Why Your Interview Process May Be Losing Top Talent

by Mike Miadich on February 25, 2013 in Candidate Interviewing, Hiring, IT Staffing

Finding top talent these days can be an arduous task, one which has many recruiters scratching their heads in frustration. From the mountains of resumes pouring in from online sources to the inundation of unsolicited social media invitations, hiring top talent has become more difficult than ever. Finding the right candidate is one thing, but bringing them through the interview process and hiring them is quite another. For too many companies, the interview process itself may be losing top talent.

According to the US Labor Department, nearly 4.8 million Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, three times as many as in late 2007. The typical unemployed worker has been jobless for an average of 38 weeks, compared with just 17 weeks before the recession. With the job market obstinately tight, recruiters are challenged to find the right candidate amongst the overabundance of the unemployed. Once the ideal candidate has been identified, the process of interviewing and hiring that individual may inadvertently turn them away.

Here are 5 reasons why your interview process may actually be turning candidates away:

  • The Interview is Unstructured Once an ideal candidate is in your grasp, it’s imperative to ensure their time with you is time well spent. While pleasantries and small talk serve a purpose, don’t let meaningless chatter consume the interview. Ensure your questions are pointed, purposeful, and insightful. More likely than not, most ‘A’ players are already employed, so the interview process is your best opportunity to motivate the candidate to make a change. Make sure the message hits on the candidate’s hot buttons and isn’t over-pitched to the point of desperation.
  • An Inexperienced Interviewer A well-rounded, experienced technical consultant usually deals with C-level executives on a daily basis and is responsible for strategic, mission-critical IT corporate objectives. Don’t put a novice recruiter in charge of this interview. Well-intentioned and hard working as they are, junior-level recruiters should not be leading the interview process for the senior-level technical consultant. While he or she may have excellent intuition and a very well-thought out agenda, wading into the muddy waters of high-level tech-talk can expose the recruiter’s lack of knowledge. Repeating questions or asking technical questions that don’t really make sense can frustrate the candidate and immediately extinguish his interest. Respect the candidate enough to have the right individual perform the right type of interview.
  • The Process Takes Too Long Many companies have long and involved processes when it comes to interviewing and hiring. Initial screenings and phone interviews typically precede the actual on-site interview, building time into the process right from the start. Once the candidate is on-site, it’s not uncommon to require multiple interviews and technical screenings. Then pooling and analyzing interviewers’ opinions can build into internal red tape that can drag on for months.  Although some of the bureaucratic layers may be necessary, the effort takes too much time and may easily deter a candidate from following through with the process.
  • The Unofficial Social Media Interview While not a formal part of the interview process, more and more companies are investigating prospective employees’ social footprints. It is easier than ever to poke into the personal lives of just about anyone with Facebook or to peek into a candidate’s employment history on LinkedIn. The birth of social media has dramatically changed the way candidates are sourced and hired, as the social tools at our fingertips give an unprecedented look into the private lives of those in consideration for a job. A very promising candidate may nail the interview and pass the technical screen with flying colors, but could also have disturbing photos or frightening interests posted onto his Facebook profile. If a candidate knows you’ll be cruising LinkedIn and Facebook, he may not be interested – and perhaps you shouldn’t be, either.
  • Human Resources Processes Not Scalable At each stage of the hiring process, the human resources department ensures company procedures are followed and no stone is left unturned. Involved applications, questionnaires, skills and personality tests, drug tests, background tests and credit checks invariably add layers and time onto the process.  While they may appear necessary, smaller companies often bypass these involved testing procedures in favor of expediency for the right candidate.

The process of hiring the right candidate today has become more complicated than ever. Don’t lose that candidate because of a sub-par hiring process.