have even considered, and when it’s time to choose the right candidate, you’ll be able to gather a more well-rounded general consensus.


What are your thoughts about integrating existing employees into the hiring process?  We’d love to hear your opinions!  Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below, or head over to our Outside-In Facebook page!

8 Candidate Traits to Thoroughly Vet

September 14th, 2016

As a recruiter, it is your responsibility to recruit quality employees, whether for your client, or internally. Depending on the size of your company or client, you likely get plenty of resumes each day, or identify plenty of potential talent. So how can you tell early on in the process if a candidate is possibly no the best fit?

Close up of business person investigating infographs with magnifier

#1 Long Gaps Between Jobs

With the unemployment rate what it has been these days, it is very uncommon to find long gaps between jobs on a candidate’s resume. While it is common to have a gap or two at one point in their career, if you have an applicant with long gaps between jobs, there should be a good reason. Childbirth, education, and being self-employed are valid reasons, however; if there is no explanation for the gap, it is a red flag.

#2 The Applicant is Unemployed

The first thing you would need to do is find out why the person is no longer employed. If the applicant was fired or they quit, they may not be the best person to recruit., but its worth vetting. Dive into their thinking and reasoning to make your decision. If they have been unemployed for a long period of time and out of the workforce, their jobs skills may not be as fresh as other applicants.

#3 Job Hopping

Going from job to job could mean that the candidate cannot commit to a job. When things get tough, the applicant doesn’t stay. Hiring this type of employee can waste the company’s time and money to hire and train someone to replace the individual.

#4 Poor Attention to Detail

One of the biggest red flags when going through resumes is spelling errors. If the candidate couldn’t take the time to proofread their resume, chances are, they won’t be dedicated to their role after hiring. Someone who took the time to thoughtfully and accurately put together their experience indicates more of a quality candidate.

#5 Lack of Professionalism

Professionalism is a must when it comes to recruiting employees. You should look for professionalism in their resume, the first phone call, and the interview. If an applicant shows a lack of professionalism, its crucial to dissect their true personality during interviews.

#6 Social Profile

A potential employee’s social profile can say a lot about them. You can learn a lot about a person by looking at their social profile. If the employee had posted any derogatory or disparaging comments about a job, employer, or former employer, it is a huge red flag. You don’t want to recruit a person who has no problem posting this type of negativity for the world to see.

#7 Discrepancies

If you are reviewing a potential candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile and find discrepancies, it could be cause for concern. Either they are lying on their resume, they are forgetful when it comes to dates, or they are just plain sloppy. No matter the reason, not the best sign for quality talent.

#8 The Applicant is Overqualified

Some recruiters might find that an overqualified applicant to be a dream come true, however, it really isn’t. If the applicant is overqualified, it could be he or she is looking for a job to hold them over until they can find a better job. Also, they could get bored, and want to move on quickly. Take time to thoroughly vet the reasons for their interest.

Need help identifying quality talent? We can help! Give us a call at (302) 266-0860 

Keep Your Couch Full: Interview All the Time

August 20th, 2014

My friend and colleague Eric Herrenkohl interviewed me for the following article on the importance of interviewing all the time and keeping your couch full to attract A-players. It was then published in the Philadelphia Business Journal and featured it in his company’s monthly newsletter, Hiring A-Players. 

Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

Right in the middle of one of these tough periods, one of Chris’ executives came to him and said, “A buddy of mine who is in our industry wants to interview with us — and he really is an A-player. Should we interview him?” Chris had constantly preached to his people that they needed to be looking for A-players to join their team — and this manager had chosen the middle of a recession to begin taking his advice!Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

So now it was Chris’ decision: Should he take the time to interview his manager’s friend amid such a bad business environment? He had just laid someone off that morning. The chances that he would hire this guy were almost nil. The last thing he wanted to do, or felt he had time to do, was conduct a job interview.

Yet Chris, to his credit went, ahead with the interview. Why?

