Five Ways the Interview Process Can Positively Impact Your Brand

How the Interview Process can Improve Your Brand
Lionseye insights from AC Lion

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than a job interview? Earnest candidates spend their time conducting research on the company beforehand; and likely worrying about everything from the firmness of a handshake, to a suit that conveys the perfect message.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not much easier from the employer’s perspective. Identifying top talent and then gleaning for cultural fit, personality and work styles can be very challenging. Not to mention that honing successful hiring tactics is a challenge that can take many attempts to perfect. There’s a big investment on both sides of the interviewing table and the process is considered a time investment for all parties.

Are companies so focused on finding the right candidate that they miss the opportunity to give candidates a good experience? If you want the best candidates, you need to treat them as such. How do you make it a win:win?

A Recruiter’s Perspective on Interviewing Tactics That Benefit Your Brand

The candidate interviewing process has shifted in recent years, giving potential candidates more influence because of the impact they can have on an employer’s brand reputation. If candidates have a bad experience while interviewing for a job, they will likely tell their colleagues about it.

Candidate perspectives are so important that The Talent Board conducts surveys each year and issues Candidate Experience Awards for employers who are doing the best work in their talent management initiatives.

Candidates can become ambassadors for a company—regardless of the hiring decision—if they feel they have been treated professionally and fairly. Above all, demonstrating empathy during the interview process and humanizing the candidate experience will go a long way towards impressing candidates with the kind of organization they might be joining.

As experienced management recruiters we’ve identified interviewing tactics that will work to ensure candidates have a good experience to benefit your business by promoting positive brand impressions. Here are a few that we believe will work to that end.

1. Set Expectations Early

Questions such as what timing has been established for making the hiring decision; will there be multiple interviews with different people within the business; and who the final decision maker is, are likely to be on the candidates top of mind. Preempting these types of questions will help to set a tone of professionalism, set clear expectations for the interview process, and define parameters for anxious candidates.

2. Make Scheduling Easy; Communicate Often

Just as there are customer experience expectations when purchasing any major product or service from a brand, so are there expectations from candidates about what will happen when they engage with your brand during the interviewing process. This differentiates your company’s approach to hiring, and sets it apart from other experiences that they may have, and will help to make the candidate interviewing process memorable and positive.

The lack of communication is often cited as the most frustrating part of the candidate experience. Therefore, a successful hiring strategy is to keep candidates informed along every step of the process.

This goes a long way in furthering your brand when you invest the time to communicate personally or indirectly through your recruiter. Candidates need to know the status of the hiring process, especially if there are delays or changes in direction.

3. Communicate Conveniently; Leverage New Technology

Utilizing new technologies that help to keep candidates engaged and informed can be very useful. For example, automating the scheduling process for candidate interviews gives candidates a way to schedule those interviews conveniently.

Utilization of candidate engagement technology such as chatbots or employee communication platforms to notify and engage candidates, are great ways of quickly fostering communication. A chatbot can keep candidates engaged and up to date on the process, schedule interviews, send out confirmation emails, and more.

However, it is important to note that overuse or overreliance on these technologies, may have the opposite effect.

4. Create Excitement for Your Business

A management recruiter’s goal is to create excitement for your brand among potential and selected candidates. Recently we asked AdTech industry giant Taboola, what methods they employ to ensure that candidates come away with a positive experience. We asked them outside of making the hire, what other goals Taboola has as it relates to the candidate experience during the interviewing process. Neomi Farkas, VP of HR for Taboola shared her philosophy about this with us.

“As much as we can, we want people meeting us to walk away excited about Taboola. Even if the conversation doesn’t end up with an offer – for whatever reason and in whatever stage – we want them to walk away thinking they met a great bunch of people, the kind they’d like to work with. We try to make sure the people they meet in Taboola are the right kind – passionate about what they do, curious about other people, eager to grow the team.

Having a conversation about the next step in your career is a discovery moment, which is what we’re most passionate about as a company. Anyone who talks to us now knows a little bit more about who we are, and we want that to be a positive experience. Ideally, we want them keeping us in mind when it’s time to take the next step, or when a friend is talking to them about hitting a wall with their current job to say – hey, there’s a great company I talked to, you should check them out.“

5. Personalize and Humanize Candidate Communication

If a candidate is being passed over, communicate that on a phone call, and in a timely fashion, especially if they are in the later stages of the interview process. Rejections should never be done using an automated email from your ATS.

Giving candidates a reason why they may have been rejected goes a very long way in solidifying a personal touch with them. Providing them with constructive feedback shows them they are valued and will secure you in their minds as a trustworthy company with which they wouldn’t hesitate to interact in the future; or refer colleagues to when the opportunity is right.

Similarly, if a candidate is being considered, that’s great news to share. Candidates would rather know where they stand instead of having to be watchful while waiting. Personal and frequent communications need to be established early in the process.

And finally, giving candidates a way to give your firm reciprocal feedback post-interview, will give your team insight into what is working well or what gaps may exist in your interviewing process.

Regardless of whether you are hiring internally or through a recruiter, it has become critically important to employ these simple strategies. For more insight and ideas on how to implement successful hiring tactics in order to find and engage top talent and improve candidate experiences with your brand, please contact us today.

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AC Lion

Alan founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, more than 20 years ago and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO.