First Impressions: How Does Your Company Look to Candidates?

As with Online Dating, Your Company’s First Impression is Everything!

f you’ve ever tried online dating, you won’t be surprised to learn it’s all about the first impression. At that initial meet-up at the coffee shop or on a Zoom chat, you have to be on-point because you likely won’t get a second chance. It’s the same for companies looking to hire top talent. Even with the Covid-19 crisis, the job market today is competitive and it’s likely the candidate is speaking with four or five other companies.

Does Your Online Presence Give the Right Impression?

So you have to make a connection quickly. How do you do that? It starts long before the interview process. Your organization must be seen as a place people want to work. Are there things in your job posting that really help people understand what you’re providing to your customers in terms of products and services? How old is that job description? Your pool of applicants might be small because a competitor has a “compelling” job posting. It’s not sexy because it’s all glitz and glamour. It’s compelling because it’s appealing to somebody who wants to do that type of work with a progressive and successful organization.

What are the behaviors you truly value? If you say you love innovative, involved employees at every level and the candidate just wants “a job” and to be left alone, making those values clear will stop you from wasting everyone’s time.

Putting a consistent, systematic hiring process in place is a must. You need to have a standardized approach for every interview and every touchpoint. Candidates will talk to each other and if their stories are different it’s potential fuel for people to say you have “issues” in your company. Do you have managers who say, “Oh I don’t need a standardized process – I just sit back, meet the person and we have a conversation.” That personal approach might be okay if you’re a small business owner hiring three people and that’s all you have. However, as you get to scale, that can be perceived as preferential treatment – and you can get burned.