As a recruiter, you’re not only finding candidates to fill jobs, you’re selling your company to top talent. Talent acquisition teams should look to a customer support team’s playbook when creating an interview experience strategy. Below are six ways to follow the lead of customer support teams and adopt a candidate first mentality. 

  1. Put candidates first: You may have twenty phone screens calls to conduct, five interviews to schedule and a stack of applications to review, but every candidate who interacts with your company  should feel like he or she is your top priority. Provide candidates with the information on how to contact you directly via email, phone, or social media and maintain consistent communication throughout the process.
  1. Move quickly: Responding quickly to candidates shows your enthusiasm for a candidate, and also ensures that your company gets the first chance to interview great candidates before another company can make an offer. Set tight deadlines for every needed response to ensure that each candidate is moved through the process quickly and that no one is left waiting for an answer.
  1. Simplify the process: Customers hate going through multiple steps for something that should be quick and easy, and so do candidates. Don’t set up five different interviews at different times when one meeting with two people will accomplish the same result. Don’t ask your candidates to upload a resume and then fill in boxes on the application that ask for the same information. Instead, use recruiting software that streamlines the process for you and for them to eliminate both frustration about your company’s processes.
  1. Be real: Being genuine sells. Customers know when you’re talking to them from a script and when you’re being genuine.The same is true for candidates who want to talk to real people instead of corporate machines. Each candidate is an individual and each conversation should be personalized. Aim to make each communication and interview an organic conversation. Sure, you should prepare some questions ahead of time you definitely want to ask, but let the conversation evolve naturally to gain more insight into a candidate’s personality. This will this put candidates at ease, and may help them share more details, than if you stuck to your script.
  1. Know what you’re selling: Customer service teams are selling something, whether it’s a product, a service, or a continued relationship. Recruiters are selling a company, so find out what candidates really need to hear before they commit. Make a list of answers to common questions that you can reference, and work closely with hiring manager to fully understand the requirements of each job. Candidates usually want to know about responsibilities, day-to-day workload, and performance expectations, so have that information on hand. You should also be able to speak to why your company is a great fit for each candidate. Make another list of some of the great things your company offers, and go beyond time off and pay to subjects like company culture, professional development and long-term career paths.
  1. Ask for feedback: Businesses use customer surveys because they are the easiest way to get information about how a business is doing. By seeking information from candidates you can address problems in your hiring process you never knew existed, or find out what is working well to ensure the experience keeps getting better. Asking for the opinions of your candidates also lets them know that you value their opinions, which goes a long way to ensuring that they feel valued throughout their interview experience.

Are you interested in other ways to engage candidates? Check out 6 Ways to Authentically Engage Passive Candidates for more tips.

Author: Peggy Carouthers, a professional freelance writer with a background in journalism and HR.