Interview Practices For Recruiters To Engage And Retain The Right Talent

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Recruitment is a broad term that involves talent engagement and retention activities. The interview is that part of recruitment that allows employers to conduct a comprehensive assessment of a prospective employee’s abilities. Today, the job search activity is heavily concentrated on virtual platforms. Employers around the globe optimize social media platforms and online job resources to access desired talent pools. The use of technology has extended beyond talent search. Virtual job interviews have become commonplace in many industries.

The question of whether or not to utilize these virtual tools no longer bothers the human resource management departments. Instead, it is about whether these interviewing tools align with their desired talent pool’s preferences and how to round out a prospective candidate’s online experience to enhance engagement.

ManpowerGroup Solutions Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) conducted a survey to explore candidate’s online engagement preferences. The world’s largest RPO provider surveyed more than 200 job seekers about their online interviewing experiences and preferences. The evaluation resulted in a picture of connection and customization.

Unlike previous times, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work while recruiting talent in a digitized world today. The insights drawn from the survey will aid employers and their human resource management teams to devise strategies to win the attention of top talent. The information is collated below to serve as an interview guide for employers:

Interview Practices – Candidate Preferences

As mentioned above, the use of online tools extends to interviews. While virtual job interviews are a timely and cost-effective option for employers as compared to in-person interviews, they sometimes prevent candidates from being at ease or presenting their talents in the best possible manner.

During the survey, respondents were asked about the type of interview format they preferred – telephone, video, live, etc. On average, they preferred the traditional formats of in-person or telephone interview as compared to video conferencing. In-person interview with the hiring manager received a 4.4/5.0, where 5.0 meant ‘completely comfortable.’ In fact, 72% of the respondents selected in-person interview as their preferred choice. This finding held across all ages. Respondents with lower career levels or longer average job tenures were more likely to be comfortable with this format as well.

Let’s look at each interview format in detail to provide you with a greater insight into talent preferences:

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Interview via Video Conferencing Technology

Video conferencing brings in cost savings and is a hot topic among recruiters. However, the candidate preference is quite clear on this. While general comfort level with technology prevails; rated at 3.3/5.0, respondents of all age groups chose in-person and telephone interviews as their preference. However, candidates with more experience of video conferencing had a greater comfort level with the technology. In addition to this, a positive correlation was also found between income levels and preferences for video interviews. Higher paid respondents were more comfortable with online video calling applications than lower income participants. The drive for higher compensation also impacted a candidate’s willingness to experiment with unique video interview types like personal video introductions and video interviews, especially if they improved their likelihood of acquiring higher paid positions.

Initial Phone Screening Interview with the Recruiter

This format averaged on 4 on the comfortability scale (1-5) and respondents appeared to be comfortable with initial phone interviews. Roughly, 16% of respondents preferred this interview format over any other. Temporary employees, as well as respondents with lower career levels, were comfortable with this format.

Telephone Conference Interview

If a prospective employee is unable to participate in an in-person interview due to their distant location or other circumstances, then they are comfortable having a telephone conference as an alternative. This format averages almost 4 on the comfortability scale, and it was highly preferred by respondents working on a part-time, contract, or temporary basis. The survey provided an interesting revelation. Younger, lower career level respondents are not very comfortable with telephone conferences.

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Interview Practices to Be Implemented Based on Candidate Preferences

For successful top talent acquisition, employers should ensure that their human resource management teams and partners fully understand the influence of technological applications and platforms on the entire recruitment process, right from the initial engagement to the final interview.

While these digital tools and platforms can reinforce the organization’s brand and assist employers to reach active and passive candidates, they are not a substitute for human interaction. Eventually, the hiring manager and recruiters will have to make a connection with prospective candidates and offer them the value proposition that can result in the right hiring decision. Based on the candidate’s interviewing preferences, here are some practices to aid employers in hiring top talent:

Conduct Interviews Based on Candidate Profiles

Candidates are being exposed to new technologies during their job search and hiring processes. As per our survey, a majority of candidates are resorting to online job resources and social media platforms to grab opportunities and know more about organizations. Although candidates are embracing technology on this front, they clearly prefer straightforward, time-tested interview formats of phone screening, and in-person interviews over personalized video resumes and video interviews. However, the survey also indicates that candidates with more experience of video interviews and those with a drive for higher compensation are willing to experiment with technologies in the interview process.

Employers should first understand the profiles of the talent they want to target and then consider a range of approaches to interact with the candidate. Depending on the profile, they can use the right interviewing techniques and also implement the right technology tools. Video technologies are emerging and should not be neglected. Employers must focus on enhancing the candidate experience through video technologies to improve the usage of these cost-effective interviewing techniques. The nature of employer-candidate interactions should be guided by the type of talent employers wish to attract and engage.

Appropriate Personality of Hiring Managers is Key

Organizations should consider the personality of hiring managers and recruiters while engaging top talent. This is crucial during in-person interviews. If recruiters are not a proper fit, then top talent will immediately take note of the mismatch. The result can be detrimental and employers can risk losing prospective talented employees. The candidates who do not find a rapport with interviewers may look elsewhere, and accept opportunities with other employers including competitors. Today, candidates look for a comfortable atmosphere that allows them to show their talents in the best possible manner. Organizations must ensure that their hiring managers are great at communication and forming a rapport, which is essential to hire the right talent.

Create the Experience that Candidates Want

More than 35 percent of prospective employees want organizations to provide more information about jobs and more frequent interactions during the hiring process. Another 25 percent prefer to receive more information about the company. Understanding talent profiles and their preferences is the first step in building a candidate-centered experience. Employers should harness the institutional knowledge within their organization to devise talent acquisition strategies that focus on a more efficient and effective way of targeting top talent. Leverage all of the available data sources. Include insights from non-HR functions such as marketing and IT to get precise data analysis for the most well-rounded and complete view of candidates and the best ways to attract the right talent.

In addition to this, consider leveraging external industry resources to provide you with precise data on talent profiles and preferences. External resources can also provide a different and fresh perspective for your talent acquisition strategies. Benchmark your candidate experience with that of the industry leaders. The Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Awards can be a valid measure of success. When it comes to providing candidates with a positive experience, there are no cutting corners.

Summary

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Interviews, whether technology-based or in-person, plays a critical role in hiring decisions. While a general comfort with technology is present, tradition still trumps technology when it comes to interview processes. While candidates are becoming more sophisticated in the way they look for positions, nothing can serve as substitutes for a compelling value proposition, personal interaction, and online resources that reinforce the employer’s brand. Although technology must not be neglected, the strategy should be focused on talent-preferences. Leveraging data to gain and understand talent profiles and their choices is crucial to creating an experience that enhances the prospects to recruit top talent.

To know more about talent preferences, and the interview practices suitable to your business, consult human resource management solutions providers at ManpowerGroup.

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