How would your recruitment practice stand up to this scrutiny?

From the very first advertisement you place, your potential new talent is making judgments about you - and those judgments become a critical part of how much your new employee attaches to you and your team. Here's an article from our Social Media Manager, Karalyn Brown. She writes on questions you want (or may not want!) your applicants to ask.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. OK I know this is a cliché. But clichés are clichés for a reason. They contain a nugget of truth that’s worth exploring.

A few years back I wrote an article for the Australian – what interviews foretell? I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the recruitment industry’s leading lights – Bob Olivier and Steven Begg. I wanted to explore whether someone’s interview could actually provide an insight into the professionalism or culture of an organisation.

Both agreed the style of interview itself may give a clue about a company’s culture, but as the interview is partly sales process, that prospective employees should do their due diligence on the organisation, the manager and the company culture.

Here’s what they recommended candidates consider about a prospective employer:

  • That the working experience will be quite separate from the impression they may have gained from a company’s marketing.
  • Often it’s what is missing in the recruitment process, rather than what is said in interview, that can be a more powerful indicator of the employment experience. Be mindful, for example, of missing position descriptions, conflicting communication, no letters of offer or incomplete employment contracts.
  • Critically appraise the position description. A piece of paper does not give you much useful context, so candidates need to ask “what will I spend 80% of my time doing?” and “what will my greatest challenges be in this role?”
  • Beware of any rashness in the recruitment process. It is very flattering to be asked, but nobody is good enough to be offered a job on the spot.
  • Be concerned if you are not asked for references.
  • Search for the employer’s “skeletons in the closet,” ask questions around why the role has been created, why the last person left, the likely difficulties in the role, who’s been promoted and how and why that promotion has eventuated.
  • Ask about turnover, particularly turnover in the last six months.
  • Ask to meet the team members. An organisation may generally only line up happy team members, however their willingness to do so is a good indicator of the healthiness of the environment.

With recent doom and gloom in the employment market, it might seem unusual that I bring this up now. However in some key industries there is a war for talent.

Whether you are chasing candidates or not a positive recruitment experience is a powerful first foundation stone for creating a sense of security and trust with your prospective employees. Good candidates actually do want to see that you have done your due diligence on them. That can give them confidence about you and your decision making and help them decide if they have made the right choice.

If top recruiters are recommending that top candidates ask these questions about their prospective employers, it’s probably timely that you ask yourself – how would your organisation stand up to such scrutiny?

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