ID-100147739He later told me that he learned this lesson early on from working in his father’s business. As his dad would say, “You always have to keep your couch full.” His father meant that you always have to know where your next hire is going to come from. If you can’t picture in your mind the faces of several A-players who are qualified potential new hires, you have no one “on your couch.” This means that when an employee leaves your business (and sooner or later someone always leaves) you have no one to take his or her place. You have to start from scratch to find a new person. And often, when companies have failed to recruit before they need someone, they hire a warm body rather than an A-player just to get the position filled.

Did he hire this particular guy? I don’t think so. But Chris demonstrated a commitment to hiring A-players as well as modeled great behavior to his management team. Even in the midst of the toughest economy in decades, he was committed to keeping his couch full. He made sure that he and his management team interviewed job candidates all the time, whenever they could, rather than waiting until they had an open job to fill to get into hiring mode. Now that the economy has turned back around, and CBI’s business is back to its usual strong growth, those habits are helping the company to hire more A-players.

Picture that couch in the waiting room of your business. From a recruiting perspective, who is sitting on it today? Can you tell me by name the A-players who are sitting on it? These should be currently employed people with whom you have established some kind of relationship and at least broached the idea of working for you one day. These are people who work for someone else today but with whom you have discussed the idea of coming to work for you either formally or informally.

You don’t have to hold formal job interviews in order to keep your couch full. You can meet people at a bar, at a trade conference, at a continuing education event. Anywhere qualified people hang out is a potential recruiting ground for you. If you have established a relational connection, discussed someone’s past accomplishments and future goals, and discussed what would entice them to make a career move, that qualifies in my book as someone who is on your couch. It’s a lot more fun to have that conversation on the golf course than in your office anyway.

With that, what does it look like to interview all the time? Here are some ideas.

Personally commit to interviewing (formally or informally) at least two people per month.

Have your management team make the same two interviews per month commitment.

Hold your managers accountable for this two-interview/month goal. At your regular managers meeting, have each person discuss the new people they interviewed as well as where and how they could fit into your business.

Keep your couch full by networking and referrals. Let your referral sources know that you are always interested in meeting A-players.

If you are impressed with someone but don’t think they are a fit for your business, make sure to refer them to other executives for whom they might be a good hire. This obviously sets the stage for you to ask for their help in recruiting people who are a good fit for you.

Take notes on people’s goals and experiences during or after every interview and record them in your database. Then you can go back and refresh your mind on what it will take to recruit them to your business.

Use your company’s electronic newsletter or other existing communication tools to stay in touch with people after you interview them. Just as in marketing and sales, regular reminders that you are around will prompt A-players to contact you when they are interested in making a career move.

Most business people view recruiting as an interruption to their job. The ones that always seem to be surrounded by A-players believe that recruiting is their job. If you’re part of the latter group, your competitive edge comes in part from the habit of keeping your couch full.

To read the full article or to subscribe to Herrenkohl Consulting’s monthly newsletter click here.

Outside-In® Culture Series: Hiring Strategy

August 6th, 2014

Never stop working on your culture. This is very hard to do when there is other work to be done in leadership. Just look around—every part of your business needs culture work. If you need a way to evaluate this just stand at your office entrance and work backwards. Here is a hint—culture is everywhere. Culture shows up in how you hire, retain, recognize, reward, and even let go of talent! Let’s start at the front door. You need to hire employees to maintain a business. Hiring employees is the perfect place to work on culture! Think about it.

A business and its leaders work very hard to know what skills and experiences are needed for an open position. This is not easy and getting it right takes time. Who has it? Does your job description or profile speak to how someone must behave? What values matter to all of your employees?

ID-100262401A business also works hard to attract quality talent. These are the basics of talent acquisition. Companies hire recruiters internally, outsource to companies like mine, and hire temps. There are many strategies to produce the work that is need to find talent, identify the sources for talent, and to get the work done. However, getting the work done has nothing to do with how your organization presents itself to the marketplace. You know you’re a great place to work and there are unique and extraordinary reasons why someone would want to choose your company over another. If you’re not clear about your culture and your values how can you screen talent and know if they are a fit in your world?

