Updated: Jun 16
18 Interviews, and nobody worth hiring. Know the picture?
You have a hiring manager who can’t pass you in the corridor without asking if there are any new applicants for their ‘business critical’ role. They need to see more candidates 'urgently'. You've already shared tons of candidates with them. The role’s been open for 4 months. They’ve already conducted 18 interviews. You die a little bit inside every time they ask you about it.
There will always be some hiring managers who don't really get recruitment. C'est la vie. Happily though, there are some things you can do to make sure the process is focussed and effective, regardless of who's involved.
1. Give your hiring managers some interview coaching...
This is surprisingly rare.
The internet is replete with advice on how to ‘smash an interview’ from the candidate’s perspective, but what about the interviewer?
I’ve seen some cringe-worth calamities of interviews in my time and usually, it's nothing to do with the candidate.
Common cringes include:
Asking overly personal – sometimes legally questionable – questions
Talking too much about themselves and ‘how we do things’
Asking questions with no focus or desired outcomes
Asking questions only they can answer…… Congratulations, you already have the job!
Complaining about their job and the company
All this ends up in lots of interviews and no decisions. Oh, and great candidates who will eventually reject your offer.
Hiring managers should be aware of the do's and don'ts and have a clear criteria for hiring decisions BEFORE they start interviewing candidates. Ideally, before they start looking for CVs.
A quick workshop with hiring managers on interview techniques can ultimately save you lots of time, money and awkward attempts to avoid particular managers in the canteen.
2. Get the job ad right...
Often, having lots of interviews and rejected CVs is down to a disconnect between what the hiring manager has laid out in the requirements, and what has been put out in the job ad.
Time spent at the front end with the hiring manager to separate the essentials from the nice-to-have is time very well spent.
While the hiring manager can 'brain dump' the requirements, they are seldom good at turning this into an effective job advert. Help them out. Get the details and write it yourself to make it as effective as possible.
The job ad should maximise your chances of attracting suitably qualified applicants.
With hiring manager job posts, the tendency is for it to look like an exhaustive list of skills and duties. It will inhibit perfectly good candidates from applying and will likely fail to get the response you need. Why? because it's a Wishlist. It needs to be an advert.
3. Emphasise the need to sell the opportunity!
It is important that the opportunity is being sold effectively at each stage of the process. You may have some blockers to this that you need to identify and fix. Helping hiring managers to understand that interviews are a two-way process is vital.
Sell the job; sell the company; sell the team; sell the car parking space; sell the canteen and the half day Friday once a month. Induce desire in your candidate. If they come away from the interview and don’t tell anyone in their life that they want the job, you’ve failed.
One of the biggest mistakes interviewers frequently make is thinking that the person they're interviewing needs the job. While that’s sometimes true, more often it's not. They need to be sold on the opportunity just as much as they need to sell themselves to you.
In preparing for interviews, try getting the hiring manager to list the 3 best things about working in their team and how working there can help advance the career of the candidate.
Aside from the obvious, what’s in it for the candidate?
Elemental helps businesses to attract, hire and retain technical specialists. If you're hiring to your team, let's talk