Hiring? Six tips to help them to make an informed decision...

I had the opportunity to run a session recently with small to medium business people (the size of the business, not their stature) looking at how to attract, retain and motivate great people. Amongst the topics we discussed were:
  • What motivates people? - the role of money and motives
  • Being true to yourself - your brand as an employer and how it aligns to your customer brand
  • Knowing what you need - the non-boring job description
  • Getting to know them - selection processes that predict job performance
  • Allowing them to bring their best - engaging people so they can perform
A topic that generated a lot of discussion was how to help potential recruits to make an informed decision about whether the organisation and the job on offer are right for them. It's an often overlooked part of the recruitment process, but businesses are increasingly needing to 'sell' the role and organisation to the best candidates. This can sometimes lead to 'over-selling' the role, leading to disappointment and disengagement. While the induction process is crucial, giving people a clear idea of what it's like to work at your organisation before they join makes a big difference in ensuring people are making the right decision on both sides of the hiring desk.

Here are six tips for helping candidates to make an informed decision:
  1. Job description: Most job descriptions are written around tasks rather than the aspects of work that really motivate people. Make sure you include how this role contributes to the broader direction of the organisation (purpose). Instead of tasks, ensure you talk about what the role is accountable for. This will give the potential recruit an idea of the freedom they have to do things their own way. 
  2. A typical day: No matter how good your position description is, it will never quite capture what a typical day/week/month looks like. Talking to the candidate about the typical day will help bring the role to life for them. 
  3. Meet the people: The people you work with have a big impact on what it feels like to work for an organisation. Make sure you provide an opportunity for candidates you're ready to hire to meet with key people. Not only will this help them to make their decision to join you, but it will also help them to hit the ground running when they join. 
  4. Values and strategy: Talk to candidates about your organisation's story - not just what got you to this point, but also your plans for the future. Also let them know about your values - the way you go about working. 
  5. Tour the location: Giving people a chance to see where they will be working helps them to visualize themselves in the role. If you're worried about scaring them off, remember that it's probably better for everyone to find out before they join! 
  6. 'Stupid questions': They say there's no such thing as a stupid question - only stupid people... Some organisations provide a 'buddy' through the selection process. It helps to have someone who isn't directly involved in the selection decision who can field the questions a candidate may otherwise be worried to ask (e.g. what are the real working hours, what do people wear to work, what are the people like)

Making a little extra effort for your short listed candidates will help them to feel that joining your organisation will be the right decision for them. Not only will you attract and hire better people, you're more likely to retain and engage them.