Hiring Should be Amazing Too

4 min. read

Let's make a good first impression

Let's face it, we've all experienced a job hiring or application process that is not so good. The majority of hiring processes are impersonal, automated, and frequently send candidates into clunky application and pre-interview systems. These systems are built to take in information from as many candidates as possible rather than actually develop a connection with candidates. In some cases they end with a candidate waiting by the phone but hearing nothing.

This is sadly a common and growing experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently shared survey results showing that candidate resentment is increasing from previous years. "Candidate resentment" means that potential employees had bad feelings about the process of applying, qualifying, or interviewing for a position. Importantly, these are bad feelings that stick with them even if they get the position. That means they become new employees but already have reason to think their new workplace is not good.

As the comments in the survey note, candidate resentment has “major repercussions” for companies—including “whether or not candidates will apply to their jobs again, whether they'll refer colleagues and friends, whether they'll be brand advocates and whether they'll buy a company's products and services.” It's easy to see the negatives here and worry, but it's really an opportunity: Treating candidates well is our opportunity to grow and improve reputation, talent acquisition, and workplace happiness.

At Amazing Workplace, we focus on understanding and improving the key drivers of workplace happiness (we just call them "happiness drivers"). We figure, why not apply some of the same Amazing spirit to the hiring process?

Not all of the happiness drivers are relevant in the hiring phase, but there are some to highlight:

  1. Knowing the company's purpose. Every company has a purpose. Candidates want to know what it is. Sometimes in hiring there are mixed messages about this: hiring materials may focus more on a team's mission than the larger purpose of the company. But ultimately candidates are going to want to know what the company does and why, so that they can make a decision on whether it resonates for them. Put the purpose out there, bring it up in the interview, keep it in view and ask for the candidate's thoughts!
  2. Feeling safe. This means feeling safe to speak up, ask questions, and be heard and understood. If candidates can't tell how decisions are made, and they can't get answers to their questions, they are going to come out of the experience feeling alienated. They may not want to accept an offer and they may not speak well of the company later. Be accessible and helpful to candidates. Above all: Always contact candidates directly to explain any hiring decision or decision not to hire -- Never, ever "ghost" a candidate.
  3. Having fun. Companies' hiring processes do not have to be stuffy, overly serious, or threatening. Sadly, they often are. Hiring managers should approach communications and interviews with a sense of "how can I put this person at ease?" Interviews are a great time to ask a jokey (work appropriate) question, meet the potential teammates (play a game together perhaps), or talk at length about shared interests. Set aside plenty of time for interviews -- don't rush them!
  4. Feeling care. Overly rigid hiring processes and hyper-automated hiring processes are efficient on paper, but they leave candidates feeling like materials on an assembly line. Create and maintain a process that works well. Provide ample opportunities for questions or support. Let candidates interact with real people to get answers.

These are some important areas to focus on, but there is much more to the candidate experience. When in doubt, follow this advice from Katya Laviolette, chief people officer at 1Password, "all great companies believe their customers deserve the very best. To deliver on that goal, it’s imperative that we treat talent with the same care." Be intentional about hiring as an activity, and create robust, people-focused processes instead of trying to cut corners. Build what Laviolette describes as "seamless hiring processes that leave all candidates feeling respected and great onboarding experiences that energize new talent and equip them to hit the ground running."

Thanks for taking a look at this post about Amazing hiring! Want to learn more about Amazing Workplace and our happy workplace story? Start here or reach out to us.