Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How Not to Treat A Job Candidate

During the process of hiring, recruiters can expect job candidates to be polite, courteous and generally keen to make that all-important good first impression. However, it can sometimes be all too easy for a recruiter to forget that such formalities should extend both ways during an interview – it’s important to treat candidates with professional courtesy, as improper treatment could give a negative impression of your business to a star candidate who may decide to look elsewhere.With this in mind, we’ve decided to highlight the three common bugbears candidates have during the recruitment process, and how you can avoid them:

Choose your words carefully:

One way in which recruiters regularly mistreat candidates is by being dishonest with their choice of words. Making sweeping, generalised statements with no basis in reality is something to try and avoid at all costs. For example, telling a job candidate that they are the best for a particular position before meeting the remaining interviewees can provide a false sense of hope. While they might certainly be the best candidate you’ve met thus far, you can never be 100% until the process has been completed. It’s much more sensible to offer positive words like “you are in a strong position for this job” as opposed to saying “you are the best candidate”. Other topics to avoid include: uncertainty about salary prospects, a suggestion that your company doesn’t do “office politics” and stressing that a candidate’s home life is as important as their working life.

Be aware of your body language:

As any experienced recruiter knows, negative body language can prevent candidates from opening up to the point where you can accurately judge their qualities – or even worse, it may make them uncomfortable, creating a negative atmosphere for both you. Things to avoid include drumming your fingers on the table and rubbing your face, or leaning back in your chair and clasping your hands, which can give off an impression that you’re bored and uninterested. On the opposite end of the spectrum, smiling too much can also make your candidate feel uncomfortable, suggesting that something simply isn’t quite right. A serious face after a brief welcoming smile is most likely to put your candidate at ease.

Provide your candidates with relevant information prior to the interview:

If your candidates consistently ask you for the most basic of information about the company or job role, it’s likely that you aren’t explaining things well enough. Remember: a good candidate means good business, so it’s important to explain the perks of the role and effectively ‘sell’ your company. Not providing enough detail can leave candidates willing to turn down a job offer because they feel there’s a lack of organisation, or simply don’t understand the role clearly enough. It’s also important to avoid turning the interview into a question and answer session – keep things flowing more like a good conversation in order to learn more about your candidates. While some candidates may be nervous or lacking the confidence to keep a conversation going, you should always refrain from totally dominating the interview process.

Recruitment is not a task for the faint hearted and even if a recruiter is brimming full of knowledge, confidence and charisma, this does not prevent them from forgetting about simple etiquette. Try to keep in mind both your mannerisms and your job candidate’s and respond accordingly – this is the beginning of professionalism in the industry and the difference between a successful employment process and failed attempt.

About the Author: Ophelia Todd is a UoL graduate who studied Sociology. She has an active interest in journalism, but her thoughts are universal. Currently, she works with YourRecruit as an internal researcher.

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