Today, businesses compete mightily to hire the best professionals for contracting assignments. In this climate, engaging the right talent involves more than reviewing resumes and trying to sense whether a candidate has a good “feel” during an interview. It means using every tool you have to show contractors that yours is a great place to work, and that the mission they’ll undertake there will outstrip the opportunities other organizations might offer.
In such an environment, the candidate experience – the way you treat contractors during the hiring process – becomes critical. Because a good experience can have a deciding impact on whether a contractor accepts your offer, it’s important that you consider how you behave toward each candidate, especially when they come in for an interview.
That means paying attention to details, such as planning for the candidate’s visit ahead of time. The receptionist should be expecting them, and they shouldn’t be left waiting for 15 minutes while someone tracks you down. And be realistic in your scheduling: Build in time for candidates to use the rest room, get a glass of water, or just catch their breath between meetings. Such simple things demonstrate that you view them as a professional, not just a body to be churned through the process.
Also, help them prepare to make the best case they can. Ahead of time, provide a list of the people with whom they’ll meet and a brief description of their role in the organization. This will help candidates comprehensively address the interests of your team.
While you’re at it, remember the simple things. The candidate has made the effort to visit your company – and time is as dear to them as it is to you. So, make sure they realize you value their time. Be present during the interview. Don’t look at your watch or check your email. Review their resume beforehand, so you’re not searching for questions to ask while you talk.
And don’t forget that interviews are more than opportunities to learn about the candidate’s skills and experience. They’re a chance for you to sell your company as a place where people want to work. Be sure everyone on your team makes that connection and treats the prospective contractor as a professional – not just a “temp” – at each encounter.
More Than Talk
Of course, the candidate experience goes beyond face-to-face interactions. Communications and feedback are critical ways to demonstrate that you care about each worker. For example, an interview isn’t really complete until you’ve provided feedback on the candidate to your agency. Besides helping us identify the right people for your assignment, it aids the candidate by highlighting areas where they can improve their presentation or strengthen their credentials.
Besides weighing the particulars of each assignment and the amount they’ll be paid, candidates today think about which workplace they want to show up at every day. Numerous times, we’ve seen contractors change their minds about an assignment when a last-minute offer from a more engaging company came in. A business that treats candidates with respect positions itself as concerned about individuals – and quickly becomes an employer of choice.
Candidate experience | Contracting | Hiring top talent | Interviewing tips for employers