While I usually write for an audience of job seekers, today I'd like to address a question I've received many times from many employers: "How can I hire better candidates"
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This question may seem fairly straightforward, but the answer isn't so simple. There are a number of factors you need to consider, which I'll outline below.
The internet has changed the job search game. In particular, it has given candidates more access to employer reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Now, candidates can read about potential employers the same way they'd research restaurants on Yelp. If you're hiring, check out your reviews and do what you can to improve.
When it comes to the roles themselves, job seekers are looking for fulfillment and flexibility. Rarely are candidates looking for money alone. They want to work from home on Fridays or to have more vacation time. They want to take leave when their children are born. They've been worked to the bone before, and now they want balance. Although they value money, today's job seekers would often give up some to feel happier at work.
Last but not least, job seekers want to be treated with respect during the job search. It makes them uncomfortable to divulge too much sensitive information, such as their entire salary history. Job seekers grow upset when companies ask them to do extensive homework in the early stages of the interview, such as building a portfolio or completing paperwork beyond a normal application. Job seekers understand why this type of information can be helpful to employers, but they think you should wait until they've made it to the final stages of the interview process to ask for it.
When you make a promise to a job seeker, keep it. You expect them to keep their promises to you, and they expect you to do the same. When you tell the job seeker you'll let them know something by Friday, let them know something by Friday. If you haven't been able to come to a decision, let them know that. They'll understand. What they won't understand is radio silence.
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If you've spent hours interviewing a candidate only to decide you won't move forward with them, send a personal email to let them know. If they email you after the interview, respond. Don't ignore them or send an automated email. If the candidate asks why they weren't selected, consider giving them feedback. It can be confusing for a candidate when they ace an interview but aren't selected. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the candidate – they were just second in line. Let them know. You may want to hire them for another job one day.
In summary, job seekers want to be treated with honesty and respect. If you value them, they will value your company.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.