As a customer, have you ever had a terrible experience with a business that had you wishing you could wake yourself up from the customer service nightmare? It could be a server at a restaurant that is nowhere to be found, or a never-ending wait time when you call a customer service department, but there is no “service” to speak of.
I know I have, particularly recently when I placed an order for a television, and three months later still had an empty TV stand. After countless calls, emails, and hand-written letters were exchanged with minimal response, guess what I did? I told EVERYONE. My family, my coworkers, my hairdresser, my UPS carrier; you name it, they heard my story and forewarning for them not to become the next victim.
This same vicious cycle happens in all facets of life, but an aspect that you may underestimate is the hiring process. You don’t want your company being the perpetrator in a sentence that begins with “You’ll never guess what happened during my interview at (insert company name here).” Chances are if a candidate is recounting the time spent interviewing at your company, there’s a good possibility that the story won’t be good. It’s the sad but true reality of human nature that oftentimes we share the not so good encounters with those around us because of the emotions and reactions they elicit, and the warm and fuzzy experiences fall by the wayside.
Because, as a company, you are being interviewed for the position just as much as the candidate, it is important to put your game face on and ensure it's a positive, worthwhile endeavor for all parties.
A few pointers I picked up recently during a panel discussion at the annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Conference include:
1. Be Transparent
2. Be Efficient
3. Be Open
As a wise panelist mentioned in this SIOP session, remember that every single applicant is a current or potential customer or buyer of your brand. Treat them with respect and ensure the message they are sharing about your company with their inner circles is positive. By taking these few extra steps, you are ensuring your dinner time or happy hour conversations will revolve around something much more interesting than a waste of a job interview or the status of a missing television.