Making a First Impression Goes Both Ways – Interviewee and Interviewer

Making a First Impression Goes Both Ways

In today’s tough job market, companies are no longer able to get boatloads of candidates for positions just by name and reputation alone. The job description is a company’s first interaction with a potential candidate, and sets the tone for the rest of the interview process. It’s also the company’s first opportunity to sell themselves as an employer of choice for that candidate.

Most job descriptions today aren’t written in a way to encourage candidates to apply. A job description should go beyond the basics of what job duties are entailed in a position. The job description should describe why a candidate should want to work for an employer. We see too many companies today with a chip on their shoulder, while other companies are giving their employees perks and snatching up top talent.

Many companies jump into the hiring process before they’re ready to commit to hiring a new employee. Companies that are not prepared to hire or don’t sell themselves, really show their true colors during the interview process.  Candidates want the hiring process to be smooth and engaging with excellent communication throughout.  I’ve seen candidates pass on excellent opportunities because the hiring process was lacking in many areas and they felt the company likely operated in the same manner.  Today’s candidates are looking for employers that:

  • Are family friendly
  • Allow flex scheduling
  • Offer an amazing benefits package
  • Provide great commissions
  • Are equipped with an excellent company culture
  • Excellent communicators

All those things should be included in the job description, including a salary range. Give candidates an expectation of how many phone interviews they will have, how many face to face interviews, how many people are involved in the hiring team.

A job description should also include the timeline for the interview process. It’s OK to include expectations such as, “Our fiscal year ends July 31, so we really want someone to start by August 1.”

It’s frustrating for candidates to complete an initial phone interview, and then not hear from a potential employer for weeks. If that is the case, then the employer is not yet ready to hire for that role. Have your interview timeline planned out before you put the job description out there and start inviting candidates to submit applications. Although some companies move faster than others, it’s helpful to the candidate not to stretch out the hiring process and leaves the candidate with a better initial impression of the company.

What should employers leave off a job description? Anything negative that would dissuade candidates from applying. A job description should not say, “Don’t apply if you don’t have X, Y, or Z.”

Passive candidates need to be sold on why they should quit their current role to join your organization. If a passive candidate has to work to obtain information about the position or your company, then they’re not going to pursue the opportunity. It’s that simple.

With good candidates, organizations need to be prepared to act fast and move the interviewing process forward, so they don’t miss out. It’s not always about finding someone to fill a gap—it’s about finding the right person for your company. That might mean being flexible if an excellent candidate is found and bringing that person on board.

If your organization is ready to spruce up your job descriptions and start figuring out an interview/hiring process, and finding those top candidates for your roles, contact us at Ag1Source.