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Are you in the market for top performers to take your company initiatives to the next level? When recruiting for employees, companies often forget their role in the process of interviewing. But a very important question remains, “How do you attract high caliber, top talent into your company?” Don’t bother to rely on the economy for help in attracting this type of personnel to your company. They will be in demand regardless of the economic climate. That’s why it is critical for organizations to brand themselves and “sell” what they have to offer to these type candidates. A strong company brand can drive the right applicants to your company – and keep them there.
Each company has to determine who and what they stand for. Taking the pulse of your organization will involve pinpointing both the short term and long term benefits that set your company apart from others. If you had 60 seconds in which to speak to some high quality candidates, can you tell them why they should work for your company? What do you want them to take away from your conversation? If you’ve done your job well, they should know about the culture and soul of your organization. They should also know a few things that people love about working there. The best way to find this information is to walk up to your people and ask! This will help you to begin the branding process.
Keep in mind that everything you do in the recruitment and interviewing process brands you. For example, if you have an interviewee seated in the lobby for 30 minutes or more leaves the applicant with the impression that you don’t care about others’ time. Meanwhile, it may be an instance of the interviewer fishing through a stack of resumes that is really causing the delay. In any instance, whether you are disorganized or some other reason is keeping the applicant waiting, the perception of your company is speaking volumes to the applicant. Some ideas of effective branding so that quality candidates what to work for you are simple, yet critical to the process.
BE PREPARED and schedule the interview when you can devote your full attention to the candidate. Familiarize yourself with their resume before the interview and jot notes or questions you would like to ask.
TREAT THEM AS YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED. Take their coat and offer coffee, water, or soda. Tell them where you would like them to be seated and be pleasant. It’s the little things that will allow the candidate to feel comfortable and allow them to interview at their best.
CONDUCT THE INTERVIEW IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER. Ask pertinent questions about each candidate, their background and experience and say away from typical interview questions. Tell them about the company and the position and don’t forget to sell them on why they would want to work for your organization. The process of organizational branding is to understand what types of people succeed within your company and expressing that in a way that attracts the best candidates.
TELL THEM WHAT TO EXPECT GOING FORWARD: there will be another interview; they’ll need to supply references; whatever they need to be aware of. You should also let them know by when they will receive notice about the final decision. If you truly aren’t interested in them, be kind and let them know why they are not what you’re looking for right now. Don’t keep them hanging on with platitudes such as “we have other candidates to interview and we will let you know.”
FINAL THOUGHT: While some consider interviewing an art or science, the end result will show how well you brand yourself as a company. If you don’t do a great job of selling your company through attitude, gestures and words, the art of interviewing is lost. You won’t be attracting the high caliber candidates who can impact the soul of your organization.