Was your last career decision completely rational? I’d say no. In fact, I believe that all of us process our career decisions through our emotions – it’s unavoidable.
If you’re skeptical – here’s some thought-provoking research to consider. At an annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Dr. Dean K. Shibata presented his research findings based on a two-year study of the patterns of human brain activity during decision-making. Dr. Shibata’s study demonstrated that human decision-making processes are directly dependent upon emotions when the implications of a decision are perceived to have even the slightest personal impact.
According to Shibata, the findings of his imaging research support the idea that “every time you have to make choices in your personal life, you need to ‘feel’ the projected emotional outcome of each choice.”
My point? Few things impact us as much on a personal level as career decisions, and unless your marketing recruitment process is set up to work with the way people ‘feel’ their way through personal decisions, you will probably fail more than you succeed.
So, faced with this reality, how can you and your team prepare for the next candidate interview? It may be simpler than you think. Here are three straightforward actions that I recommend you take:
1) Thoroughly educate your team (including everyone who will have contact with candidates) on the precise nature of the job to be filled. Give them a crystal clear understanding of the most significant challenges and opportunities inherent in the job, exactly how the role fits within the larger organization, etc.
If this step is not handled in a thorough way, job candidates will likely receive conflicting information during the interview process – and end up feeling confused. Make no mistake, any feelings of uncertainty can work powerfully against you.
2) Carefully prepare interview questions that are both highly relevant and challenging. This will involve you and your team discussing each candidate and their resume – and confirming what questions will be asked by whom.
If candidates are consistently asked highly relevant, challenging questions, this not only benefits you and your team as you gather information that you need to make good hiring decisions, but you will also be demonstrating to candidates that you have set the bar high and will not settle for less than a great fit. Remember that candidates want a great fit too, and because they are challenge-oriented people this approach tends to increase their enthusiasm and desire to win the job.
3) Make sure that you and your team are prepared to provide candidates with specific, real-world examples of the unique benefits that your company can deliver to them. For example, one of the clients I work with emphasizes the fact that they have a family-friendly culture. They do this by giving candidates concrete examples of how they flex to meet their employees’ needs for work/life balance. What examples can you and your team convey? Collaborate and prepare. This step counts.
I encourage you to take decisive action – and implement these three simple steps before you interview your next job candidate. If you do, you’ll be much better positioned to win the hearts and minds of the people you interview.