“I’m special, so special. I gotta have some
of your attention — give it to me.”
                                                            The Pretenders


Pay Special Attention To Candidate Experience

Don’t Lose Them Because
You Gave Them A Bad  Candidate Experience.


Sometimes you miss a note. Or your timing is off.

It happens. You made a mistake.

Take The Pretenders for example. Lead singer Chrissie Hynde hated the song. Really hated it. Fortunately, Chrissie Hynde’s producer changed her mind about a song that would go on to become a chart-topper around the world – “Brass In Pocket”. For all Hynde’s doubts about it, the song became the first UK #1 hit single of the 1980s.


“This goes out over my dead body.”
                                                                   Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders


What about you? Have you ever missed out hiring a great candidate for, well, no really good reason perhaps other than your “gut”? Or something you did during the interview that left the candidates with a bad feeling about their experience?


Never, Ever Lose A Special Candidate Because
They Had A Bad  Candidate Experience At Your Company


At Key Hire, we talk to our clients about Recruiting in the Key of C. So today I want to focus on being “Considerate” and looking at the whole process from the “candidate’s” perspective. What do we put our candidates through? How do we treat them? Are we respectful … are we considerate?

This is perhaps the most overlooked yet most important element of the interviewing dynamic. “How “ we engage and treat them is even more important than “what” we talk to them about in many ways.


Understand Them

Your best prospects already have a job. And any time they take away from that job means you are infringing on their personal, vacation or family time and possibly creating an uncomfortable situation at their current job.

You have to understand their situation and respect them and their time.


Accommodate Them

So, don’t make demands on their time. Find ways to accommodate their schedules. Don’t make them feel ANY pressure to take time off their current job and, perhaps, arouse suspicion.


The bottom line here is that you want to give your candidates the very best experience, and that starts long before they talk with you or arrive at your company for a live interview. You never, ever want to lose out on a great new hire because of a negative experience. Understand their situation and accommodate their needs and schedules and you are well on your way to framing up a great experience they will remember.


A Little Attention Goes A Long Way.

  • 87% will go with the company that gets it done on time
    and gives them the best candidate experience.
  • 83% who may like the company but had a
    bad candidate experience will go somewhere else.

Five Things Guaranteed To Make A Bad Candidate Experience.


  1. You don’t receive them properly

    Most candidates will come to an interview nervous but eager and on time. That positive mood can be soured if they are left waiting for half an hour. Finding out that the reception hasn’t been informed about who they are and who they’re meeting can be equally frustrating. Provide a welcome for your candidates. Not doing so won’t only affect their opinion of your company but will also demotivate and effect interview performance.

  2. Not reading their resume

    Being busy is understandable. But, not dedicating a few minutes to find out what’s on the candidate’s resume can turn into a big hiring mistake. It’s important to show you respect their qualifications and have an interest in them rather than a cold procedure. Otherwise, you risk asking irrelevant questions or worse, try to sort it out on the spot. The candidate will sense what you’re trying to do and won’t appreciate it.

  3. You don’t care and it shows

    There are a number of things that can distract you — an upcoming meeting or an important email. Some interviewers may even be uninterested in a candidate because they already tend to prefer another. Candidates, though, have spent a lot of time preparing for your interview and they deserve to be heard. They’ll immediately know that they don’t have your full attention if you are detached, unenthusiastic, don’t take notes and look at anywhere but them.

  4. You dominate the discussion

    It’s a good thing that interviewers want to break the ice, sell the company and ask their questions. But when all these result in an endless monologue, it can be one of the most harmful interviewer mistakes and detrimental to the hiring process. Candidates should be encouraged to do the talking for about 80 percent of the time. Avoid interrupting them and give them enough time to have their own questions or concerns addressed. Don’t be too quiet though, candidates don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. Ask clear and concrete questions and follow up on their answers to probe deeper.

  5. You boast too much.

    Of course, you are proud of and want to present the company in the best possible light. Sometimes though, interviewers get carried away — either because they’re genuinely satisfied employees or because they exaggerate to make an impression. Praising the company should be done carefully and be thought through in advance. Needless to say, you should always refrain from praising. These are just of the things to avoid. Common sense and common courtesy will take you a long way to making a good first (and lasting) impression on High-Impact Talent that can take you to the next level.

For more about how to interview those special “gold” candidates, check out my previous blog I Remember You – How to Interview “Gold” Candidates.

In the meantime…

Make Your Business Rock!


Corey Harlock
Principal Consultant

tune into talent

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