They say everything old is new again and that’s particularly the case when it comes to hiring. Lower unemployment rates and more new job creation signals that it’s an employee’s market and traditional recruitment practices have now gone the way of the Blackberry. For years, many recruiters stuck with a predictable Q&A interviewing format. Examples of these dated questions include asking where a client wants to be in five to ten years and why they are the right person for the job. Through much practice, these questions easily slide from the tongues of recruiters to be met by a similarly well-practiced answer from the job seeker.
Trying a Conversation Instead
Times are changing and job seekers no longer want to play by this set of rules. Examples of rebellion include abandoning online job applications midway through and seeking out ways to make personal connections that don’t require a keyword-stuffed resume. In short, to effectively recruit candidates who will truly benefit a workplace, it’s time to get real. I’m talking about face-to-face time that includes unscripted conversation and free-reign question asking.
Sitting on the Other Side of the Table
These days, candidates are interviewing the recruiter just as much as a recruiter is interviewing them. In a candidate-driven market, these individuals understand it’s important to learn as much as possible not only about the position but also the work environment, potential teammates and the company culture. Candidates expect to have a conversation where they are able to ask questions and expand on what’s written on the job description.
Path of Discovery
Just as candidates are sized up and analyzed from the moment they walk in the door, job candidates are doing their own analysis. Savvy job candidates are on the lookout for red flags that signal whether or not this is the job or employer they want to be working for. Candidates also look for ways to demonstrate how they are uniquely suited to the job with a desire to dig deeper into the problem a company looks to solve and a dismissal of interview experiences that inhibit off-the-script questions.
Create a Dialogue
An interview today is much less about Q&A. Instead it’s a conversational discovery, the formal equivalent of grabbing coffee and chatting. Candidates embrace this peer-to-peer interaction. They want to understand the inner workings and experience of a company and position before working at a company. In short, these interviews are a way for candidates to test-drive an organization. If the candidate experiences a road block in the form of unanswered questions, the inability of a recruiter to work off the interview script or an unwillingness to share details about the position, co-workers and organization, they will walk away. Beyond losing this potential candidate you can also be sure that they will share their interviewing experience on social sites such as Glassdoor, making one interviewee’s bad experience a very public issue.
Person to Person
In the end, no amount of canned questions or automated keyword-stuffed resumes will represent a candidate. It is only through talking with them, taking their questions, and reading in between the lines that you’ll discover how much candidates are really willing to share. Knowing these things will enable recruiters to make better hiring decisions that benefit the business and create stronger employee retention.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.