Hiring Wisdom: What Did It Cost Your Last Applicant to Interview?

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

Here’s the premise:

1. Most of the best people who want to work are working.

2. You would prefer to hire someone who is working.

3. You (or the hiring manager) only conduct face-to-face interviews during normal business hours.

4. This means the applicant has to take time off of work, and:

a. If they are hourly employees, they won’t be paid for the hours missed.

b. If they are salaried, they will have to use sick leave or vacation time.

c. In both cases, they will probably have to lie to their present employer in order to interview with you.

5. Even if they do manage to clear these hurdles, they have no guarantee you’ll make an offer of employment.

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Give applicants compelling reasons to interview with you

Would you be willing to pay an entry-level, hourly applicant $40 or $50 for four hours of their time just to show up for the interview? How about a nurse, a programmer, or an inside salesperson’s half-day’s wages of $150 or as much as $400? What makes you think the best people will shell out that kind of time and money for YOU?

If your organization really wants to be an Employer of Choice, how is this vision served by your present employee recruiting and selection process?

Conclusion: You need to give potential employees compelling reasons to interview with you – or they really need to hate the job they have! (Read my blog post: “What Is Your Unique Employment Proposition?”)

PS — I can’t tell you how many hiring managers have complained to me about applicants who fail to show for the interview. My question to them is: “Why should they?”

This was originally published in the July 2013 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


5 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: What Did It Cost Your Last Applicant to Interview?

  1. Yes, yes, yes! We need to be respectful of applicants’ time. Would like to see more hiring managers approach applicants as if they were potential customers and we were trying to get a sale.

  2. I don’t live in the US, but here, I don’t think hiring managers really care all too much about their applicants’ time. I’m a fresh graduate looking for an HR job and every single interview I’ve been to so far, without fail, started at least half an hour later than the agreed time and twice now I’ve actually gotten to their office only to be told that the person who was supposed to interview me was on leave that day.

    But I think the reason for that is because there is a surplus of applicants. In one popular jobsite here, when you apply for a job online, you can see how many other people applied for that same job and usually, one job post has an average of about 250 applicants (that is, for entry level jobs) so I’m guessing the attitude is “Well if you don’t want this job, there are plenty of others who do”. Anyway, this whole experience is serving as a “how not to treat applicants” guide for when I do eventually find work.

  3. Great article it does cost the potential candidate to attend an interview during business hours not to mention the employer doing the hiring. If company’s take on new hiring technologies that allow candidates to interview via video and ATS on their own time, this pain can be eased significantly. Great job!

  4. Compensating candidates for taking time off to interview is
    an interesting notion. Perhaps just offering candidates an easier way to
    connect is compelling enough. We’re seeing customers use a one-way video interview
    to entice passive candidates. This gets rid of the realities of a & b, at least
    for this initial step, because candidates simply record video answers to
    interview questions on their own time. Employers can use those responses to
    separate the good from the great and from there they can look to accommodate
    the candidates that really stood out when inviting them back.

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