Most Hiring Managers already know of the importance of making a good first impression when trying to attract the best employees. Laying the groundwork for a good impression begins long before the prospective candidate steps through your company’s door. Hopefully, through the months or years as a manager, you’ve developed a positive rapport with your current employees and cultivated a productive and friendly work environment that is evident to any visitor to your office. There are few things more powerful to attract the best employees than seeing happy, smiling, workers in the workplace.
Inform Your Staff
While you may be busy shuffling through resumes and making interview appointments, be sure to take time to let your employees know that interviewees will be coming in. If the interview process is ongoing, create a shared calendar so your staff knows when to expect whom.
The worst thing you can do is have an interviewee walk in unexpected. You don’t want them to be greeted by a confused receptionist and staff who might give the unintentional impression that they feel overwhelmed in their own position, or even worse that their job may be threatened by this ‘stranger’. Let an interviewee’s first impression of your company be a warm greeting by name as if they are an invited guest, which they are.
Train Your Admin
In a brief meeting with your receptionist or assistant, explain that your company is currently hiring, and that they should anticipate being presented with resumes either in person, via email or through the company website. Explain exactly how you want each resume to be handled.
In the case that a resume is personally dropped off, there should be a warm thank you, a smile and eye contact. Every online resume should be acknowledged electronically with a thank you and a short note covering when they might expect to hear back from you. This will also reduce the quantity of follow up phone calls from anxious job seekers.
Arrange a Dedicated Interview Location
There’s nothing worse for a nervous job applicant than to follow an indecisive interviewer around a strange office as they try to find a location to conduct the interview. It does not make an interviewee feel valued when an interviewer randomly opens a door to a stark, unused room and declares, ‘I guess we can do your interview in here.’ Instead, have a dedicated interview location set up and ready to receive interviewees on the appointed hour. Fill the room with everything you’ll need to conduct an efficient interview. You shouldn’t need to scramble around at the last minute for a pen, a phone or an extra chair.
When you take the time and make the effort to project the perfect workplace during an interview, you reap several benefits. First, you help to relax the interviewee, which helps you to see a more genuine representation of the candidate you are considering. Second, you are helping maintain or improve your company’s positive public image. Lastly, your professionalism reflects positively on your personal image as well as on your staff. Remember, your company is being analyzed by the interviewee just as much as you are analyzing the candidate.