Improve Candidate Experience with This One, Simple Step

Jan 12, 2016 - Joe Matar

One thing that should be on every recruiter’s hiring checklist but often isn’t is the office tour.

It may sound crazy for you to add a step to the interview process, which for some companies can be quite long, but the office tour can give recruiters and potential employees more information about each other than a standard interview can. Office tours can also save you work later by helping you to improve candidate experience now and reduce turnover later.

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Here are three great reasons why you should offer office tours in every interview:

1. Tours give insight into how the interviewee would fit into the company’s culture.

Any recruiter’s main goal in an interview is to see how well a potential employee fits the requirements for a specific job or matches the company’s mission and culture. The problem is that a list of questions asked while sitting behind a desk doesn’t always give recruiters a great picture of how an employee might actually perform on the job.

In interviews, candidates are often on their best behavior because they are nervous and want to make a good impression. This means that no matter how thorough your interview process is, you don’t often get to see what candidates are really like in the workplace.

By getting interviewees up, out of chairs, and moving through the office, recruiters are able to see how potential employees interact with interviewers, potential coworkers, and their environment.

Many candidates feel more at ease moving around than they do being grilled in an interview. This means that you see more of the candidate’s real personality by watching how they interact with their surroundings on the tour.

Keep an eye out for key indicators of a potential employee’s performance or interest in the job, such as willingness to ask questions or if they are willing to introduce themselves to others.

Another great indicator of personality and level of interest is the potential employee’s movement. Is she keeping up? Are his arms crossed? Does she seem closed off? Body language can say a lot about how an employee would adapt to the company’s setting and how open they are to the company in general.

By paying attention to these signs you can make better decisions about who would fit well in your company and who may not. You can also get a sense for who just wants a job until they find something better and who really wants to work for you. By looking for these two factors in candidates, you can reduce turnover and save yourself work later.

2. Tours help candidates make better decisions.

Just as office tours give recruiters a chance to learn more about potential employees, interviewees are also able to learn more about how the company operates and get a better sense of the work atmosphere, day-to-day business, and even job expectations. It may help them come up with better questions to ask, and they may also start to form relationships with coworkers and managers by interacting with them on site.

One of the key metrics that measures recruiters and HR teams’ performance is turnover. By helping potential employees get a fuller picture of their working environment, they can help candidates make informed decisions about whether or not a job is right for them before they take the job, meaning there is less risk of a bad hire hurting your metrics.

Office tours also increase transparency in the hiring process. By welcoming candidates into your day-to-day work environment, you show them that you have nothing to hide. It demonstrates that you are proud of your company and its culture, and it can reduce fears your candidates may have about your company.

3. Tours can increase candidate flow later.

These days everything about a company ends up online, from salaries to hiring practices, and for  many companies that greatly impacts your candidate flow. A bad candidate experience can and often does result in a bad review on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and more, which hurts your potential for future applications. By offering transparency and a positive candidate experience, you can help your potential employees form a positive image of your business and your hiring process.

When you spend extra time with candidates by showing them your workspace, they leave feeling valued. Even if they don’t get the job or decide it isn’t right for them, they leave feeling that your company takes its time to make thoughtful decisions about who to hire. They also see how well your company works from the inside, further solidifying that positive image.

When your candidates have a positive experience, they are more likely to tell friends and family about your company, as well as potentially apply again later for a role they may be more suited for. They may also write positive online reviews that can help extend your recruiting network beyond their immediate networks.

Spend Time Now. Save Time Later.

In a world where quick decisions are the ideal, it can seem counterintuitive to make the hiring process longer than it already is, but the benefits you gain from spending more time with candidates far outweigh the initial time investment. Don’t be afraid to get candidates out of the interview chair. Both you and your candidates will be glad you did.

What are you doing to improve candidate experience?

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Peggy Carouthers is a freelance writer and blogger with previous experience as an HR manager. You can connect with her on Twitter.


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