Wouldn’t it be nice if tons of eligible candidates pulled up in limos outside your company? Each one of them absolutely convinced that you’re the only company they want to spend the rest of their lives with. And after you spend a little time getting to know each one, you send a few home and keep a others around until you narrow it down to just the right fit. Actually, sans the limos, this may reflect your interviewing and candidate selection strategy. It’s eerily similar to the strategy the TV show, The Bachelor(ette), employs to try to help people find true love. And that approach hasn’t been very successful:
Of the 29 seasons of Bachelor(ette), only five couples have actually stayed together. (Actually, technically only four have worked out. Jason Mesnick ended up dumping the woman he picked and marrying the runner-up, but I digress.) And while your employee retention rate may not be a measly 14 percent, approaching recruiting like you’re the right fit for everyone will guarantee you some failures.
Instead, your candidate courting should be more reflective of a real dating experience: Each party figuring out if the opportunity is the best fit for their own needs. Accepting a certain job is just as impactful of a decision for your candidate as your decision of which candidate to select. So don’t assume you’re automatically the right fit.
Here are a few ways you can assess whether or not your company is the perfect match for a candidate:
Hire for Culture Fit: Yes, aptitude matters. Hiring someone who is really cool but can’t do the job won’t help the company at all. But if you can hire someone who has the ability to do the job and an attitude and values that align with the company, you’ve hit the sweet spot. And the reason why is obvious: people simply like working with other awesome people. In fact, 60 percent of hiring fails are due to employees not being able to get along well with coworkers.
Be Real About Your Company: You can lie. You can say that there has never been a single incident of interdepartmental drama at your company and that you give each employee a free Lamborghini to drive. But, they’ll probably be a little disappointed when they pull up on the first day to see a bunch of Hondas and Toyotas in the parking lot. Be honest about the challenges as well as what you’re doing to improve the situation. Paint a realistic picture of the benefits. We call this a realistic job preview. It’s better for your candidate to decide if the company, warts and all, is the right fit for them.
Do a Tour and Introductions: Take them on a company tour and see if they’re comfortable. If they’re tightening their neck-tie at the sight of potential coworkers in flip-flops, they probably aren’t the right fit. By giving a tour, you’ll also stand out from other companies competing for talent: Only 23 percent of people say they received a company tour during their most recent application process, but candidates reported it as the number three most important interaction determining if interviewing experience was good.
Don’t Hire Alone: Speaking of dating, remember that one significant other you had that all of your friends and family thought was a total dud? And after you parted ways, you couldn’t believe how right they were? We’ve all been there. The same thing can happen in hiring. You might think one candidate is a rockstar, while the other people you involve in the hiring process may be able to see a few potential issues. Using a collaborative hiring tool is a great way to make sure everyone’s feelings and rankings are expressed and documented before you send out any offer letters.
If you’re not the right fit for an employee, you really don’t want to hire them. Don’t try to trick or lull candidates into an environment they won’t be happy in. (And if you feel the need to do that, you may want to consider making your employee environment a little more attractive.) If you do, you’ll just end up with unhappy workers, high turnover and a bad reputation (hello, Glassdoor). Look for culture fits, be honest, introduce candidates to others and ask for help in making that final hiring decision. That way, you’ll be able to weed out candidates who won’t be the best fit for you. Remember: Not everyone will be. And if you act like they are, you might end up with a relationship track-record like the Bachelor(ette)’s.