Stop Driving Away Good Candidates with These Requests
Becoming complacent with outdated hiring practices is one of the worst things a company can do for its long-term health.
The job market is just like any other market—it’s governed by supply and demand. As the job market shifts away from the impact of the 2008 recession, heavy-handed hiring practices have become even less effective.
That’s because once candidates reach a certain level of skill and financial compensation, they become confident in their worth. They won’t put up with requests that may be expected of entry-level applicants, especially as they reach an upper-mid position.
Skills Tests and Unpaid Work
Some employers think about asking candidates to provide samples of work relevant to the role, and that’s usually a reasonable request on its own for positions that call for a certain level of proficiency.
It becomes an issue for talented candidates that have already proven their skills, or for roles where “in the trenches” skills aren’t essential. This becomes doubly insulting to candidates who have included a portfolio of their work already.
Tests become an even bigger issue when employers use that test material for the company’s benefit, including:
- Legal arguments or assessments
- Website or database code
- Website material
- Marketing or public relations material
- Architectural designs
- Strategies derived from in-depth discussions
As an employer, you don’t want to be in a situation where disgruntled candidates could leave a negative review about your organization. Even bad interview experiences can end up on Glassdoor or Google reviews, so don’t risk it.
Providing Free Ideas in the Interview
Interviews are meant to understand a candidate’s personality, organizational fit, drive, vision, and development track.
Interviews are not free consultation sessions. Even if other candidates provide free strategic or technical ideas in their interviews, it should not be the standard.
Good candidates can sense when employers want to get ideas without paying for them—and experienced candidates will walk away as soon as they notice.
Even if you think you already have someone who can implement a strategy at a lower cost, don’t try to get a free consultation out of your candidates. It will tarnish your reputation and make you seem immediately untrustworthy.
Asking for References Before the First Interview
Only employers who are vetting candidates on a massive scale need to see references up front, and that indicates to job seekers that only a minimum amount of attention is going into the role.
Experienced candidates won’t bother being treated like an inventory number in your employment process, so take the time to know the most valuable ones before you ask anyone for references.
Forcing Candidates to Fill Out IQ and Personality Assessments
Candidates are more willing to forgive the use of a legacy job application tracking system because they understand that some companies get hundreds of applications for a specific posting.
However, self-respecting candidates will not forgive employers for taking screening tests that insult their intelligence (or emotional intelligence) when an interview would have been more appropriate.
Tests make people nervous, which, ironically, hurts their performance—but tests create an unpleasant power dynamic that starts your relationship on the wrong foot (assuming it ever gets past that point).
Organizations can only create a reliable stream of high-quality candidates by treating them with dignity throughout the application process. Word will get around if you don’t.