The hiring process, from application to offer, is often full of problems that lead to poor candidate experience and a bad business rep. Making the process more human can help your business thrive.
Thomas Forstner is the talent and acquisition lead at Juro.
During my time as both a candidate applying for jobs, and an interviewer in the selection process, I’ve noticed warning signs in a hiring process that can often lead to a poor candidate experience. Now, working at Juro as the talent and acquisition lead, I have a great opportunity to take my learnings and develop a hiring process that is robust, scalable, and most importantly - human. Here’s how we make hiring more human at Juro - and how companies can sometimes get it wrong.
99 per cent of people who apply for a specific role won’t be the right fit - it’s about how you offer a positive experience to the majority in order to find and secure the minority.
1. Look at the bigger picture 👀
Before even looking at candidates, you need to look at the overall hiring system. Most companies approach this as a funnel - where the candidate works their way through the pipeline, and then either passes or fails.
It's important to look at the broader aspects of hiring, and how you treat those that don't make it to the offer stage. The quality of a selection process is determined by how you treat the least successful candidates - if you don’t show respect for people who aren’t a fit for your business, your poor candidate experience will lead to a negative reputation for your business. 99 per cent of people who apply for a specific role won’t be the right fit, after all - it’s about how you offer a positive experience to the majority in order to find and secure the minority.
There’s a smaller percentage of businesses that approach hiring differently, Juro included, where we triage instead - our unsuccessful candidates aren’t placed in a “fail” category. Instead, they’re distinguished as “bronze” or “silver” medalists, and placed in a talent pool so they can receive valuable content; from vacancies to tips on acing their interview with Juro.
2. Don't hide the details 🙈
Ideally, employers should set candidates up for success by setting clear expectations and making sure candidates have answers to the basic information, such as the location of the office, time of the interview, the type of questions you will be asking - and even short bios on each interviewer so they know the person they’re meeting.
We have a dedicated FAQ on our careers page, and I make sure I provide all that information to the candidate before the first phone screen. By lining out the expectations, the candidate will better understand the experience, your requirements, and potential rejections. A lack of transparency is a massive pitfall that can impact the business and slow down the entire process.
Word of mouth is powerful, and bad interview experiences are shared - make sure you’re demonstrating how much you care about successful and unsuccessful applicants
3. Remember: it’s a two-way street 🔃
The company usually assumes a position of authority - employers are the ones who ask the candidate questions, and if the candidate is lucky enough to impress, they’ll get offered the job. This can lead to a negative candidate experience because interviews should be a two-way discussion - it’s as much about the candidate finding out more about the employer as it is the other way around. Businesses tend to say their interview process is a two-way discussion, but there’s a big gap between what companies say and how they present themselves.
At Juro, I ensure that there’s equal time set aside for both interviewer and candidate to ask questions. This encourages a practise of preparation on the candidate’s side but also helps us understand how they see the business, where their curiosity and interest lies, and how they add to our growing company culture.
From open roles to how we work - discover everything you need to know about working at Juro on our careers page.
4. Take deadlines seriously ⏲️
We’re all busy - it’s not just the candidate who needs to adhere to set timeframes. If you tell your applicants they can expect an answer from you within 2 days, you should strive to meet that goal. It’s a simple point, but talent partners often fail to deliver on their word. Even if you’re busy, you need to dedicate time to candidate responses - it helps your brand and business in the long run, but also validates the person who took time to apply for a job at your company. Word of mouth is powerful, and bad interview experiences are shared - make sure you’re demonstrating how much you care about successful and unsuccessful applicants.
At Juro, I offer feedback to every applicant I have spoken to - at the final stage, unsuccessful applicants get a call from either myself or the hiring manager. If a candidate is giving us their time, they deserve a personalized response - and if you’re a startup, there’s no better time to establish and build on a positive experience than when you’re small and agile enough to provide that level of personalization.
6. Small changes, big impact ✨
Changing a well-established process can be challenging and daunting but the benefits of doing so are endless. If you’re looking to make your hiring process more human:
- Talk to people and talent teams - myself included! Approach your network and learn from their hiring process, listen to their experiences so you can avoid their mistakes and replicate their successes
- Focus on the basics - what do you want a good hiring process to look like? What is your code of conduct when it comes to candidates? Set the stage for any changes you might implement
- Start small - by setting up email templates, for example. I make sure I have response templates for every single stage of the process. Being human doesn’t mean having to do more work; you can personalize the responses before sending the email, but prepare in advance - the payoff of doing so will be immense
From the offer to the first day and beyond - companies should only continue to deliver on that positive candidate experience to help new joiners hit the ground running and build an excellent brand reputation along the way.
Find out how you can deliver the experience your team deserves with The remote onboarding guide.