Recent trends in hiring practices are showing a shift away from face-to-face interviews and toward technologically driven interviewing and assessment methods. While technology has improved the speed and efficiency of communication and is certainly useful for collecting and organizing data about candidates, it has its limitations. Technology can never replace the benefits of a face-to-face meeting.
Superstar Candidates Require Special Treatment
It is common now to use Applicant Tracking Systems to gather and analyze resumes, phone interviews to screen initial candidates, Skype™ or FaceTime™ interviews to follow up with the most promising leads, and text messages and emails to facilitate communications at every step in between. By herding candidates along this efficient-but-impersonal process, you are risking that the only candidates you will engage with are those who don’t mind average, one-size-fits-all treatment. In short, this hiring process will not capture the superstars your company hopes to hire.
The simple truth is, exceptional candidates are going to require special treatment. I have been in the recruiting business for 17 years, and I have never seen a superstar candidate be attracted to a company without being “wooed.” In other words, if you want to land a high-performing candidate, you must pursue them and make them feel special. Especially in today’s hot candidate market, superstar employees know their worth, and they expect the companies they interview with to know it as well.
Benefits of Face-to-Face
To be sure, assessment testing, resume keywords, and applicant tracking can be useful in the hiring process, but they are only one part of the process.
Think about this: Superstar candidates are bound to be technically proficient and have proven track records of success, but that is also true of many candidates who are just satisfactory. Superstars become superstars when they go above and beyond what can be written on a resume – they are personable, warm, and engaging. They are quick thinkers and creative problem solvers. They possess many qualities that your assessment tests cannot capture effectively.
Making these candidates feel special does not have to be an expensive, laborious process, but it does require making an extra effort to step outside your standardized, technology-driven hiring practices and connect with them person-to-person. Once you have identified your top targeted candidates, schedule a lunch or coffee meeting, put down your phone, and have a conversation with the human being sitting in front of you. Don’t read from an interview script or come with printouts of your assessment materials. Open up a dialogue, be authentic, and get to know what the candidate would be like as an employee, a teammate, or a manager. Let them know that you recognize their value, and prove to them that your company would be of equal value to them.
Face-to-Face Proves Value
Candidates in today’s market are looking for careers with companies that respect them and desire a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employee. Don’t drive them away with impersonal, standardized interview processes. Take advantage of simple, authentic, face-to-face meetings and prove to these superstars that your company values and respects them.