I’d like to flip the idea of recruitment on its head. What if it was your business being sized up and you being interviewed by a candidate rather than the other way around?
How well do you think you or your business would fair?
This is a true story about a 22-year-old who left university with a masters degree last September. Her name is Gabby.
Gabby was going to go travelling, but her plans changed so she started looking for her first full-time job instead.
She’d had lots of part time jobs during her time at university and had developed an impressive array of transferrable skills. For example,
Building Relationships, Problem Solving, Resilience, Communication, Analytical Skills, Time Management.
Initially, she didn’t have a clear idea of what she wanted to do, but most important to her was to use her amazing analytical skills and her talent for building relationships.
She didn’t have a preference for the size of the company. She was happy to apply to large or small companies, as long as her skills matched the role and that she could imagine working there.
Here’s Gabby’s journey from job-seeker to employee.
Step 1 – The job search
Firstly, Gabby reached out to her network; family, friends, university, clubs she belonged to and a charity that she volunteered at. She was looking for word of mouth opportunities and was keen to contact anyone who might have heard about a job she’d be interested in.
Step 2 – Researching job boards and company website
Gabby also carried out desk research. When she saw a job advert she liked, she went to the company website to find out what they did and who their customers were. It was important to her how the company came across on their website to get a feel for if she could imagine working there.
On the website she looked at:
Step 3 – The interviews, good and bad
It’s worth noting the bad experiences that Gabby had in order to avoid doing the same.
One company didn’t respond for 6 weeks. When she was eventually offered an interview, she declined on account that their correspondence was too impersonal.
On another occasion, there was a panel of three people all asking random, confusing questions and they seemed very disorganised. They had an unfriendly tone and the atmosphere was tense. The questions didn’t seem to relate to the role, and she couldn’t see how they would decide if she was the right person for the job. Gabby was offered the job but turned it down.
On the other hand, a good experience came from a company that gave her constructive feedback on her interview after five days and told her about the additional experience she needed in order to get a job with them. Gabby found this helpful and even though she didn’t get the job, it left her with a positive feeling about the company.
Gabby had a great experience with a small charity. She describes them as ‘awesome’.
There were three stages to the process, and they were quick to get back to her after each stage.
1. Telephone interview
On the phone, they were extremely friendly; asked about Gabby, what she thought she would enjoy about the role, why she wanted to work for the charity and examples of things she’d done .
2. Face to face interview
Gabby received an email a few days before the interview letting her know what to expect, confirming the timings and expressing how they were looking forward to meeting her.
They eased her nerves by being super friendly, relaxed, accommodating. They offered her a drink, and made her feel comfortable.
They asked straight forward questions, not long rambling ones with lots of parts.
The interviewers took notes, but they also nodded and encouraged her and listened to what she said.
3. Written exercise
Gabby had to do an exercise on a laptop. She had to prioritise lots of tasks and respond to emails.
This exercise gave Gabby a great insight into what she’d be doing if she got the job. It made her really want the job.
The good news is that Gabby was offered the job and obviously accepted it. She has since been asked to take part in a careers page video!
I hope that by telling Gabby’s story and seeing the recruitment process from the eyes of a talented candidate it explains what businesses can do to attract and recruit employees who go on to become a valuable asset for the business.
If you feel that interviewing training would help you to catch the great candidates, please contact Ali Waters on 07971 511 731 or send an email.
If you found this article interesting and helpful you may also like to read Would you apply to work for you?