Recruiting: 5 Ways to Get More Candidate Interviews

skeletons sitting in HR recruiting office waiting for a job interview

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

By now, you’ve probably seen the article about the person in Florida who applied for two jobs every day for a month only to have just one interview. That’s not a typo – 60 applications got him one interview. And he didn’t apply for anything that required a degree or a lot of previous experience. He said that he started this “experiment” after hearing all of the comments about how “people just don’t want to work anymore”.

Today’s article isn’t a debate about whether people don’t want to work. And it’s not about whether what happened to this person is representative of the entire job market.

But there is something to pull from these conversations about recruiting and hiring. Organizations that really truly want to hire employees – and get completely staffed so they can take care of customers – need to look at their hiring processes and make sure they work.

It sounds so basic, but you can’t hire employees if you don’t interview candidates. Here are some things to consider when looking at your hiring process.

Make it easy for people to apply. There are so many ways to do this when recruiting. Two that immediately come to mind are 1) Make your application process mobile friendly. According to Pew Research, most Americans have a smartphone, which would allow someone to apply the moment they see the opening. And 2) make your employment application only as long as it needs to be. Organizations can ask candidates to complete a longer application later in the process.

Accommodate schedules. Let’s say you identify a candidate that you want to interview. But you’re busy and don’t have time for phone tag to set up a meeting. Technologies exist that allow applicants to schedule an interview online. Just send them a note and tell them you’d like to chat with them. Then ask them to pick a date on your schedule. Since they chose the date and time of the meeting, it reduces the chance of ghosting.

Be transparent about your recruiting process. You know your hiring process. Be upfront with candidates. Let them know how long it will take and what it will involve. Tell them why the process works for your organization and sets new hires up for success. If candidates understand the process, they might be more engaged with it. And that benefits the company and the candidate.

Stay in touch. One of the biggest complaints that I hear from candidates is that they went in for the interview, had a good conversation, and the company said they would call in a week. Three weeks have passed and no communication. Many candidates assume that no news is bad news and they start looking elsewhere. Find a way to keep candidates in the loop. If the company needs more time – tell them. If they’re no longer being considered, tell them.

Keep the door open. It’s very possible that your recruiting process will result in more than one qualified candidate. What a great position to be in! It’s also tough because both candidates are very qualified, and you can only hire one. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask the other candidate to stay in touch in case you have another opening. Or a different position that they would be equally qualified for. The point is making a final decision doesn’t have to close doors.

Organizations that are serious about hiring the best employees are working hard to create a hiring process that is easy for people to apply, interview, and get the job. That doesn’t mean the company has to compromise their standards. Just take a critical look at your hiring process and make sure it’s not the obstacle to success.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the spooky streets of Austin, TX


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