You’re interviewing your next candidate and all the pressure is on them, right? Wrong! – I hate to be the one to tell you but, unfortunately, the pressure is also (and moreso) on you!
Why – you ask? Why should you need to do anything? Why should you waste your precious time? Why bother?
Here are just three reasons for you to be at least as prepared as the interviewee:
Reason 1: You might easily pick the wrong candidate – if you don’t know what you’re doing
I believe that the lack of interview skills is one of the key reasons that employers select the wrong candidate and, as a result, end up with an employee who either doesn’t have the skills to do the job or is the wrong cultural fit.
Most entrepreneurs are not formally trained to interview. I’m sure you can relate – if you were lucky, you might have been able to sit in on an interview with your manager before leaving the corporate world. That’s okay if the interviewer was sophisticated and technically strong, but horrendous if the interviewer was poor.
If there’s one skill that I’d encourage you to work on, before that next interview, it’s your own interview technique.
Reason 2: Your reputation of your business is at risk – if you are not prepared
An ill-prepared interview can have huge ramifications beyond hiring the wrong candidate – It could affect your reputation and your future success.
Let me set the scene…
Your candidate shows up for their interview – ready and eager – but, unfortunately, you’re stuck on the road, trying desperately to get back to the office in time.
Fifteen minutes late, with a coffee in hand and uncombed hair, you greet them at the door and let them inside. You clear some space on your desk and find a chair for your guest – while you catch your breath.
Due to your lack of preparation, you let your guest do all the talking and finish the interview in under an hour. The candidate leaves and you feel like you’ve made progress on your next recruit. You’ll hire them – great! One less thing to worry about.
The next day, you make the call – however, you find that the candidate declines the position…!
An ill-prepared interview environment will always affect what the interviewee thinks of your business. On a basic level, this means they’re likely to decline your offer – all that time spent on their application and arranging the interview is wasted – but, on a much deeper level, they are likely to talk about their experience to their network whenever they hear of you or your business.
Are you ready to miss out on possible future recruits before you even meet them?
Reason 3: You need to know who you’re talking to
When you hire employees, there is a high level of trust required on both sides – you may want to know that your employee will treat your company equipment appropriately and handle cash in a trustworthy manner – the candidate wants to know that the role you are offering is as you said it would be and that you will take your duty-of-care obligations seriously. (These are legislative obligations that you have as an employer, such as ensuring your workplace and work practices are safe).
High levels of trust lead to high levels of engagement. That said, you might be surprised to discover that identity theft is on the increase in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Fraud Survey 2010-11, Australians lost $1.4 billion due to personal fraud. More alarmingly, the survey estimated a total of 1.2 million Australians, aged fifteen years and over, were a victim of at least one incident of identity fraud in the twelve months prior to the survey.
Did you know that the most common acts of fraud, according to research from KPMG, are the theft of cash, false invoicing and diversion of sales? The cost of fraud is considered to be around $345 million, with respondents believing that only a third of the total losses are being detected. It’s a very real problem and one that can be reduced – by background checking, internal controls and by not ignoring red flags.
There’s more – did you know that research estimates that over 35% of candidates lie about their skills and experience, on their CVs and at an interview? These lies might be about a six-month holiday by the sea that was actually a stint in jail, or a resignation that was actually a termination for fraud.
Finally, did you know that if you inadvertently hire an employee whose right-to-work visa has expired, you are exposed to fines ranging from $16,000 to a whopping $270,000 for your company? The onus is on you to check their visa status, so it’s important to include this check as part of your recruitment process.
Protect yourself from candidates who might fall into the above categories – by conducting reference checks before (or during) the interview process. It may take time, but it’s well worth it to ensure your business is safe.