Job candidates might seem like an unlikely marketing target. Quite the niche, right? But they are still potential customers. And whether you hire them or not, you’ve left an impression that will be shared with the world. Sometimes instantly.
This is part two of a two-part post on marketing your company to job candidates. In part one, I shared ideas to reach out to potential future employees in the community and online.
Of the 12 ways to market your company, these next six are important because they offer advice to market your company (and your people) during the interview process.
And no matter the economic situation – a job market that favors the candidate or the company – most people are somewhat uncomfortable during job interview. And in the worst case scenario, a job interview can be a bit of a pressure cooker.
So your job is to reduce interview pressure. That way, everyone can relax, be themselves and get to know each other in a way that allows both sides to make the best possible decision.
Here are six ways to do that (to market your company and it’s personality) to each person who walks in the big door:
1. Allow for business conversation – some job interviews are forced Q&A that never actually gets conversational. A conversational interview allows the company to see a future employee in action. To get into a strategic discussion about business issues. Not simply to see how effectively they answer a series of common questions.
2. Remove the desk – Nothing says “I’m more important than you” than a desk in between tow people. So lose the desk and either pull your chair around the desk and sit toe to toe. It will do a lot to provide the candidate with a truer sense of you as a person and remove a fairly large obstacle to a productive conversation.
3. Ask real questions – Using your position as interviewer to ask silly questions does not do a good job marketing the company. Unless you are in the gag gift business. Asking candidates questions like “what kind of animal would you be if reincarnated?” is a good example of silly. And if “I just want to see how they react” is your reason why, then you are being selfish and arrogant. And candidates will see right through it. Instead ask hard probing questions. Ones you can explain to others.
4. Focus on the first five minutes – I always tell job candidates to focus on the first five minutes of a job interview. Since most hiring managers make up their mind very quickly if a candidate is a good fit for the job. So you can also take advantage of the first five minutes. Instead of sitting back with a “sell me” attitude, make those first five minutes a welcoming and helpful window for both candidate and interviewer to relax and find a productive cadence.
5. Go for a walk – One of the ways to relax and educate a candidate in the first five minutes is to take them for a quick, informational walk around the office, department or campus. See what questions they ask, introduce them to a few others. It shows a desire to inform and allows you to see them in a different setting before you pull out the big questions.
6. Smile – Even if you decide not to hire someone, wouldn’t you like the candidate to at least walk away with a positive impression? And do think that being the overly serious accomplishes that? Nope. But a smile does. Plus, while smiling at a candidate may seem like a really small effort, it is a great marketing tool. And it helps deliver the positive impression that turn s into a nice comment on Twitter. “Bummed I didn’t get the job but enjoyed the experience”.
What do you think about this focus on the candidate? Can you market your brand or business effectively simply by engaging people thoughtfully?
Thanks Metro Centric for the great photo via Flickr