Creating a robust attraction platform is vital to getting key players on your team, however an area that is often overlooked is the interview process itself, where more top talent is lost than any other part of the recruitment process.

In working with clients maximising their attraction processes, we often find that there is no formal interview process in place, with many businesses adopting a ‘just meet them and see if you like them’ approach. A candidate who is in demand has taken the time to meet a business who doesn’t even show the courtesy to have a few questions organised and the impact is telling.

‘It Just Doesn’t Feel Right.’

Top performers are oftentimes looking for stability and ongoing development. If their first experience of a potential employer is a lack of planning and forethought and they are put in an informal environment – regardless of how relaxed and laid back the company may see itself – the candidate may see the organisation as disorganised and lacking in the structures that he may think of as valuable for his development. Nobody wants to join a chaotic business and there’s a big gap between ‘relaxed and fun,’ and ‘we just make it up as we go along.’

An interview process doesn’t have to be mundane. It just has to be consistent and easy to explain. Letting the candidate know where about they are in a process sets them at ease, rather than the good old ‘we’ll come back to you.’

Formal interview questions let you ask more without tarnishing a potential working relationship.

Explaining to a candidate that there are some questions ‘I have to ask,’ and reading them from a sheet enables you to ask hard questions and blame it on the process. If you’re going to have to manage the candidate, the last thing you need at the start of a working relationship are questions about their failures. ‘It’s a weird question but…’ gives you the ability to blame it on HR or other invisible demons.

In creating a process, consider what you really need to know, what you’d like to know and then get rid of the rest. ensure that you put time aside to explain your process to the candidate and, as he will likely forget, follow up with an email. All these points of contact, just as in a sales process can assist in building a sense of stability and be demonstrative of your professionalism. Remember, most decisions to join a business are made at home, so ensure your candidate has something to look at or show a loved one.

A useful tool we often use is literally putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes and going through the process yourself. See what feels uncomfortable and experience what may get the candidate excited.

Remember, an interview process isn’t simply about getting a heap of information, when meeting with top performers it’s about being demonstrative of your values, culture and the way you work. Don’t undersell yourself by accident.