You post on a job board for an opening. Does the posting simply tell about the role or does it culturally sell your company?

During the interview process we ask behavioral questions and leaders screen for technical competence. However, there is a real opportunity to screen for culture. The questions depend on your values (common theme) and how you will frame them. If you’re a small business you probably want to ask questions about working independently or how applicants go about making decisions. If your culture is one of structure and compliance or safety then build your questions accordingly. Companies screen and hire for technical fit, however, our hiring failures often relate to fit on the team or in the work environment! Try hiring someone fiercely independent in a team culture. Good Luck.

Make sure you keep the sofa full. This is a cultural Burkhardism that has been written about and is a whole chapter in books on hiring right! Do you look for talent all of the time? Do you have your next hire sitting on the sofa in your lobby? This is a metaphor of course. Hiring takes time, money, energy, and resources. Committing to these things in a structured, proactive way enables us to hire cultural fits.

When the sofa is not full, we hire fast and we hire wrong. Hiring the wrong person is costly—slow the process down. Consider six or nine months of a person’s salary as the cost of turnover. When we cut corners and just hire to fill a seat we fail and cost the company money!

Finally, consider hiring for culture over technical abilities. This is coming from the Outside-In® Guy who runs an entire company based on values. This could be considered radical and I hope so. Hiring for attitude and behaviors (the real source of culture) is a sure fire way to build talent that fits. Many or most roles can teach the rest.

Need a culture hiring review? Can you afford not to? Can you ever stop working on culture? I say no!

CBI Group Recruiter Sees Networking as Path to Your Next ‘Great Adventure’

May 10th, 2013

One of the most influential ways to approach a job search is through networking.  But how and why invest your time in networking?

“In 2012, networking accounted for more than one in four hires at major companies, the most of any strategy used in job hunting,” says David Vander Does, President of the National Search Advisory and a Recruitment Consultant with Gore Medical Products and CBI Group.  “And if a candidate has a referral from inside a company, he/she is 70 times more likely to be hired than a candidate without this connection,” Dave adds, referring to a finding published by Career Xroads.

So how do you network?  Where do you start and what are the tools to help you?

“Networking is all about relationship-building.  It’s who you know and who they know that can really make the difference in your search” Dave says.

The first step is to make a list of current and prospective contacts.  “Think about the relationships that you already have (family, friends, previous co-workers, etc…) and add them to your list.  Then do your research and identify others that you need to know (company contacts, business leaders, others in your profession) and add them to your list.   Think beyond the obvious, be strategic,” Dave advises.

There are lots of tools to use in building your network with as one of the best places to start.  “If you don’t already have a LinkedIn presence, establish one,” Dave says.  “This serves as your professional profile for recruiters, hiring managers and all the current and potential people in your network.  Think of it this way: if you don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”

Once you’re on LinkedIn, you can conduct searches by company name, industry, through current and former co-workers and through your network of LinkedIn contacts that you should be continuously growing.  Similarly, using search engines like Google can provide great insight into your field, and help you identify prospective companies and professional associations.

Dave says your next step is to divide your list of contacts into three groups: warm (people who know who you are and can give you a good reference), casual (people you may need to reconnect with) and cold contacts (people you haven’t met yet, but you need to meet). “This will help you prioritize and maximize your efforts as you begin to work your network”

Develop a database or a spreadsheet with of course names, titles, e-mail addresses, etc. but then leave a column for “Notes” where you can track of your progress with each networking target.

Now you’re ready to get out there and network. Dave says to practice these four steps with each person you meet:

1.  Make them aware that you are looking for your next “adventure”

2.  Guide their thinking about what that “adventure” could be

3.  Be confident and specific

4.  Give them permission to share your name or resume as they see fit

Dave also encourages job hunters and net-workers to develop a script and practice in your home or office.  “For most, networking can be overwhelming and frightening.  But remember, it’s really nothing more then the act of building relationships one contact at a time.  The more you do it; the easier it becomes.”  Keep these elements in mind:

1.  Intro- who am I and why am I calling or e-mailing?

2.  Your mission- I’m pursuing my next best adventure and thought you could help…

3.  Give them permission to say “no.”

4.  Provide something of value in return.

5.  The sensational close- share your plans for follow-up and ask if you can keep in touch.

“Most people will encourage you to stay in touch… do-so, you’d be surprised at how many people never get in touch with these prospects again,” Dave says.

