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Two Way Assessment

Do you remember the last time you found the perfect candidate for one of your key roles only to lose them to a competitor? Or for them to accept a counter-offer from their current employer? If so you are not alone. I’m sure you wondered where it went wrong? What could you have done differently? Was it something you said in that face to face interview?

In my previous blogs we’ve looked at;
- how a best practice resourcing model will use workforce planning to identify the skills we need to recruit;
- how we need to make our brand work for us in engaging candidates around our unique value proposition for them, and;
- how to deliver a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment process.

Whilst all of this could have impacted the decision, within the candidate experience, one of the most critical interactions occurs when the candidate first interviews with you face to face. This is where their views on the organisation, and the role, start to cement based on their experience.

Who is interviewing who?All too often during our reviews of a client’s assessment process we experience a face to face interview that is still very much designed to assess the candidates suitability for the role and the organisation, ignoring the fact this is the key stage in which the candidate assesses the organisation’s suitability for them also.

Hays' own research into Generation Y highlighted the importance this generation place on factors such as training and development, which was ranked as the most important factor when deciding to work for an employer. It also found that feeling valued and appreciated was top of their list for job satisfaction. If candidates aren’t invited to ask questions, asked about their future plans or at any stage engaged around these key topics in the interview you run the risk of losing that candidate you’ve already spent so much time getting to that stage.

With this in mind, it is really important to ensure that your hiring managers are trained to represent the organisation in the correct way as well as in traditional interview technique, and there are a number of ways you can do this.

Quick wins to refocus your assessment approach“Approved Recruiter” Status
One client of ours worked with us to develop an Approved Recruiter training programme with their Learning & Development team. All new managers who will recruit as part of their role are required to pass the course before they are able to interview for new hires. This delivered some immediate improvements to the candidates feedback post-interview but I appreciate not everyone has the ability, or the resources, to develop and deploy this type of approach.

Learning Management Systems are a cost effective way to distribute training
If your organisation has a developed LMS platform then I recommend you look at how to develop an assessment best practice module, which trains hiring managers on how to sell the organisation, questions to ask that identify the candidates areas of interest. I would also offer support on using any agreed assessment toolkits, so they are used objectively and with confidence.

Face to Face Training with a focus on delivering a positive candidate experience
Another common approach is for internal recruiters to have a set of training slides, which they use with hiring managers to train them on the process. We recommend that at least one third of these slides focuses on how to build rapport with the candidate, understanding their individual needs and wants, focusing on building the candidates interest in the organisation. Face to face training still plays a major role in amending behaviours, so although this can sometimes feel a little patronising I assure you in our experience it is time well spent.

The easiest way to improve your hiring When you look at the return on investment, a focus on making your assessment a two way process should be towards the top of the list, as it is one of the easier things to address. Making these small changes means that when all your other hard fought plans are implemented your hiring managers will be well placed to convert those great candidates into new starters and future leaders for your organisation.

I’m of the view that developing a holistic solution with the candidate experience at the centre of your process should be a priority for all forward thinking employers. When was the last time that you mystery shopped your own recruitment process to understand the experience you have designed for your applicants? Make doing this a priority for you this week and you will quickly have a plan of attack to improve their experience based on your own review. If you need help working through the possibilities then contact me or one of the Hays Talent Solutions team and we can work through it with you. 

Jon Mannall Head of Sales

Jon Mannall
Global Head of Sales, Solutions and Innovation, Hays Talent Solutions
Jonathan is the Global Head of Sales, Solution and Innovation for Hays Talent Solutions, having joined Hays in 2011. Previous roles held at Hays included Client Director, Service Delivery Director and Head of Sales for the UK. He is now responsible for leading the approach to engaging and securing new clients and to ensuring that the products and services offered by Hays Talent Solutions continue to meet the changing needs of our global, regional and local customers.

Prior to joining Hays, and after completing his Masters in Philosophy and Management, Jon worked in the RPO and MSP sector for 10 years with a range of Financial Services, Public Sector, IT & Telecommunications, and Insurance clients in Sales and Operations Director roles.

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