Interviewing offers your company a chance to get to know a people one on one and discover their value proposition for the job. Typically this interview is the only chance hiring managers get to evaluate people before a crucial hiring decision is made.
Consequently, many hiring managers seek to fit in as many interviews as time will allow, assuming that the more candidates they can interview, the better their chances of finding the right fit. Many hiring managers who go this route are disappointed when none of the candidates seem like “the one” or when they cannot come to an agreement on which candidate they should choose.
The solution is to focus on spending time with a sufficient number of qualified “top quality candidates”, rather than a high quantity of “ill-qualified applicants”.
How do you avoid overwhelming your company with interviewees? Consider the following tips:
- Focus on the job description. Many hiring managers fall into the trap of interviewing too many candidates when they find that their top applicants all have vastly different skill sets. When this happens, hiring managers often feel pressured to interview each candidate in order to decide which skill set best fits the open position.
You can avoid this pressure by crafting a job description that concisely and accurately explains exactly what skills and qualities are essential for success in the position, which are preferred, and which are “nice extras.” Work with the position’s supervisors and co-workers to make sure the job description matches as closely as possible with what the candidate will need to do – and screen only for candidates with that skill set.
- Do more screening before the interviews. The type of screening you need before the interview stage will depend on the position and the number of people who apply. Options for screening candidates pre-interview include the standard resume and reference checks, but also include phone interviews, assessments, a call for portfolios, and other options. The goal is to narrow down the candidate pool to no more than five interviews for the first round and three for the second – without sacrificing quality.
- Work with a recruiting firm. Recruiting firms specialize in handling much of the pre-screening, so that their clients can focus on interviewing only qualified candidates with the right skill set whose personalities and work style are likely to be a good “fit” with the organization’s culture. The more information you provide your recruiting partner about what your company needs, the more likely it is that the recruiter can find the people you need – without adding time and expense to your interview process.
- Pick a recruiting firm with deep talent pools. Because recruiting firms are constantly building their networks, their connections extend beyond those who are actively seeking new jobs. Recruiting firms stay in contact with “passive” job seekers as well, those candidates who are already excelling at other companies but who will accept a new position under the right circumstances. Recruiting firms work to find the right circumstances and match both active and passive job-seekers with companies who need their skills, creating an environment in which both professionals and their employers can thrive.