When reaching out to a networking prospect you haven’t met, start with an e-mail introducing yourself and making a connection (Our mutual friend Sam Jones suggested I contact you; we attended xx college at the same time, I’m also a member of your professional association…). Then state your purpose and tell them when you’ll follow-up.  Then when you call, say “I’m following up on the e-mail I sent you on…this process helps to eliminate the “cold call””

Remember to say thank you. “People in jobs today are busier than ever and even if they only give you five minutes, it’s important that you acknowledge their time,” Dave points out.  “And if they help you make a good connection, let them know how grateful you are.”

And remember; always try to provide value in return.“Good relationships are not one sided; do what you can to help others in your network in return for the help they provided to you. It makes all the difference and will help to strengthen your network for the future.”

CBI Way: How to Handle Hiring Bias

April 17th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Recruiter On-Demand and Managed Staffing Practice Leader

So as a recruiter your #1 goal is to find the best fit for a position. You assess the position requirements, responsibilities, team and company cultural fit and interpersonal interactions with the manager and the team, you begin recruiting against all these hard and soft responsibilities, and find the perfect person. How’s that for a happily ever after?

So what happens when this top candidate gets in front of the hiring manager and the message back to you is: I want someone younger/older/male/female? We all have or will have to face this at some point. Below are three suggestions on what to do when the inevitable occurs:

1.      Ask why – There are sometimes valid (and lawful) reasons to ask for an otherwise protected characteristic. For example, if the job requirement is to model women’s dresses, the most ideal candidate may very well be a woman, or if a job is to design apps targeted for the under 30 market’s use, a Millennial may be the most qualified candidate. It never hurts to ask questions to gain clarity.

2.      Educate – In the absence of a valid reason, it is always recommended you educate (teach don’t preach!) your hiring management about non-discriminate hiring and most importantly the value to the organization of having diverse teams. (Start by reminding them their clients are diverse!)

3.      State your purpose and get back to the first sentence – your job is to find the best fit for the position — to enable the new hire’s, team’s and company’s success! If the first two suggestions don’t yield any traction from your hiring manager, it might just be best to go back to the drawing board and find the best fit!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Managing the Nightmare Candidate

February 27th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Glenn Koetz, Search Practice Lead and Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

We have all had those days when we are sitting with our trusted colleagues talking about the nightmare candidate who came to the interview with a bulls-eye tattooed on his forehead, or the one whose answer to “Why would you like to work for us?” is “I am eating dog food at this point and will have to change to cat food if I don’t get a job”, or the one whose interview turns into a disaster right from the start. We all chuckle and agree that if we wrote a book on what we have seen throughout the candidate management process, we would make millions and could all retire… Yet sometimes in that same conversation we actually get to the, “Well, how did you handle that?”, and the wisdom shared at that point is a rare gift.

One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t manage crazy.” Unfortunately, if you have chosen a career in HR or recruiting you are called upon to do just that. Here are some proven tactics I have found helpful in managing Candidate Crazy.

Remember, as a recruiting professional you have the ability to say No.

This means you can tell the person who comes in for the interview with the bulls-eye on their forehead, “No, you are not meeting with the hiring manager.” It is up to you to screen out candidates and not waste your hiring manager’s time. In this case, I took the time to meet with this individual and tell him that the position required the quick building of face-to-face relationships in a very conventional firm and that he would be better suited to work in a more casual environment; mentioning both he and the company would be happier. The candidate thanked me, we parted ways and all lived happily ever after…

Educate, coach, and use a personalized No Thank You letter if needed.

