In today’s job marketplace, some employers tend to think of the hiring process as the equivalent of picking their favorite donut from the box on Sunday morning. (Do I want the chocolate with sprinkles, or the iced cinnamon roll?) Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The donuts have choices too.
In today’s challenging employment market, there are many job-seekers available. But when it comes to jobs requiring specific skills and experience, particularly higher level jobs, qualified candidates are not a dime a baker’s dozen. Believe me, as one who finds the donuts for a living, it often takes weeks of research, recruiting, screening, and the accompanying hand-wringing to come up with five or six top-tier candidates to present to my clients.
So when a qualified candidate enters the interview setting, it is absolutely essential that a hiring manager understands the necessity of selling the position he/she represents. Although I often focus on the candidate’s pitch, selling is not solely an obligation of the candidate. All candidates have options. Employed candidates have the option of remaining where they are; unemployed candidates may be willing to take their chances on attaining something better if a hiring manager has not managed to sell a position effectively.
A few recommendations on selling your position to a candidate:
· Choose the most presentable space available as the interview setting.
· Be sure all interviewers dress professionally. Business casual is okay; jeans and sports jerseys do not indicate respect for the candidate who has taken the time to come to an interview.
· Allow enough time for the interview. Watch-checking or cutting off a candidate before adequate time has been spent is bad form.
· Act as a host or hostess would act to an honored guest. Offer coffee or water. Offer a break if the interview is long.
· Prepare an informative presentation on your company and the position being filled. Allow time for questions. Answer those questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
· Do NOT act as a trained interrogator. Remember that you and the candidate are exchanging information.
· Allow the candidate a tour of the working environment, if possible.
· Throughout the interview, be friendly, polite, and receptive to questions.
Common courtesy, an attitude of respect, and preparation will go a long way to acquiring the donut of your dreams.