This article is written from the perspective of one of our most senior Shortlisting and Selection Specialists, Amber.
I think every recruiter remembers their first recruitment disaster.
I was fresh into my new career, with one of my very first recruitment projects; shortlisting candidates for a project development position, with one of our biggest corporate clients.
My process was pretty standard and thorough: Screen applications according to the criteria, identify top applicants, conduct phone interviews, then recommend shortlisted candidates for face-to-face interviews.
There was one candidate, let’s call him Joe, who I had a half-hour conversation with. He seemed pretty good, met the on-paper requirements, and answered my questions well. Nothing to say ‘don’t send me to an interview’. I sent Joe off to meet with my client and their interview panel. To set the scene, this office is corporate with a capital C. Think suits and ties and blazers and stilettoes clacking over marble tiles.
This office is so corporate that even the vendors at the coffee cart in the lobby straighten their hair and wear collared shirts.
I set up the interview, sent over all supporting documentation, and confirmed the time…then all I had to do was wait an hour to hear the verdict.
So it was a surprise when I received a call from the client 15 minutes later.
It was even more of a surprise when she told me Joe decided not to wear shoes to the interview.
I’ll just repeat that.
JOE DIDN’T WEAR SHOES.
She went on to tell me, in a fairly unimpressed way, that instead, his other chosen interview attire included a Ramones T-Shirt.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the Ramones and am actually not that thrilled about wearing shoes half the time myself – but this was just a perfect example of the problems with a traditional pre-screening process. The lack of transparency, the margin for error… and how listening to someone’s words alone can disconnect you from those magic moments you have as an interviewer – when all the ducks line up and you can say confidently “This business and this candidate are made for each other” or conversely “Better not send this candidate off to see Captain Corporate, he might not wear shoes”.
The good news is, Scout Talent developed a video interviewing product less than a year later. And it changed my life.
I now conduct all of my interviews over video conference. I record them for my clients, so they can watch the conversation between myself and their candidate, whenever they have a spare moment (seriously whenever – I had a client tell me the other day they were watching one of my interviews as they were brushing their teeth).
I knew that the product would have benefits for our clients – the transparency, the shareability, the convenience, and the layers of efficiency they add to the recruitment process (imagine if you could watch interviews of 5-10 of your candidates, and be able to confidently say “I would like to interview these 4 people please” – already knowing those are candidates you would consider hiring in your business). And all that time and you don’t have to spend on face to face interviews with people who you know aren’t right for your business!
I also knew candidates would love it. It’s a much more engaging experience, getting an opportunity to speak with someone face to face rather than over the phone. I get better conversations and more engaged candidates.
What I didn’t anticipate was the difference it made to me and my career as a recruitment specialist. I’m engaged and invested in the conversations I have, I’m confident in my selection skills and my expertise. It means I get to delight my clients. It also means that I will probably never again have to hear the sentence “Joe didn’t wear shoes”!
If you would like to find out more about how Scout Talent can help you to improve your recruitment processes in ways like this, reach out to us at email@example.com and avoid your own “Joe didn’t wear shoes moment’.