The pandemic has left many people unemployed and looking for work. To have kept a job so far is a blessing. To be in a position to hire is even more a blessing.
For each job opening, there are many more applicants than usual. There is stiff competition and a lot of rejection, especially for those coming from or looking for work in harder hit industries.
It is a stressful time for everyone and there there are seven things to keep in mind while hiring in order to be courteous to the applicants:
You are getting paid to interview them; they are not
You are getting paid during your 9-to-5 job to vet through resumes and interview candidates. Candidates spend their own free time to be at the interview. They spend time rehearsing what they are going to say, researching your company and brushing up on their skills before you give them an initial call.
Often times, companies require applicants to travel for interviews which have a cost that they must take on themselves — a $10 parking fee, unpaid time off to the interview, gas or public transport costs, etc.
Some companies graciously pay applicants for their physical efforts to commute to their office. If it’s not in your budget, then be sure to graciously treat the applicant with respect and only make their journey to your office worth it if you are serious about them.
Do not do too many rounds of interviews
It is debatable if you should schedule four separate half hour interviews or schedule a two hour interview at once. Generally speaking, if these rounds are too spread apart from each other, the process is being dragged out.
You may lose great candidates because you weren’t able to act fast enough. If there is too much time spent between interviews, candidates are likely to assume you chose someone else. They may also turn anxious and more aggressively seek employment elsewhere.
To make an analogy, think about a first date. If it goes well and both parties are excited about each other, the second date shouldn’t be weeks away. If you are excited about someone, you are going to want to meet again sooner and move forward with the interview process.
Do not use intimidation tactics
In interviews is common for applicants to be asked unreasonable questions that are too high-level for the job. While it is important to see how a candidate thinks and approaches unique situations — if it isn’t a relevant skill for the job, it may be slightly inappropriate for the interview.
As a frontend developer, I’ve been asked technical questions on languages that weren’t mentioned on the job. Once during a Zoom interview with the hiring manager I pulled up the job posting, to double check.
After the interview I did not leave with a positive feeling of how it went. Keep in mind that the interview process is a two-week street. Candidates are also forming opinions on your management style based on conversations had in the interview.
Do not ghost on them
While everyone is busy and HR has the task to find the perfect candidate, it is appropriate to give a candidate the respect of letting them know if they are no longer in the running for a position.
This is especially important if face-to-face or virtual calls have already happened.
Don’t wait for the candidate to ask about the outcome of their interview for you to tell them that you’re going a different direction. It takes two minutes to send an email.
Do not change the job you want them to be considered for
Many times a company, especially a smaller one, or a staffing agency interviews an applicant for a role and automatically considers them for another role instead.
I’ve done a career change and have had this occur to me quite a few times. Companies falsely assumed I would be willing to take any role because I was unemployed. They would often times not consider me for the role I applied for and pitch another position.
This was one of the biggest turnoffs. Candidates will refuse to work with your staffing agency or company if you try to force them into a position without their consent.
Do not assign time-consuming projects or personality tests before an interview
While it may be convenient for a company to require candidates to complete an assignment before an initial phone screen, it is disrespectful to not see the other side.
Even if it is after a the initial phone screening and is part of the process, whether the work you are asking a candidate to complete is used by your company or not, note how long you expect the candidate to spend on this task.
I’ve been assigned projects that have nothing to do with the role I am applying for or those that are too specific about how to solve their company problems. It seems that it is a free consulting session.
A time consuming personality test seems irrelevant when no one has spoken to the candidate to assess their people skills. To best keep interest in the interview process, keep personality and skills-based tests short. They shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete.
Do not ghost after giving an offer
If you’ve given a candidate an offer — that’s amazing!
Do not ghost the days/weeks prior. Keep your incoming employee updated on the onboarding process and the day before, confirm with them that they are still expected to start on the agreed start date.