Teaching Employers About Interviewing ?Candidates?

Can employer ineptitude in interviewing candidates lose placements due to poor preparation and simple-minded questions on the part of the interviewers.This often happens when dealing with HR people who do a cursory howdy-do before sending the candidate to a line manager for the real interview. Things to be considered and communicated to the employer:

  • It’s OK for a company interviewer to ask an “applicant” why he or she wants to change jobs but when you’ve searched long and hard to locate the right person for a mutual look-see, it’s a definite no-no and should be addressed before you send your candidate.
  • Employers should be told to ask something like, “What factors would you consider the most important should you decide to make a career change?” These are usually people who were happily employed before you brought them into the mix.
  • They may not have a resume so you should have prepared something for the employer to use as a reference point.
  • They may have to have been persuaded to even take a look at the client opportunity.
  • There will have to be a better “sell job” by the company.
  • There will probably have to be a better than average offer to get them to say yes than what needs to be offered to the unemployed “applicant” who may have walked in off the street, answered an ad or came from the Internet.
  • Having to sit in a waiting room with others to fill out the company’s standard application blank should be preempted by letting them complete it at home before the interview.
  • The same for pre-interview tests that are routinely given by many firms.
  • Long waits of any kind can have a negative affect. Everyone at the employer should be available to keep the interview running smoothly. If delays happen, make sure the candidate has something to do such as reading company literature, taking a plant tour, etc.
  • You should discuss candidate needs in advance with the employer. If they can’t reasonably be met, forget the interview until the employer is prepared to address them or the candidate is willing to refine their demands. To do otherwise alienates both the employer and the candidate.

We know that dealing with HR folks can seem to be a chore, especially since they’re not the final authority on hiring. Fact is, though, that they are almost always the point-person within the hiring hierarchy and a majority of our readers tell us that a good relationship with HR makes their life much easier.

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Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.

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