Hiring Politely

employee screening blogThere are a lot of talented, unemployed people out there. People with skills, talent, and years of experience. Some have been looking for work for 3, 6, 12 months now—or longer. And if you’re hiring employees, prepare to be inundated with resumes and applications.

Before you start the hiring process, here are a few tips that might make it more pleasant for the folks you’re going to be interviewing. “But wait,” you might be thinking to yourself. “Why should I care about whether it’s pleasant for THEM? What about ME?”

It is about you. You see, when you treat people well, they’ll remember. They’ll probably tell their spouses. They might even tell their siblings, or their friends. But if you treat people badly, they’ll remember a lot longer. And they’ll definitely tell their spouses, along with their parents, their friends, the cable guy, their hair stylist—they will tell more people than you care to know that you are a bad person, they had a rotten experience with your company, and it doesn’t deserve anyone’s business.

So hire politely. Here’s how:
1. Remember the person you’re interviewing is an individual. Call them by name, make eye contact, and smile. Make every attempt to connect with the applicant—even if you find it difficult to warm up to them. They might be really nervous. Be kind.

2. Don’t rush. You don’t have to make the interview last for 3 hours, but don’t make the job applicant feel unworthy of your time by rushing through it. Relax, take a breath, and pace your questions.

3. Listen. Make notes, ask follow-up questions, nod—in other words, give signals that you’re listening. The candidate can tell if you’re not.

4. Be honest. If you have many applicants for a single position, it’s okay to let the applicant know that there is competition. But don’t wield it like a weapon to scare him or her. You might find out how much they want the job and what they’ll do to earn it—and isn’t that the purpose of the interview?

5. After the interview, do what you said you’d do. If you tell the candidate, “We’ll get back to you in a few days,” then do it. If you tell the candidate, “It’s looking good; I’ll call you with next steps,” then do so. Each person who takes the time to come in and talk about your business deserves at least what you say you’ll do—even if you haven’t made any decisions yet. It’s okay to say, “I know I said I’d call you, but unfortunately I don’t have any news yet.”

6. When the hiring decision is made, call the interviewees who did not get the job. If you don’t have time to do it, then have someone else call. Why? It’s the polite thing to do.

7. And when you reject an applicant, don’t give them the reasons why. Don’t give into requests to talk about it. Just tell them you appreciate their time and interest in your company, but you hired another candidate.

The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

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