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Monday, August 1, 2016

How To Show Candidates What You Really Have To Offer

The perks your company offers are plastered all over your career site. Your job postings go on and on about how your office is a great place to work. You might even give candidates a lengthy overview of all the benefits that will be available to them.

But those are just words.

Job seekers don’t experience your generous vacation time during the interview process, so how can they really judge if it’ll make them happy?

Of course, it’s impossible to give candidates a true look at all you have to offer. After all, no one’s expecting you to make a 401k contribution to someone who may not end up working for you. But there are some perks that can easily become part of the interview process and candidate experience.

Here are three benefits job seekers can get a real taste for before you even hire them:

1. The company culture

When it comes to company culture, job seekers are looking for signs that they’ll fit in and be satisfied working there. A 2015 Staples Advantage survey took a look at differences in company culture when it came to employee happiness. The characteristic that showed the biggest difference was having a culture built on shared vision, goals, and values. For happy employees, 31 percent described a “good” company culture this way, while only 17 percent of unhappy employees did.

That means satisfied employees feel like they have a lot in common with their coworkers. They see what aspects of the workplace unite the team and see those qualities in themselves.

In order to get employees who feel like they fit in with your organization, an honest representation of the culture needs to be part of the candidate experience. They need to get an idea for the personality of the office and decide if that’s an environment in which they’ll be happy.

But how do you do that in the interview process? One big way is by not asking generic questions. If you’re asking candidates the same things as every other organization, there’s nothing different for them to identify with. Think about what defines your workplace and have interview questions reflect those characteristics.

Is your office known for its creativity and shared love of comic books? Ask candidates what superpower they’d choose if they could. Are you focused on charity and giving back to the community? Inquire about what types of organizations they volunteer for. That way you not only get to know the candidate, but they get to know the company.

2. Work/life balance

Freedom and flexibility are side effects of the technological advances that have benefited workers immensely. It’s now not only easy for employees to work when they want and from where they want, but also an expected perk for many of them.

A 2015 survey from Indeed found that 51 percent of job seekers want flexible hours that allow them to achieve better work/life balance. But as anyone who has been through a job application process knows, the timeline is out of job seekers’ hands. They have no control over how long the process takes and few options when it comes to scheduling traditional interviews. Basically, there is no respect for their time.

Give candidates a sneak peak at the work/life balance they’ll be able to enjoy after being hired by making the process more flexible for them. For example, by incorporating video interviews into your process, talent can choose when and where they want to answer your questions, creating a better candidate experience.

If their schedule doesn’t give them a free moment until after 8 p.m., no problem. If they’re currently chaperoning their child’s school trip, there’s no need to choose between that responsibility and the job opportunity.

3. Career development

If you want employees to stick around for the long-haul, you need to show them you care about their professional future. And if you want a job seeker to become an employee, you need to show your dedication to career development during the interview process. The best way to do that is to offer feedback about their performance before they are even hired.

A 2015 LinkedIn report found that a staggering 94 percent of job seekers want feedback after they interview with a company, yet just 41 percent have ever received it. You have the opportunity to not only meet candidates’ expectations, but also show them how you’d offer guidance once they are hired.

Make time after the interview to discuss how each person did. Talk with them about what strengths impressed you, as well as areas for improvement. Then give some suggestions on ways they can improve.

For example, if a candidate gives a particularly good example of their customer service experience, let them know. That way, even if they don’t end up working for you, they can highlight those skills more and be more successful as their job search continues.

If you want talent to know how great it is to work for your company, you need to allow them to experience all the perks during the interview process. That will improve your candidate experience by taking all you have to offer from a list on your career site to part of their reality.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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