We recently saw a great candidate decline an offer extended shortly after their first interview. While flattered, they didn’t feel like they had enough information to make such a big decision after a 45-minute conversation.
This raises the question: Is the one-and-done interview really the best solution to a competitive market?
The interview process is an investment for both employers and candidates. While it’s important to respect the time of everyone involved, it’s equally essential that the candidate has the information they need to enthusiastically accept an offer.
Our advice for balancing urgency with real connection during the hiring process?
Create multiple opportunities for conversation:
Starting with an initial interview hosted on Zoom. A virtual conversation is a lower lift for everyone involved, and could even be scheduled over lunch to accommodate their schedule. This conversation creates an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other and determine if the job would be a good fit. The employer can share about the company’s history and culture and why the role is open, and the candidate can express their interest in the role and decide if they’d like to move forward with a second interview. We consider 2-3 interviews to be the Goldilocks zone!
Commit to timely and frequent communication:
This is especially helpful between interviews! Keeping a candidate informed by letting them know about next steps and when they can expect to hear from you signals their value and builds trust throughout the hiring process. Be sure to follow through with your word to be in touch when you say you will — and keep them in the loop regarding any shifting timelines.
Relationships are more competitive than offers. If you managed the process well and the candidate still declines your offer, you’ve built a connection and the possibility of great word of mouth. Similarly, maybe you don’t end up offering the position to this candidate, but perhaps you can refer them elsewhere or hire them for something else down the line. The relationship is there and can be drawn on in the future.
There is no one size fits all solution to hiring, but if you prioritize relationship-building by creating opportunity for both sides to get to know each other and demonstrate your respect for their time with prompt communication, your chances of a successful, well-matched hire increase greatly.