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Lessons from the Front

Avoid Unforced Recruiting Errors

Attracting qualified candidates is harder than ever: We hear this from hospitals and systems across the country. Nationally, ManpowerGroup’s annual Talent Shortage Survey 2015 finds that 32% of US employers report difficulty filling jobs due to candidate talent shortages.  

So whether you are recruiting for healthcare facilities management or some other industry, don’t alienate hard-to-find candidates during the interview process. Follow these 4 practices to avoid losing candidates without cause: 

1) Put your best foot forward. Trite to say and silly to write, but organizations don’t always show their best side. We hear this directly from our recruitment candidates and attendees of our Beyond Competency: Healthcare Facilities Leadership Development Program seminars. Candidates comment on inhospitable environments. Dour faces and lack of hello’s in corridors are noticed, and interpersonal skills matter. 

Treat candidates as you would treat a dinner guest in your home, words and actions should portray a welcoming environment.

2) Coordinate the visit. If the interview is a multi-hour session with many interviewers, ensure that the entire visit is coordinated. Work with human resources to understand the candidate’s flow through the interview day and if there are chunks of open time, fill it, shrink it, or assign a trusted individual to sit with the candidate during downtime. If the candidate is left alone, check with them while they wait.

Quick story. Recently I spoke with a friend who was interviewing for a new job. She was escorted to what was supposed to be an empty conference room to wait 30 minutes for the next interview, but it was occupied by several employees. Nevertheless, the escort left the candidate to wait for her next interview, while her new acquaintances conversed. The next day she asked HR to remove her name from consideration.

3) Use time productively. Many candidates take hours away from their current job to interview, respect their time. Yes they are interested in the role, but they also want to feel as though the interview was a productive, coordinated use of their time. Candidates tell us when they feel their time was wasted, especially if they have left their job to interview. 

4) Select group interview individuals wisely. During an interview it is common to have management candidates speak with employees they may manage, if hired. Before selecting employees to speak with candidates, consider if they have hidden agendas that will adversely impact the recruitment.   

Employee interviewees have told management candidates where warts of the organization lie and worse, hinted at the inadequacies of the person to whom the prospective candidate would report. Collaborative interviewing is a plus, but loose employee lips can derail recruitment.

Remember that while you are assessing candidate worthiness, they are assessing organizational worthiness. Candidates will walk away because of a bad interview experience.  

 

Best regards,                                                                                                                                          

Peter Martin                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Gosselin Associates provides facilities management search consulting to the health care industry...

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