Did you know that your candidates are interviewing you too?

As an employer, there’s a tendency to think that interviews are a one-way street. You’re sussing out the candidate, verifying their CV credentials, and ascertaining if they are a good fit for your business. You know you’ve got to sell your organisation, but fundamentally, an interview is primarily about you making decisions about the candidate, right?

Interviews today are much more of a two-way street than ever before. The questions may predominantly go in one direction, but employers are short-sighted if they don’t realise that candidates are using every detail of their interview experience to ascertain if the job and company are right for them. They are on the look-out for subtleties and nuances that reveal what it’s really like to work for you. Skilled interviewers understand this process and utilise it to ensure successful candidates won’t experience buyer’s remorse, should they accept the position.

Why buyer’s remorse matters with candidates

It turns out that 72% of new recruits have experienced Shift Shock. Shift Shock is buyer’s remorse when it comes to a new job. It’s that sense of dashed expectations and realisation that the job isn’t what the candidate thought it would be, or it doesn’t live up to what they were led to believe it would be like.

The issue with a candidate experiencing buyer’s remorse is that the company loses out. Studies repeatedly show that successfully onboarding and acclimating new recruits quickly is the key to long term commitment, engagement and productivity. If the individual is feeling disenchanted or unimpressed with the move, then there is a high chance they won’t assimilate within their new team, and will likely leave quickly.

Recruitment is always a costly process, and it’s labour-intensive too. Getting it wrong is incredibly disruptive, especially for senior and executive level posts. As such, it’s vital that you bring in new recruits who have a realistic understanding of what working for you in their chosen role is really like.

So, at interview, what are candidates looking for and how can employers sell the organisation without selling a lie that leads to buyer’s remorse?

How the candidate is interviewing the organisation

Candidates are not just passive participants in the interview process; they are actively evaluating the organisation and the job opportunity. Senior and executive level candidates will be assessing you throughout their interviews in terms of:

Company Culture

Candidates want to get a sense of the company’s culture and whether it aligns with their values, working style and personal ethics. They observe interactions during the interview, and within every interaction with your organisation. They may ask questions about teamwork, diversity, and employee development. At senior levels, cultural fit is usually the biggest indicator of successful recruitment.

Leadership and management

Candidates carefully assess the leadership style of the organisation and the people they will be working with. They look for supportive and empowering leaders who provide clear guidance and growth opportunities.

Career growth and development

Senior and executive candidates deeply care about their career opportunities. They want to know this next step is a valuable step for them. As such, interviewers need to demonstrate why the organisation is a worthwhile step and how it can meet the candidate’s career aspirations for a good length of time. They want to see that the company invests in its employees’ long-term success, including at the senior level.

Team dynamics

Candidates observe interactions with potential colleagues during interviews and will think and ask about team dynamics, collaboration, and communication within the organisation. If you can showcase this at the interview, rather than merely talk about it, it gives a more meaningful reflection.

Reputation and stability

Executive candidates research the company’s reputation, financial stability, and long-term prospects. As such, a degree of transparency is beneficial when interviewing senior candidates. They want to join a company that has a positive track record, good market standing, and potential for future growth, but they also want honesty and want to know where they can make a difference.

Employee benefits and packages

In later interview stages, negotiations around potential employment packages may begin. It’s easy to oversell these, in a bid to entice the candidate. While it’s vital that you offer competitive pay, comprehensive healthcare plans, and other executive-level incentives, it’s also crucial that you’re honest about how these work in practice. Overselling bonus schemes is common and leads to immense dissatisfaction down the line.

How can employers entice candidates while being honest?

It’s not an either-or situation when it comes to honestly enticing potential candidates. It’s in the organisation’s interests to be honest, and, if your organisation is successful then integrity is a key selling point. There are multiple ways you can entice candidates without selling a lie.

  • Provide a transparent and accurate job description that clearly outlines responsibilities, expectations, and the working environment.
  • Showcase your organisational culture through authentic storytelling and using multiple team members within the interview process, both individually and collectively.
  • Highlight the positives, while revealing the areas where you anticipate the candidate can make greatest impact for the benefit of the organisation.
  • Be open about career opportunities in practice, as well as things like perks and flexible working. It can even help to share staff policies and include tours, as well as opportunities to talk to wider teams.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership and management practices during the interview process. Acknowledge that the interview is a two-way process and welcome probing questions and scrutiny.
  • Be clear on how you articulate the company’s purpose, values, and how each executive or senior employee contributes to the overall impact of the organisation.

It’s certainly true that creating a positive candidate experience during interview is important to attract and retain the best people. It’s a matter of creating a careful balance between selling the organisation and providing a realistic picture of what it’s really like to work in your organisation. Doing this proactively and consciously, as part of your interview planning is integral to long-term recruitment success. This will enable you to find the right candidate for the role while avoiding buyer’s remorse on the part of the candidate.

Interviews should feel like a two-way process for both candidates and interviewers. At First Executive Recruitment, part of our support for employers includes supporting your senior management candidate experience and interview process. Contact us today to find new talent that doesn’t leave or check out through buyer’s remorse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed