Job Interview – the two-way sales process

by | Jul 26, 2017 | General, Hiring & Firing, Job Openings, Our Blog, Retention | 0 comments

This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on the hiring process as a two-way sale

You might be reading this as a job hunter, one who is looking for a new and better opportunity.  Or you might be reading this as a prospective employer. Today we are going to cover the first part of how a job interview is truly a two-way sales process.  Until and unless you use information like this to inform your hiring (or job seeking) process one or the both of you stand a good chance of leaving the process unsatisfied – with a candidate who isn’t a good match with the opportunity, or vice versa.  Let’s take this one by one.

The employer’s perspective

Business woman passes job interview

You have one or more openings to fill, and you need to be hiring NOW. You already might have had experience with the costs associated with turnover (equal to several months up to several YEARS of the position’s salary, depending upon the ramping up time needed). You are feeling a strong sense of urgency to fill the role, but you also know that you want the person you bring on board to be a keeper, and to contribute to your growth.  You don’t want to have to do this again next month or three months from now, and you also don’t want to be taking on a management burden if he or she is not exactly what you need.

Thoughts for employers

Your goal is to attract highly qualified candidates to your company, and to retain them once you have them. Your sales process for hiring starts long before that applicant ever submits a resume.  How well is your company known in the community? Do you have an established set of core values with which a candidate can choose to align? Do you have a strong, positive culture? These ingredients will help the best candidates seek to work with you.

Think also about your pre-screening and interview process.  Do you make it easy for people to apply, or is it a winding path of duplicate online entries? Do you incorporate diagnostic tests into your interview and hiring process? These can be valuable risk management tools for you, AND if they are cumbersome they can also deter some individuals from completing the process.  Do you respond promptly (or at all!) when you receive applications and/or resumes?  What does that tell a prospective candidate about how important you think people are in your business?

People tend to be hired for their skills and knowledge and later wind up being fired because of their attitudes and habits.  Skills and knowledge can be acquired through training, and if you have a good process for that you don’t need your candidates to be “fully baked” before they arrive through your front doors on the first day of work. Attitudes and habits are more difficult to realign with the business if they are not optimal. So you want your interview process to uncover a bit about how the candidate thinks and responds to situations – not just whether or not he or she has certain experience. When you find out how they have made decisions in the past, and what actions they have taken, you can begin to uncover underlying attitudes.

Your candidate is scrutinizing you all the while you are assessing him or her. The candidate is looking at how well the business facility is maintained, how employees are dressed, whether there is a lot of bustle in the work setting or whether it is calm and quiet. The candidate wants to know about career growth opportunities, the extent to which your business collaborates, uses technology, pursues quality and customer loyalty, etc. The candidate wants to know where this position fits in with your company’s big picture. This is where you sell the business and the opportunity to the prospective employee.

Go to Part 2 – The job applicant’s role during the hiring process