As an employer, you may have plenty to offer, including a competitive salary and great opportunities for professional growth. But the candidates sitting across from you at the interview table don’t really know this. Until they accept your offer and step onboard, they’ll need to rely on their research and take you at your word. And as it happens, actions speak louder than words. So, while you polish your job post and pitch your company during interviews, make sure you aren’t alienating top candidates by sending the wrong message in other ways.

Place a premium on speed.

You don’t have to rush—nothing good ever comes from reckless and heedless decision-making. But recognize that prompt response times and steady forward motion signal two things: respect for your candidate, and respect for the position you’re trying to staff. If you care so little about the position you’re happy to let the seat stay empty for months at a time, that’s not encouraging. Likewise, waiting weeks to answer a candidate’s query can suggest they don’t top your list of priorities. The more time you spend idling over your decision, the more chances your candidates will have to accept other offers.

You run a functional organization, so let it show.

If you run a tight ship, or take pride in your company’s excellent service to clients and customers, shine a light on this fact. If you’re proud of your tightly knit teams and your culture of positivity, show them off. If your workplace is clean, beautiful, pleasant and professional, take your candidate on the long route from the lobby to the interview room. But if your culture, workplace or brand reputation suggest a different message, recognize the impact of these shortcomings on your ability to attract candidates, and work to repair this image.

Respect generates respect.

Don’t put your candidates through a wringer. This behavior suggests a poor understanding of the dynamic between you. Always keep in mind your company’s most valuable resources are its employees, and you need your top candidates more than they need you. If you interrogate them, question their claims, dismiss their concerns, belittle them or look for reasons to send them away, they won’t suffer in the long run, but you will. The image of a bored or glaring interviewer enduring a session with a nervous, eager candidate is a throwback to an earlier era (and a much cooler job market). Treat your candidates with respect and they’ll be more likely to choose you over your competitors.

For more on how to attract top candidates by framing your company as a positive and functional place to work, turn to the Milwaukee staffing and sourcing experts at Extension.


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