Don’t Overlook Personal Connection in Hiring

Finding the perfect candidate can feel like spotting a mythical beast for a recruiter. A prospective employee, particularly for a job that is difficult to fill, who is qualified, likeable and reliable, may seem almost too good to be true.

Finding the purple unicorn squirrel

When you find that purple squirrel looking unicorn, your dream can become a nightmare if they decline your offer or accept another offer.

Many elements go into making a job offer attractive to a candidate, but one key factor that is easy to overlook is the personal connection in hiring.

A recent study from Manpower Group Solutions which surveyed over 200 U.S. job seekers discovered that about a third of prospective employees want more personal interaction throughout the hiring process. Accordingly, “Companies that are not providing information and personally connecting with candidates are at a disadvantage versus organizations that are making these tactics standard operating procedure.”

When it comes to attracting top talent at all levels of your organization, your standard operating procedure should include :

  • Be reachable. Candidates will be quickly frustrated if they have difficulty connecting with you through automated answering systems. Make it easy for them to connect with the hiring manager.
  • Allow time for conversation within the interview. Even if you have a highly structured interview process, it’s important to leave some time to just converse. Get to know the candidates and give them the opportunity to get to know you.
  • Introduce them to company culture. Expose candidates to the workplace during the interview. You can introduce them to potential coworkers and give them a tour of the office.
  • Keep all candidates informed during the application process. One frequent mistake employers make is leaving candidates hanging after they have submitted an application. It is important for your company’s reputation to let them know if they won’t be moving forward, at any point in the hiring process.
  • Follow up promptly. A candidate’s interest in a position drops substantially each day that goes by after the interview. Your best candidates are probably looking at other jobs too. Let them know as soon as possible whether you are going to extend an offer or move them forward to the next round of the hiring process. Even if you can’t offer the job right away, keep them in the loop and don’t leave any room for doubt about your interest in them.
  • Be completely up front. Candidates shouldn’t be surprised later about any element of the job, including compensation, working hours and difficulty of the work.

These tactics cost nothing and can go a long way in closing top jobs candidates.