CDI Corporation

Is Your Team Giving Off Red Flags in the Interviewing Process?


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During the typical interviewing process, most companies focus on identifying red flags and weeding out candidates who are not ideal. While this is a necessary practice, employers should also give consideration to the red flags their team members could be waving, and how this may be discouraging to potential hires. As the professional labor market has become overwhelmingly candidate-driven in the last few years, more employers are realizing they must overhaul their interviewing procedures to attract top performers who frequently have several opportunities at their disposal.

The main goal of an interview is to provide both the hiring company and the candidate an opportunity to determine if there is a mutual fit. On the candidate’s end, more emphasis is often placed on the insight they can gain from the meeting, including how interviewers respond to certain questions, inconsistencies with how various team members discuss the potential role, and the aspects of the job that are emphasized vs. those that are minimized. On the company’s end, the assumption is the candidate has most of the required skills to take on the responsibilities of the position. The focus from their perspective is more about how quickly the employee can get up to speed, and how well he or she will fit in with the members of the team.

In light of the fact that employers must now operate in a candidate-driven market, they should be thinking about the lasting impression they are leaving with all prospective hires, regardless of whether they are being considered for permanent or contract engagements. “Companies really need to transition away from interview methodologies that are solely focused around what the candidate is bringing to the table, and think more about how they are presenting themselves to applicants,” says Jody Rummel, vice president of human resources & operations for CDI Corporation.

Rummel suggests the following for companies that are looking to revamp their interviewing process:

Provide direct responses about the role and the company. Candidates will see through vague or evasive responses. If the position has experienced frequent turnover or ongoing challenges, be honest about the issues and discuss how the role has been restructured. This is an opportunity to show that thought has been given to the position and its overall purpose in the company strategy, rather than just trying to backfill the role.

Demonstrate an enjoyable working environment. This is a given for applicants of permanent roles, however prospective contingent employees are not always provided with face-to face interviews. They too will consider everything they’ve heard about how team members interact with each other, company dress code, work-from-home policies, office amenities and perks. Avoid any negative discussion of past or current employees. Instead use every opportunity to show a fun workplace, engaged employees and why you enjoy working for the organization.

Maintain consistency. No matter what team members are tasked with interviewing, everyone should be on the same page about the responsibilities that will be assumed in the role. If candidates receive conflicting information about the position, they have no choice but to assume this confusion will continue if they accept the assignment.

Promote opportunities for enhancing skills. Most candidates look at how a new role will provide them with growth opportunities. Employers are looking to fill a specific need, but it’s important not to forget to discuss any training programs that are available, providing viable examples of how they can grow and develop during their time with the company.

Regardless of how your organization approaches the interviewing process, the main goal should be to leave potential hires with a positive impression. “Not every candidate will be right for the company, but their ability to talk about their interview experience in the marketplace and disseminate info that presents the brand in a good light is invaluable,” advises Rummel. “The ‘interview’ should be approached not only as a way to evaluate prospective employees, but also leveraged as a marketing opportunity to communicate why the organization is a great place to work – even if for only a contract basis.”

Recent CDI Analysis

“The ‘interview’ should be approached not only as a way to evaluate prospective employees, but also leveraged as a marketing opportunity to communicate why the organization is a great place to work – even if for only a contract basis.”

Jody Rummel
VP of Human Resources & Operations
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

The U.S. labor market added 280,000 jobs during the month of May, despite a slight increase in the overall unemployment rate from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent. The most gains were seen in the professional and business services field, which added 63,000 jobs. Within this sector, the areas that saw the largest increases included computer systems design and related services, temporary help services, management and technical consulting services, and architectural and engineering services.

The retail sector gained over 30,000 positions, with automobile dealers adding the most jobs in this industry, while financial activities grew by 13,000 jobs. Employment was relatively unchanged in manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and government, while the mining industry lost jobs for the fifth consecutive month.

The New York Times explained that this modest employment growth was an overall positive sign for the U.S. economy. The trade balance improved, shrinking by $50.6 billion. Additionally, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits has been on the decline, remaining around a 15-year low for the past 13 weeks. While household spending is still somewhat conservative, falling gas prices will likely encourage more people to loosen their budgets in the coming months. As a result of these positive indicators, the source added that analysts generally expect the Fed to be ready by its September meeting to raise its benchmark interest rate above zero for the first time since December 2008.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

Canada’s employment situation saw significant improvements in May, gaining 59,000 jobs, mostly in the private sector. According to the Labour Force Survey from Statistic Canada, the manufacturing field added the most jobs, creating 22,000 positions over the course of May. Healthcare and social assistance also experienced growth, adding 21,000 jobs. This sector has seen a 3.4 per cent growth rate over the past 12 months.

About 17,000 positions were added to the retail and wholesale industry, while the business, building and other support services sector added 13,000 jobs. Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing also created 13,000 new positions. Industries that experienced declines in their workforces included public administration and agriculture. The country’s unemployment rate remained largely unchanged at 6.8 per cent.

Arlene Kish, senior principal economist with IHS Global Insight said, Canada’s “significant job creation in May blew way past everyone’s expectations and is most probably the big shot in the arm that the economy needed.”

Due to increasingly low prices on oil, Canada’s main export, the country’s economy took a dive in the first quarter of 2015. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, May’s promising labour survey points toward an economic recovery for the rest of 2015.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, May 2015

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