Some Applicants Just Aren’t That Into You

Finding the perfect person for your organization can be easily compared to dating. The wrong choice could cost you a fortune and/or waste your time, and the right choice could make your organization far better. So how do those charged with talent acquisition responsibilities go about courting some applicants for their organization so that they can realize optimal job fit?

I know what that job entails… I think.

If you are in a recruiting role, do you know what every position in your organization does? If you do not, consider asking the hiring manager of that position to help write the job description. You may also spend time shadowing people in your organization. This might be time consuming, but if you have a hard-to-fill position, understanding what the positives and negatives are for that position will help you find someone who can handle those situations – it is all about setting expectations correctly. If the facilities person is responsible for cutting the grass, you do not want to court someone who is extremely allergic to grass…to the extent that he/she would not be able to handle meeting the essential requirement of operating the lawn mower. Little questions upfront will help in the long run with finding the perfect match.

We have the best company culture… Don’t we?

I think my cooking is great and my jokes are funny, but I know everyone has different taste buds and a sense of humor. Culture is the same way. In some organizations, each department has a different culture and then the company as a whole has a culture. Other organizations have one fluid culture. You, being in the recruiting position, may be able to promote the company culture to applicants, but what do your other current employees think about your company culture?

If you do a periodic company-wide assessment or evaluation that addresses organizational culture, it might be worthwhile to share an excerpt of those results with your potential new hire — that is, if you have positive things to share…and if you don’t, well then you probably will be making some changes internally to better engage employees. Then, you might want to work on your employment brand, as well.

You can also have employees in each department summarize their own opinion of department culture and the larger company’s culture. Share this information with the potential new hire as it will give the individual a chance to peer inside the organization to see how things really work. Don’t stop there, though. Find out that person’s thoughts on how he/she would fit in to the departmental culture associated with the position for which he/she applied. This is a mutually beneficial exercise. You can teach people how to do things, but you cannot as easily change behavioral traits and motivations. Don’t make a square peg fit into a round hole. A cultural fit is a crucial part of finding your perfect employee. And aside from simply asking the applicant about his behavioral tendencies (because who is going to admit “I’m a control freak” or “I have trouble playing well with others”), consider utilizing an assessment during the interviewing process.

Is this good for the applicants?

You may currently be in the infatuation stage with a few potential new employees. You find yourself seeing them through rose-colored glasses, promoting the many benefits of your organization, and why you can’t live without them. However, don’t let your eagerness to bring a well-qualified individual (on paper) on board at the expense of making sure the employment relationship is a great fit from the applicant’s perspective. After all, anyone can be good at interviewing and expressing interest while wooing other organizations, too. He or she may just not be that into you and your company in the long run.

If an applicant has no reservations or intuitive questions before coming on board, I always wonder about his/her backstory or level of interest. I want someone to have enough self-awareness to ask questions that let me know they are really considering whether accepting an offer with my organization is the right decision. Just like any relationship, it must be a two-way street.

Hiring the right employee takes self-reflection and honest communication. It is a chance for you to improve upon your skills and gain more knowledge about your organization. Do not let yourself get stale; keep it fresh, stay in the know. Then, be clear and straightforward with your potential new hires so they too can reciprocate.

Considering an assessment for the interviewing process or for existing employees? Contact ExactHire to discuss options.

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