21 February 2024 |

hiring faux pas’s

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Avoid hiring faux pas’s

The other day, I got some really critical feedback from a candidate I had spoken with briefly. Without going into too much detail, they had some choice words for me about how they thought I showed up.

While I’m not sure everything they shared was a fair assessment, I did walk away with the impression that:

  • Interviewing right now is beyond stressful
  • Emotions can run really high
  • As a hiring manager, there are things I can do to help support a great candidate journey, regardless of if I move someone along in the process or not

So I took to LinkedIn to learn more about the candidate experience – specifically what drains or emotionally taxes them – in hopes of making things a little better.

With a little over 90 comments and some direct messages, here’s my list of hiring faux pas’s that make candidates absolutely cringe:

  • Lack of communication
  • Unclear expectations
  • Lack of preparedness

Lack of communication

Ghosting. Going dark. Lack of communication. 

Whatever you want to call it, leaving candidates on read was by far the most represented concern I saw. 

What to do about it: This one should be pretty straightforward IMO – update people on what they can expect regarding next steps, if there are any. I’ve typically worked with my partners in TA to set up an automatic or augmented process for updating candidates on their status – whether we’re moving them forward or not. 

📝 Note: I like to share my decision with candidates while on a call with them for any hiring manager interviews, where appropriate. If I know they’re a strong candidate, I’m letting them know. And if I have strong enough concerns at the end of a hiring manager interview, I’ll also share that with a candidate and provide feedback on what is supporting my decision. This approach requires feedback skills, so I would not recommend trying this out if you’re not yet comfortable giving specific and actionable feedback.

Unclear expectations

It’s always better to be clear than confused, and that applies to setting clear expectations with candidates during their interview process. 

That means being clear about:

  • Salary – be upfront about what you can offer and where there is room for negotiation
  • Timeline to fill roll – if you know the interview process will take two months, be open about that
  • Hiring process – how many steps, with whom, for what purpose
  • Working arrangements – if you’re hybrid, be clear about how many days people are expected into work
  • Promotion expectations – if you’re selling on futures and promising promotions, make sure that’s an expectation you can actually meet

Lack of preparedness

There are a few things to help with preparedness. 

Before heading into an interview, make sure you do the following:

  1. Know which questions you’re going to ask and what the objective is in asking those questions
  2. Take a look at the candidate profile and/or resume in your applicant tracking system & highlight any areas you’re most curious about
  3. Have the candidate’s profile pulled up
  4. Turn off all distractions – close down and/or silence Slack, put away your phone, and give full attention to the candidate

📝Tip: Block off the 15 minutes before and after you have an interview scheduled. This way you’re not inadvertently setting yourself up to be late for the interview running from back-to-backs, and you’ll give yourself time to complete interview scorecards before your hectic day resumes.

The debrief

Hiring is stressful, for everyone! And, there are ways hiring managers can help alleviate some of that stress for themselves and for the candidates.

The big areas to focus on are clear communication, clear expectations and coming in prepared.

If we can cover those areas, we’ll deliver a much better experience!