The secret is out – it’s a candidate’s job market, meaning job seekers have the upper hand when looking for their next role. In fact, according to CNBC, job openings jumped in the summer [11.2 million job openings in July, an increase of 199,000 from June]. At the same time, voluntary quits remain historically elevated and the layoff rate is hovering near record lows. There are nearly two job openings for every unemployed worker.
When searching for top talent, the first impression is critical in securing an offer and long-term retention. It doesn’t matter if your company receives 200 plus applications to the job posting if the candidates’ interviewing experience is subpar. Let’s discuss how to create an engaging interview process to keep candidates excited about joining your organization.
1. Use Digital Platforms
2. Respond Quickly
When a candidate is interviewing with multiple different companies and you want their attention, it’s imperative to show that upfront. Ensure the talent team is responding to applications in a timely manner, either in automated rejections or with follow-ups. When possible, avoid ghosting candidates. Instead, give honest position updates – they will understand if the position is on hold or closed due to budgetary reasons.
3. Maintain Transparency
Interviewing is a conversation and should always be focused on both the company understanding the candidate’s background and the candidate determining if the company is aligned with their career goals. In order for this to happen, both parties have to be honest about details often not found online, from day-to-day role responsibilities to projects and achievements. A successful interview – at any stage – involves both the company and the candidate openly engaging one another with thoughtful questions and answers that lead to building an open relationship. Lastly, talk about the compensation early so candidates know if the role is aligned with their career and can continue to pursue or focus elsewhere.
4. Money Talks
To further our last point, candidates realize they can move companies to jump 8-10% in pay instead of waiting a year for a 3-5% merit increase at their current company. Review your current compensation structure and ensure each position is market comparable and aligns with the experience level of the ideal fit. As noted in a recent internet-viral story, a job position was asking for experience yet paying below market in a major city: “Natalya then delineates her experience at the interview that she says demonstrates how the employer she applied to doesn’t care about their workers… I see that the position is for marketing coordinator which is not an entry-level position, OK, this is a position that requires experience and they want to pay $36,000-$38,000 in Miami, Florida.” Account for geographical cost of living and industry standards and review comp data frequently to ensure you are not offering wages below average.
Creating an engaging interview process is the key to moving your applicant to the offer stage. This relationship will help your company combat the candidate market and increase retention long term. Encouraging an open conversation and ensuring that your goals are aligned with your candidates will show respect to their career goals and build a foundation of trust. The bottom line is wages have climbed higher, rising 5.6% from last February. High demand for workers means businesses have to pay more to attract and retain staff. Reviewing compensation data regularly to ensure the salaries are market competitive is the final key to securing top talent through your interview process.