For my dog food gal…she was a really talented, experienced candidate who made it beautifully through the phone and in-person recruiting interviews. When she got in front of the decision makers – the dog food versus cat food answer was the one she gave when asked why she wanted to work for the company. I called her to let her know she did not get the job and specifically why. I will tell you that I was very sympathetic and agreed to present her to another hiring manager with the coaching, even direction that she answer the question with why working that job for that company was important to her – we even rehearsed her answers. (File this under no good deed goes unpunished).

Fast forward to interview number two: Interviewer: “Why do you want this job at our company?” Dog food Gal: “To keep me and my kids from living in a refrigerator box in an alley.” This is when the call explaining to the candidate she did not get the job (and why) is followed by the specific No Thank You Letter to ensure that they understand they will not be coached any further and that the official rejection is required.

Maintain control when an interview starts to unravel.

And then, there are always those interviews that are complete disasters right from the start. The candidate comes in an hour and a half after the scheduled time and fails to communicate that they’re running late…or the candidate becomes emotionally unstable halfway through the interview because they realize they are not going to make it through to the next round…or maybe, the candidate becomes desperate and starts to beg you to review their resume credentials when both parties know the damage has already been done.

In these situations, it’s important to communicate to this person that the mistakes they’ve made, can be used as lessons learned or motivation for their next job interview. If they’re going to be late, they ought to communicate it! There’s nothing worse than a no-show, without any reason for it, right? When emotions get out of hand, its important to remind them that this interview is not the end-all be-all, and that the reason they are not moving forward is not because of something they lack. And finally, when it comes to credentials, (this scenario is often found most with recent college grads or young professionals), tell them that its about their potential value and capacity to grow within an organization that’s important, not always what they’ve already accomplished. Reinforcement is key to managing this type of nightmare candidate.

I am sure we have all been on either or both sides of this, the moral to the story is to take a proactive, openly communicative position with all your candidates to ensure the very best time, energy and matches among hiring managers and hire-ees!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Enhance the Interview Experience

December 5th, 2012

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

Have you ever interviewed for a job, met with five people (four are late), one reads your resume in front of you, and – get this – all five ask the same exact questions circa the 1990’s? Wow! Everyone already knows your strengths and weaknesses! They even know why there is a three year break in work on your resume! You leave thinking, “Why did I bother coming in at all?!

Yes, I have had that interview, too.

One of the great things about CBI Group is that we view our candidates and our applicants as our customers. Therefore, we work to make sure the type of interview experience mentioned above does not happen within our conference room walls. So let me ask you this, as a recruiting professional, how often do you think of the hiring manager as the client? Candidates are probably viewed as inventory, right? Well, if they are, they shouldn’t be….

There is a lot of hype in the ATS community about the Applicant Experience. The movement considers everything from the time it takes to apply online for a position, to the number of times duplicate data entry is performed, to those horrible “Thanks but no thanks. Your resume is on file.” automated responses. So what if you are not the CTO and are dealing with some restrictions on the automated front? Let’s not forget good, old fashioned human touch. Let’s look at planning the interview process.

Here’s a simple and effective way to enhance your client’s and candidates’ interview experiences:

  1. Have an agenda. Make sure each interviewer has a subject to cover with the applicant.
  2. Provide sample questions to each interviewer. These sample questions should be different and unique. This ensures that the hiring decision is made from a fully informed, and well-rounded collection of  perspectives, covering all aspects of the job and cultural requirements.
  3. Leave time for questions.  Give the applicant time to ask questions and/or to wrap-up.
  4. Enclose a rating form for the interviewers. This will accelerate the speed of decision making. Speedy decision making makes applicants happy!
  5. Enclose an Interview Experience Form for the applicant to share with the interview team. (Uh oh! Peer pressure and a little friendly competition to consider!)

Taking one (or all) of these steps will markedly improve the applicant experience. While an interview does not guarantee that the applicant will get the offer – it may mean that they are not the “right person, right now”.  However, your candidate may very well become a paying customer, vendor, partner, or competitor in the future, so be sure to leave every applicant with a great experience.

The CBI Way blog series explores the technology tools used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

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