Yesterday I received an email from a candidate that I recently hired for a client. It contained some logistic information, but also this;

The entire interview experience that you and the team have put together has been extremely refreshing.  At its core, I think you’ve aimed to make things personal, candid, and positive for everyone involved: and I think it’s important to say how absolutely fabulous I’ve found that.”

It’s great feedback, and whilst we try to create that feeling every time, in all honesty we probably miss the mark every now and then. But what I’ve learned over time, is that it’s the small things that make the difference.

You see for smaller scale organisations who may not have the marketing budget to spend on high production value videos, social media campaigns or high profile industry events, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the so called war for talent. With options for high calibre technology, design and data professionals at an all time high, it’s a market that can be brutal.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH

Where smaller organisations can compete, is by adding a more personal touch to their interview process. I’ve suggested to clients that we offer shortlisted candidates the option to just come and hang out for a morning, or a couple of hours. Come and chat to the team, attend a stand up, come for lunch; you know the stuff that gives both parties the chance to spend some time together. And any time you can have them get together is a good thing.

This is generally harder for larger businesses who have a more rigid structure in place; if they’re hiring in generally larger numbers they’ll potentially struggle to adapt. Use this to your advantage if you have to.

ENGAGE YOUR TEAM

To do this effectively, the concept has to be sold to your hiring team and probably the business. A quick search of similar local roles being advertised on your largest job board can probably provide all the data you’ll need to support your argument. Having them invested in the hiring process and decisions will make them feel empowered and also have some responsibility for the experience that your candidates have.

Having a solid plan at the start seems obvious, but isn’t done nearly as much you’d think based on what I hear from clients. Seemingly minor annoyances like not repeating the same conversations in different interviews can be avoided, and it’s these small things you do well, or poorly, that can add up. I visited a potential client recently and they had one of those little light boxes on the reception desk that said “Welcome Simon”, it was a small gesture, but it took someone to think of it and do it. Which made it really personable.

MAKE IT MEMORABLE

So try thinking about the things that you can do with your team to deliver something memorable. They don’t have to be expensive, grand gestures and nor should they be. Get your team involved, ask them what memorable experiences they’ve had or heard of, you’re bound to pick something up. Oh and if you’re not surveying your hires on the process after they’ve started, you’re missing a trick, there’s gold in them hills. I promise you that you’ll learn so much from a series of 15 minute conversations.

Until next time, good luck and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.