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One of the most discussed topics in the world of recruitment is how candidates can make a positive first impression on potential employers, but the recruitment process is a two-way street. To attract the best candidates, employers must also consider every aspect of the pre-hire and interview process to create the right impression.

Previously, we have discussed the importance of the new starter process, which is all about helping new hires feel comfortable in their surroundings, but to put the foundations of a long-term relationship in place, it is important to align the impressions created both pre-hire and post-hire.

Impressions Are Formed Long Before You Meet

If we use the analogy of finding somewhere to eat, in many cases the decision you make starts long before you enter the restaurant for the first time. If you’re trying somewhere new, you might take a look at the restaurant’s website, read some reviews and ask for recommendations, and these are all important touch points that influence your final decision. Equally, you might walk past the restaurant and see that it’s poorly looked after from the outside. If any of these areas create a negative impression in your mind then you’ll probably eat elsewhere.

The same can be said for recruitment. The very first contact you have with a prospective candidate needs to create an excellent impression. The recruitment market is incredibly competitive at the moment and talented candidates with the right skills will be in high demand. For that reason, it’s essential you start the process as you mean to go on.

Making the Right First and Lasting Impression

Many employers don’t know how to create the best first impression or how to carry it through to the hire and beyond. To give you some help, here are a few questions you should ask…

  1. Does the job specification really sell the role and include all the details candidates will expect to see?
  2. Do you have a careers page on your website where interested candidates can find out what working for the company is like?
  3. Do you respond quickly to queries from prospective candidates?
  4. Do you take the time to prepare for interviews? You should give yourself at least 15 minutes to familiarise yourself with a candidate’s background and work history rather than just flicking through their CV during the interview.
  5. Do you turn up on time? Just as you would disregard a candidate who arrived late, you should never keep a candidate waiting, no matter how busy you might be.
  6. Do you spend at least 30 minutes with every candidate? When a candidate has made the effort to dress smartly, travel to your premises and prepare for the interview, the least you can do is to give them 30 minutes of your time.
  7. Do you listen more than you speak? An interview should be all about the candidate, so don’t talk too much or oversell the role. Instead, give the candidate the opportunity to sell themselves.
  8. Do you provide prompt interview feedback? Telling a candidate “thanks but no thanks” is never particularly nice, but telling them as quickly as possible and providing them with positive or constructive feedback is the right thing to do.

The Importance of Consistency

It’s extremely important to create the right impression, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to lure a candidate in under false pretences. If the office they will be working in is the dullest of grey spaces, then holding the interview in a plush, vibrant meeting room is not necessarily the best way to build a long-term relationship. While creating the right impression is important, it should also be one that accurately reflects what it’s like to actually work for the company.

The Support You Need

At DB Charles Recruitment, we work with you long before the interviews get underway to create the right impression. That includes everything from writing compelling job ads and clear job descriptions to providing interview training and feeding back to candidates on your behalf. Find out more about our service for clients and get in touch with our recruitment specialists today.

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