It's a candidate-driven market. You can have an ideal candidate who fits your culture and has the hard skills to do the job, but they accept another opportunity because they didn't enjoy their experience with your company. You left a bad impression.  

Today, we live in a world where word-of-mouth marketing carries a lot of weight. Referrals and recommendations from friends and family outweigh advertisements and company propaganda. Also, online review sites have increased in popularity and if a candidate has a bad experience with your organization (even if you don't want them to work there), they could go spread negative stories about your company or post negative reviews on Glassdoor or Yelp. Candidates are using these online review sites to screen organizations prior to applying, and seeing a slew of negative reviews could hinder someone from applying to your role.

Four pieces of advice to create an interview that wins the best talent: 

1. Culture is king. You need to showcase your culture. Candidates want to know what the environment is, who their co-workers are and who their manager is. They want to understand what it feels like to come to work every day, and their expectations are high. Give candidates a tour of your office, have them meet with many members of your team, invite them to a team happy hour or to shadow an employee for a half day so they have real insight into what it's like to work at the organization every day.

2. Involve many people in the hiring process. Candidates like to know who they are going to be working with on a daily basis. They want to know their peers, their manager, the leadership at the company. At LaSalle, we have people from every level involved in the interview and hiring process. Everyone spends time with the candidate to a. make sure the candidate is the right fit for us and b. so the candidate can gauge whether they jive with everyone at the organization through a sample size of employees.

3. Follow up and communicate. Depending on how many candidates are in process, it can be difficult to achieve the level of communication candidates are demanding today. Do your best to keep in touch with candidates regularly, even if it's just to say a decision hasn't been made yet but they are still top of mind. Keep in touch with your candidates and keep the lines of communication open for them to ask questions. Candidates are demanding real-time feedback. They want to know where they stand and how much longer the process might take. If they don't hear back, they could move on, or worse, have a poor experience with your brand. To improve, more companies are beginning to put metrics and SLAs around response time.

4. Be real - warts and all! Don't put on a show during an interview to woo a candidate or convince someone to work at your company. Be genuine - talk about what it's like to work for the company, why you've stayed, what keeps you motivated to come in every day. Candidates can sniff out BS so it's important to be open and honest.

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Published on: Jul 19, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.