It’s normal to think about interview etiquette when you’re going up for a position, but what about when you’re making the hiring decisions? In a recent Wall Street Journal article, reporter Sue Shellenbarger points out the significance of employer conduct during the selection process.
It is important to think about how you treat potential employees. We all know the feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a day. With a small business, you can’t put everything on pause while filling a vacant position. Your “to do” list is varied and ongoing. Interviewing and vetting take time. It’s definitely a lot! Nevertheless, your communication with candidates should reflect your business’ values.
Why it Matters
“Employers are battling to hire skilled employees in one of the tightest labor markets in 50 years,” Shellenbarger warns. Dismissive behavior, such as “ghosting” candidates, can damage a business’ reputation in the labor market. A few disgruntled stories can make a meaningful impression with the rapid fire spread of information over social media.
A negative impression can also hurt a business’ consumer reputation, Shellenbarger points out. “More than three in five job seekers say being treated badly would make them less likely to buy the company’s products, according to a 2017 survey by Future Workplace and Career Arc,” she says. “While 91% of employers agree that candidates’ experience can affect their buying decisions, only 26% bother to measure how well they’re doing.”
Obviously, it’s important to make carefully considered hiring choices in building your team. Keep in mind, however, the average hiring process takes almost twice as long now as ten years ago. Application processes also often involve creating and submitting work-intensive samples. This can all increase candidates’ opportunity costs. “The extended hiring process raises the stakes for applicants, who must invest more time and energy,” says Shellenbarger.
She continues, “Only two out of five front-line managers are trained in how to make the hiring process a positive experience for candidates, a 2017 CareerBuilder survey says. The training they do receive tends to be defensive in nature, on avoiding charges of illegal discrimination. This can make them doubly reluctant to contact losing candidates, for fear that in delivering the news, they’ll open themselves somehow to charges of race, gender or other bias.”
Positive Hiring Practice Tips
To avoid muddying the waters of your potential labor pool, Shellenbarger gives the following six tips:
- Make sure your job postings accurately describe the openings.
- Acknowledge applicants’ resumes soon after they’re received.
- Train hiring managers to treat all applicants well.
- Keep candidates informed about where they stand.
- Let applicants know if you change course in the middle of a search.
- Leave the losers as well as the winners with a positive image of the company.