Turn Candidate Interviews into a Valuable Marketing Tool

Interview blog

By Bess Cadwell and Jacque Linaman

The construction industry has changed a lot since 2008, as have the job shortages and talent abundance that gave companies the upper-hand during the downturn.

Experienced professionals are in high demand, but finding those employees is not the only challenge. The interview process is a bigger opportunity and risk than most people realize. The candidate across the table from you could be your future director of preconstruction, or your future vendor, partner, or business referral.

What many people don’t realize is an interview is the ultimate marketing opportunity. That’s why it’s important to make it as sleek as your marketing.

The Three Do’s:

  1. Always be professional. Always.
  2. Be strategic and clear about the goals of the interview, position, and how it fits within company goals.
  3. Leave them wanting the job, regardless. If your first and second choices don’t work out and you were dismissive to the third — who definitely told people about it — you’ll be starting over.

The Three Don’ts:

  1. Scheduling and rescheduling issues may tell a candidate you aren’t committed to the process.
  2. Don’t dismiss the interview even if you know it isn’t a fit. You don’t have to spend the full amount of time, but give them a fair chance.
  3. Don’t get too personal. Ensuring a candidate is a good cultural fit is important but talking about religion, politics, family dynamics, etc. during an interview is always a bad idea.

Following these steps during the interview process will ensure the experience is mutually beneficial. But, your work isn’t done.

After the Interview

Recap with your team and follow-up with candidates quickly. In today’s market, while you’re working on presenting an offer, the candidate may be interviewing with other companies—your competitors.

If you’ve decided a candidate isn’t a good fit, thank them for their time and give them feedback, allowing them to move on.

After the Offer

Your candidate has accepted the offer. Great! Now the focus turns to the transition and onboarding process. A new hire can still receive additional offers during this time, so make it count!

  • Communicate about their start date and any background checks, drug screens or other pre-employment actions.  
  • Set their first day expectations: when to arrive, where to park, and what to expect when they get there.

Plan for Success

Have a plan so your company shines during the recruitment process.

  • Know who is interviewing the candidate and how many interviews there will be.
  • Request any assessments or applications early so it doesn’t delay things.  
  • Create an offer letter template that can be filled in, signed, and delivered so this doesn’t slow you down.
  • Communicate with the candidate during the transition because other companies or their current employer may be trying to convince them to make a different decision.

People who have a good customer experience tell 10 people. But people who have a negative experience will tell 100, and with social media that number can grow quickly. Treat the candidate across from you like your future colleague, business partner, vendor or competition — because they are. Bess Cadwell and Jacque Linaman are vice presidents and certified senior account managers with the Arizona-based executive recruiting firm Govig & Associates specializing in the construction and real estate industries, among others.

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