Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
How to Empower Your Candidates Through The Hiring Process

The Recruiting Reel Episode 19: How To Empower Candidates During The Hiring Process

In the 19th episode of The Recruiting Reel, Susan Lamotte, Founder and CEO of Exaqueo, gives us some ideas on how to empower your candidates during the hiring process. Here’s the transcript:

Josh Tolan: My name is Josh Tolan and I’m the CEO of Spark Hire, the leading video interviewing platform used by thousands of organizations around the world.

And this is The Recruiting Reel, a video series in which we discuss real recruiting challenges with prominent recruiting experts to provide you with actionable tips you can apply to your own recruiting.

I am thrilled to introduce today’s guest, Susan LaMotte. Susan is the Founder and CEO of Exaqueo and has a ton of HR and recruiting experience with some major brands including The Home Depot, The Ritz Carlton, and Marriott International.

Today’s topic is how to empower your candidates during the hiring process and Susan has some awesome advice she’s ready to share!

Take it away Susan!

Susan LaMotte:

Hi everybody, I’m Susan LaMotte the Founder and CEO of Exaqueo. We are an employer brand experience firm and we help our clients all over the world research, build and develop and activate great employer brands.

We all know that a great employer brand is one way to attract and retain great talent. It’s also really important to make sure you’re attracting and retaining the right talent. Your employer brand is the first step in doing that. But as candidates come into your process, it’s also really important to make sure you’re empowering them along the way.

Allow your candidates to shine

Now, legally, we all have things to do to make sure our hiring processes are fair. But when you empower your candidates, you really give them an opportunity to set themselves apart. What do I mean by that? Well, empowering your candidates is making sure you aren’t putting them through such a prescriptive process, that they don’t have a chance to go above and beyond. There’s a difference between a good candidate and a great one. A great one is a wonderful fit who really wants the job, and who will go above and beyond to show you that they do.

Remember, this isn’t just active candidates, it’s active candidates too. Once they get in the process, no matter how tight the market, or how bad you want them, you still want to make sure you’re hiring people that actually want the job, really care about your organization, and are a good fit.

Get creative with your interview questions

So, how do you empower candidates? Well, there are a couple of things you can do. First, be creative. Encourage your candidates to respond to open-ended interview questions. Tell me why you want this job. Or, tell them that you’re in the final hiring or decision-making process and see how they react or respond. Some might just sit back and say okay. Others, might come back to you and say ‘I understand you’re in the final decision-making process, I really want this job, and here’s why.’

Creativity also allows them to share things that we see from graphic designers or web designers about how good they are or how talented they are. But, anybody can share what they would do in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job. Or, really showcase what about their background makes them a great fit. When you empower candidates they feel comfortable, open, and really honest about being able to do that.

Personally connect with candidates

Another way to empower candidates is to build a relationship with them. Don’t just usher them or shuffle them through the interview process like an assembly line. It’s really important. Even if you’re on your 5th, 6th, or 10th interview of the day to stop for a second. Use voice and tone to be comfortable and say, ‘tell me a little bit about you,’ interact with them. Oh, you really like running? I do too, I ran a marathon last week. When you build a relationship, they feel empowered to do the same. Once they build a relationship with you, they are going to be much more open and honest.

Encourage candidates to get to know your company   

Finally, empowerment is about letting them get to know your organization. Make them feel empowered to visit your work sites. Stop by to buy and use your products and then tell you how they feel about it. And, empowered to ask questions. The more they know about your organization and the more open and honest you can be, and share your authentic self, the more empowered they are to make the right choice.

Empower candidates to make the right career choice

After all, at the end of the day, no matter how tight a market is, even for the toughest talent tech or otherwise, it’s important your candidates are empowered to make the right choice. Otherwise, it hurts retention down the road, and you don’t bring in candidates that really fit your organization, your culture, or your brand.

So, the next time you sit down to rethink your hiring process or to just say, how can we make sure we have the best talent, think about the importance of empowerment.

Happy hunting!

Josh Tolan: Thanks so much, Susan. What you just outlined is extremely powerful.

If you use Susan’s advice, you’ll clearly see who your best and most engaged candidates are which will ultimately lead to an improvement in the people you’re bringing on board and the length of their tenure at your organization.

I love the idea of being as transparent as possible about the job you’re hiring for.

My recommendation to all of our viewers is to document these experiences and the message you want to get across to your candidates. Include it as part of your interview kit so you can be sure it’s always discussed.

I also suggest asking interview questions such as “What did you like most about your previous job?” and “What are some of your least favorite things about your previous job?” This opens the door for a candid conversation about what the experience would be like in the role at your organization.

A big thank you to Susan LaMotte for coming on the show today. Head over to to learn more about her company. Also, follow her on Twitter @SusanLaMotte.

Thank you for watching The Recruiting Reel and stay tuned for more episodes. For additional HR and recruiting content, head over to and subscribe. Also, follow us on Twitter, @sparkhire. And subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more episodes of The Recruiting Reel.

Thanks again for watching and happy recruiting!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.