3 Hiring Process Tweaks to Attract Higher Quality Applicants

The job of any hiring manager is to fill open roles with people who are as perfect a fit as possible, both in terms of skills as well as culture. The closer you are to the bullseye on your hiring decisions the first time, the more time and money you’ll save in the long run, and the more harmoniously your practice will run. That being said, knocking it out of the park every time is much easier said than done. It can be helpful to take proactive measures that will attract better quality candidates right off the bat. Here are a few simple changes to the hiring process that can make a world of difference.

Be quick and concise.

Remember when it was common practice for job candidates to follow up multiple times with a hiring manager? Well, those days are gone. In fact, today, if a candidate feels as though they have to chase you to get a response, not only will they lose interest, but there’s also a good chance they could let others know about their negative experience. This could lead other applicants to avoid your job postings, which means you could be missing out on some great candidates. And all because you didn’t return that message.

To prevent this, make sure you respond to potential new hires in a timely manner and set expectations right from the start. For instance, if your typical turnaround for a follow-up after an interview is 3 to 5 days, tell your applicants this upfront. That way they won’t anticipate hearing from you immediately and feel the need to check back in right away. If you’re unsure how quickly you need to respond, just put yourself in the shoes of your applicants. How soon would you expect to receive a response? 

Show your candidates what you have to offer.

Scroll through the listings on most popular job sites and you’ll inevitably find job posting after job posting that feature lists of duties, requirements and responsibilities. While you certainly want to find someone who is a good match for a particular skillset, by going heavy into what you expect from your candidates vs. what they can expect from you, you could actually end up alienating some of your best prospects in the process.

Researchers from the University of Vermont’s School of Business Administration, the University of Calgary and the University of Saskatchewan recently conducted an interesting experiment. They published a series of job listings, half of which emphasized what the company wanted from their candidates and the other half emphasizing what the company could do for its applicants. What they found was that the candidates who responded to the latter ads were more highly qualified. 

Next time you’re drafting up a job ad, don’t focus so much on your list of desires and preferences. Instead, think about what your ideal candidate might look for in an employer and then use your listing to showcase how you can meet those needs. 

Focus on the interview…and on yourself.

The interview process is a prime opportunity to weed out candidates who may not be as great in person as they initially appear on paper. Unfortunately, if you’re rushing through the process or allowing yourself to be distracted by other things, you could easily miss the important warning signs. Likewise, if not enough care and attention are applied during the interview process, you might not pick up on those key soft skills that are so important, like attitude, motivation and emotional intelligence.

Be mindful of your own behavior and focus when you are interviewing a candidate. Eliminate distractions and provide your full attention. Prioritize questions that will allow you to dig deeper and identify key factors that would make a candidate the best fit to join your team. And remember – your job is to do more listening than talking, so avoid dominating the conversation. 

In today’s competitive job market, you can’t afford to make mistakes during the hiring process. Being willing to evolve and adapt your processes can help you stand out amongst your competition and attract the kind of employees who will help your practice thrive for many years to come.