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What is the Best Way for an Employer to Interview in a Candidate Driven Market?

November 08, 2021

Navigating the interview process in a candidate driven market can be challenging, especially in today’s hybrid work environment. We have some tips here.

There are a number of factors to consider when you are interviewing in this candidate driven market. Below are some observations and recommendations.

What is a candidate driven market?

A candidate driven market is essentially a job market where the candidates have the upper hand. There is no shortage of jobs in a candidate driven market, and elite candidates are often hard to find, meaning employers have to compete for top talent.

Interviewing in a candidate driven market

Companies are finding that their employees are getting multiple calls from recruiters, companies, etc. about new opportunities. As we enter this new era of “where have all the workers gone?”, it is important to have a plan for a logical and shortened interview timeline for your candidates. Long gone are the days when candidates would go through four, five, six rounds of interviews over a period of several months. Timelines are shortened, as companies do not want to lose candidates to competitors due to the length of their interview process.

Three rounds of interviews are becoming the norm.

  1. As a first round, candidates should meet with the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Hiring Manager if he/she is available. Candidates who meet all of the qualifications and the chemistry seems to be there, should move on to the second round.
  2. The second round tends to be panel interviews of their peers (4-5 individuals) and sometimes panel interviews with their direct reports (reasonable number who have direct contact with their manager on a regular basis).
  3. Third round interviews are with the Hiring Manager in a more casual setting, getting to know the candidate outside of the office – maybe over lunch or dinner. Often a Board Member or two are present for this meeting depending on level of the position.

Why has the interview process changed so much?

The reason for this shortened interview schedule is that candidates have multiple job opportunities to choose from and they are getting counter offered like never before. Clear lines of communication are essential as is the Company being able to pivot as issues arise during the interview process.

How can a company plan for remote/hybrid work offers?

Another important factor to lay out at the outset of discussions with any candidate is your expectations regarding remote or hybrid work. Different companies are offering all sorts of options here. Whether the candidate is in the office 1, 2, 3 days a week, a couple of days a month, or every day needs to be clearly outlined. The majority of candidates want the option to work remotely at least some of the time but there are still employers that want employees in the office every day. As we move forward, those employers could be at a competitive disadvantage for talent.

How can companies utilize technology in today’s job market?

How interviews are conducted has also evolved during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. ZOOM/TEAMS meetings have made for more efficient communication between companies and candidates. For the most part, companies are using these communication vehicles for first round interviews. As the number of people who have been vaccinated has grown, more companies are choosing to do their subsequent interviews in person, making sure the candidate is comfortable in that setting.

Are you having difficulty filling a position at your company? We are here to answer your questions, contact us today.

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