Whether you’re an employer or a job seeker, the hiring process is often not as easy as we’d like it to be. Many of us have been on both sides of the table and, if we’re being honest, have had some not so great experiences.
Did you ever go on what seemed like a successful job interview only to be ghosted by a hiring manager?
Or maybe you had a promising phone call with a potential candidate who never showed up to their in-person interview?
There’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to hiring and mistakes are made all of the time. Fortunately, our very own Director of People and Culture, Sophia Lopez, is an expert in this department. And she’s shared a few of her best tips to help you really hone your hiring process.
The Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Can Make in An Interview
Not unlike dating, job interviews can be nerve-wracking and awkward for both the employer and the candidate.
First impressions have the power to make or break a potential future relationship, and that’s why it’s extremely important to pay attention to key mistakes.
There are a few interviewee faux pas Sophia has witnessed first-hand.
For one, an interviewee should never ever ghost their potential future employer. Not showing up for a scheduled interview and then waiting several days to contact the company is not only rude, it’s also disrespectful of everyone’s time and could be an indicator of poor communication skills. Let’s be honest, no one likes to be ghosted in any capacity.
(RELATED: 11 Tips to Hire Freelancers Without Losing Your Mind)
Another pretty obvious no-no is leaving trash behind after an interview. If your interviewee doesn’t clean up after themselves or take the initiative to ask where the nearest trash can is, that’s a pretty clear indicator of bad habits that could hurt your company down the line.
The Biggest Mistakes Employers Can Make in The Hiring Process
Of course, employers aren’t without their faults either. The interview process is a two-way street.
Job candidates can tell a lot about a company by the way they are treated during those early interactions. Sophia notes that employers should be conscious of the way their interviewees perceive the company from the second they walk in the door.
One of the big mistakes she has seen employers make is not being prepared for the candidate’s arrival—not knowing who is coming in or when. A lack of preparation never looks good on anybody, but especially the people that are supposed to be the professionals conducting the interviews.
Another thing employers should keep an eye on is consistency. If they are not consistent with each interviewee (asking the same questions, etc.), it’s very difficult to judge candidates side by side.
How Employers Can Prepare for a Successful Interview
Now that we’ve talked about the mistakes employers can make, let’s go through some of the ways companies can better prepare for an upcoming interview.
Sophia says one of the biggest ways you can help yourself in the interview process is to be prepared. Know your workflow from the very start—which team members will need to be present at each level of the interview, what questions will be asked. It’s also important to engage your candidate. Be respectful of their time just as they are of yours.
Little things like greeting the candidate by name as they walk in the door or asking someone from HR to visit with the candidate while they are waiting to be interviewed can make all the difference.
Remember, you’re trying to sell them on your company as much as they are trying to sell themselves as a potential employee.
How HR and Hiring Managers Can Better Support Each Other
The hiring process should never be a one-person job—it’s a collaborative effort. As Sophia says, HR and the hiring manager should be working in tangent.
Often times, it’s assumed that HR owns the entire process start to finish, but this isn’t an efficient organization for your team and can lead to one department feeling overwhelmed and potentially hiring the wrong candidate.
On the other hand, if hiring managers are left to their own devices, they could be a company liability as they typically aren’t aware of all of the recruiting legalities that an HR person would have to know.
Needless to say, open communication and teamwork are the best ways to make sure that everyone is on the same page throughout every stage of the hiring process.
The Importance of Culture Fit
When it comes to hiring the right candidate, employers should not solely be focused on skillset. Though skillset is extremely important, the right personality fit is also a big component.
Knowing someone’s values and goals and making sure those align with your company focus ensures a beneficial future relationship.
When Sophia uses the term “fit,” she doesn’t mean to say, “like us,” because it’s important to value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Different perspectives can certainly enhance your company overall. In this sense, “fit” simply means they understand the company mission and are willing to work toward the same goals.
Over the past 10 years, the hiring process has changed dramatically. Now more than ever, we have readily available data at our finger tips to help us find candidates more efficiently.
Whether you want to know the diversity of your candidate pool or how many applicants are repeats who continue to engage with your site, there is a wealth of information for employers out there.
Analytics can also be used to prove that your methods of recruiting are effective for your environment. Sophia explains that the recruiting process is essentially marketing to potential candidates. It’s important to give them the same experience they should expect from your company right off the bat.
Don’t Stop at Diversity
We all know how important diversity is when it comes to vetting potential employees, but that mindset shouldn’t stop at the hiring process. Having a constant strategy in place for openness and inclusion within the day-to-day operations of your company is vital.
At DigitalMarketer, we embrace a level playing field and equal opportunity for every employee. Not only do we commit to this verbally, but we show it in the work that we do and the actions we take to make sure everyone on our team feels included.
Obstacles to Creating a Diverse Workplace
Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles when it comes to creating a diverse workplace. Time and cost are 2 of the biggest barriers when recruiting new employees.
There are a number of great job boards out there that advertise their diverse candidate pools, but these platforms often come with a cost and most companies are under budget restraints when it comes to recruiting.
Employers also have to weigh in the time investment costs of both the interviewer and candidate. Finding ways to justify these costs is just one of the challenges a recruiter may face when trying to diversify their workplace.
DigitalMarketer’s Hiring Process
At DigitalMarketer, we have a pretty thorough hiring process that helps us find employees who are truly the right fit for our company.
First, a potential candidate is given a phone screening with Sophia. If they pass this stage, an in-person interview is scheduled with the hiring manager and director of that specific department. Depending on the role, a candidate may also be assigned a small project to complete and return to the hiring manager.
After this round, a panel interview will be conducted with the department director and 3 other individuals who the candidate would potentially be collaborating with. Finally, directors will often have dinner with the candidate to see how they interact in public.
Throughout every stage of the hiring process, Sophia contacts the individuals who have not been chosen to move forward. We all know just how frustrating it can be to go through a multi-round interview process and then never hear back from the employer. “We like to be the recruiters that we wish we had while we were in it,” Sophia says.
The Most Valuable Traits for Job Seekers
Here at DigitalMarketer, there are certain traits we value in our potential employees. The first and perhaps most important being “give a damn.”
Every person who works at DigitalMarketer should be motivated to be here. They should be excited about their work, our mission, and our different core values.
Another valuable trait we look for in a candidate is a team mentality. Everyone at DigitalMarketer is a team player and has that “mutually beneficial” mindset. It isn’t just about the individual, it’s about everyone being successful in what we do.
Lastly, hunger is a quality we need to see in our employees—hunger to learn and dive in headfirst to every challenge that comes their way.
We hope Sophia’s tips helped you feel at least a little less overwhelmed by the hiring process and that you feel confident in vetting your potential new team members. Take a deep breath, and hire on!