Employers: 5 Ways to “Turn Off” A Great Candidate

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on October 24, 2011

Let’s be candid.

The country’s employment picture is a mess.  Unemployment rates continue to be at record high levels with no hope in site.

But that is not the full picture.  Factored into the high unemployment rate should be an alarming issue that no one is talking about.

Ineptitude in the hiring process.

Many great candidates do not get hired due to the lame hiring process in place at some of the most successful companies in America. 

The hiring practices at so many companies in America are completely broken or so completely out-dated.   Most of them lack even common sense.

Moreover, there is a delusional trend among many employers that due to high unemployment, the hiring great talent is a breeze. 

Finding  talent and hiring talent are two very different processes.   If companies want to compete effectively they need to hire the very best human capital.

Once a great candidate has been identified the hiring process should be one of inclusiveness where a candidate is treated with great respect and understands and can anticipate the steps to getting hired.

Great candidates are perishable and can be lost or “turned off” in a heart beat.  When that happens, everyone loses. 

 Here are 5 Ways to “Turn Off” A Great Candidate:

1.  Wait too long to make a decision.  

Time kills all deals.  When too much time goes by during the interview process, anything can happen to wain the candidate’s interest.  In addition waiting too long implies disinterest to most candidates.  This is not to imply that employers need to make rash decisions, but the process should take no less than 10 days from the first interview to offer.

2.  Be unprepared for the interview. 

For gosh sakes, at least make sure that you’ve read an applicant’s resume! It’s extremely important to have read someones resume and prepare for questions to be asked during the interview.  Also be prepared to answer obvious questions such as “Why is the job open?” “How long has the job been open?” “What are the job responsibilities?” “What is the history of the job- how long was the person in the job before me?” If an employer cannot answer these types of basic questions, then forget about hiring good talent.

3. Do not inform staff members about the upcoming interview. 

Does your staff know in advance when an interview will occur?   A candidate’s first impression is their lasting impression.  If your staff appears to be confused or even rude, this reflects badly upon the company and you.  Let your staff know how important this interview is (way in advance) and to please make this person feel extremely welcomed.

4.   Make an applicant wait a long time while finishing up a previous interview

No one wants to feel like “sloppy seconds”, they want to feel special.  Making a great candidate wait while someone else is interviewing for the same job is a recipe for disaster.  This is a huge “turn off” in the interviewing process.  Employers should allow for the proper amount of time for an interview and then conclude the interview no matter how well the interview goes. 

5.   Put a job candidate on trial to defend every decision he/she has ever made. 

There is a fine line between asking appropriate questions to learn about someones professional journey and being cross examined as if being tried in a criminal case.  The purpose of an interview is to try to learn and discover as much as possible about an applicant and to determine whether or not this applicant would be a good hire.  Being respectful is key.  Politely asking “why” is very different than drilling someone about their career decisions. 

In summary, there is a huge distinction between finding a great candidate and hiring a great candidate.  It’s all about making someone feel special by being courteous, prompt, kind and real.  Candidates can see right through an employer putting on their “best face” for an interview.

The goal in hiring a great candidate is to make sure that this person is “TURNED ON.”

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at ceo@psihealth.com.  I welcome your phone call.

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