It is critical (especially in the current labor market) to refine your construction company’s hiring process to ensure great job candidates move smoothly through the process, enjoy getting to know your company and ultimately choose to come work for you. Many of the traditional hiring practices, particularly those that slow down the process, have fallen out of favor with candidates. The good news is that small tweaks can go a long way.
Consider these common mistakes and their simple remedies to make your hiring process more seamless and attractive to strong job candidates.
1. You move too slowly.
Delays in the hiring process may lead to insecurity among job candidates. If the hiring company takes too long to communicate, the job seeker may start to wonder if the interview didn't go as well as they thought.
As doubts mount, self-preservation kicks in: When we fear rejection, we immediately shift the focus to why we didn't want the job anyway. As days go by, the candidate’s mind shifts from being excited about the opportunity, to identifying all the reasons they didn't want the job.
Have a plan for post-interview communications, and ensure that the lines of communication are kept open even if you don’t yet have a hiring decision.
2. You wait too long between steps.
Similarly, the hiring process has become too lengthy. The timeline used to be one step per week, but that’s too slow now. Companies have streamlined their processes into fewer steps, and people take jobs more quickly.
If you have many unnecessary or repetitive steps, you’re going to miss out. Examine your company’s hiring process to determine what can be cut or streamlined while still ensuring that you can be confident in your final decision.
3. You involve unnecessary people in the interview process.
Companies often believe that more people weighing in on a prospective employee can serve to weed out those who are a poor fit. However, involving too many people can create a panel interview consisting of employees who don’t know much about the job.
Gathering other opinions can be beneficial, but only if the employees bring value to the hiring process. Limit interviews to those who would directly supervise the new hire or manage the team that works closely with them. For example, when hiring for a sales role, consider involving the manager of customer service in addition to the sales manager because there is often collaboration between these departments.
4. You don’t use phone interviews.
Using the phone for first interviews is a great way to narrow the list of candidates without committing to a full interview. Use “functional” questions for phone interviews; these determine if a candidate can do the job and focus on what the individual has done in the past and what their base skill sets are. This helps identify those who simply don’t have the necessary skills, before either party must commit to a more rigorous in-person interview.
5. You forget that you are also being interviewed.
In a tight labor market, strong job seekers get to be picky, and that means you need to market your company and what it brings to the table as much as the candidate must market themselves to you.
Think of job candidates as customers. If they were a customer, would they be happy with the impression that you’re leaving? Were they greeted warmly by the staff? Was the waiting area cluttered? Were you late or unprepared? Did you try to develop rapport and get them excited about the opportunity?
6. You tell instead of sell.
Marketing your company to candidates also means you need to “tell” versus “sell”, a task I’ve mentioned in previous columns. For example, you tell job candidates that your company is family friendly. But do you prove it through benefits such as flexible hours and competitive PTO packages?
7. You don’t personalize the offer or extend it with energy and enthusiasm.
Just like selling to a customer, a template offer isn’t good enough. Most small businesses have the flexibility to personalize certain benefits to meet the needs of a new hire.
For example, if your ideal hire mentions they have a terrible commute, consider personalizing their job offer with adjusted hours or a hybrid work schedule. Small changes like these show that your company heard their concerns and is adapting to them.
Additionally, while it’s tempting to email an offer, calling them to extend the offer verbally provides dual benefits. A phone call is more personal and shows the candidate you are excited to hire them, and you may also be able to hear if there is hesitation that must be addressed.
Rikka Brandon is a nationally recognized building industry recruiting and hiring expert, and best-selling author. She helps building industry business owners and leaders solve their recruiting and retention challenges with strategy, best practices and access to experts. Whether or not you’re looking for in-house training and coaching for your team or an expert to provide consulting, you can learn more at BuildingGurus.com/Informa.