The hiring process is the first step in building a great team.  All candidates deserve a positive interview experience and when you master this, you are providing your company with an excellent marketing tool, a negative interview experience can be devastating for both the brand and company reputation.

Why is it so important to provide a positive interview experience? Let’s take a look at why and at some advice on how to ensure a positive outcome.

Essentially having a good hiring process should be treated as a structured strategic plan, so let’s break it down:

STEP ONE: Writing a clearly defined job description, detailing exactly what you are looking for in the next hire will be very beneficial to work out what skills, previous experience, work ethic, personality etc. are needed. Having this job description will help create a roadmap to assist when evaluating each candidate at interview.

STEP TWO: Interviewing is nerve racking enough without adding any complications into the equation. Pre-empt any issues that might arise and ensure that the candidates have the contact details for the company in case they run into anything unforeseen. You don’t want to set your interviewee up to be flustered or unable to make it on time for the interview. This could affect their conduct during the interview and may hinder how they perform.

STEP THREE: It might be the oldest cliche in the book, but first impressions really do count, especially in such a competitive and candidate led market. One of the simplest and most effective ways to enhance the candidate experience is to encourage the current team to offer a warm welcome to the candidate as they arrive. Never underestimate the value of a smile or a simple hello.

STEP FOUR: Once in the building, interviewees will be curious as to what it would be like to actually work at the company. A walk around the office before the interview offers potential employees a brief indication into the working environment and gives them the opportunity to picture themselves operational in the office.

STEP FIVE: Asking the right questions. Think of some of the most important skills they’d need to be able to carry out their role and the situations they may encounter in their day-to-day activities. Ask specific questions relating to these areas will give you a good idea as to whether this candidate will stand up to the role professionally.

STEP SIX: Selling during the interview. During the interview, the candidate is interviewing you just as much as you are them. What makes your company a great place to work? What’s the culture? What’s the team like? And also what is the scope for growth in their career?  Try to include answers to as many of these in the interview as possible, even if the candidate does not actually ask them.

STEP SEVEN: Having candidates interview with others in the company especially those with whom they will interact with most if successful provides additional perspectives. Those additional perspectives greatly increase selecting the right candidate. It also gives the candidate the chance to meet the team members that they will be working closely with and decide if they feel that it is a team they could thrive in.

STEP EIGHT: When closing the interview, make sure that everyone leaves with a clear idea of the next stages. There is absolutely no value in saying you will be in touch with feedback if you have no intention in doing so.

STEP NINE: What you do after an interview is almost just as important as how you conduct the interview. Ensuring you give structured feedback is essential. If the candidate is unsuccessful at interview they will appreciate the feedback as to why. Even negative feedback is constructive and can be used to improve candidate’s interview skills in their future endeavours.

STEP TEN: It is a fact that you will only ever hire a small percentage of the candidates that are interviewed, but your company has now had interaction with several others who will have developed an opinion on your group.  Therefore you want every candidate who interviews to be impressed and pleased with their experience. They will then tell people in their network what a great experience they had and recommend the company.

HR & recruitment tips supplied by CREATIVE ZONE client James Kevan of Swiss Gulf Partners - A HR Recruitment Company based in Dubai.