Welcome back to a fun comparison of small business recruiting and dating. If you missed the first part of the message, be sure to check it out here. When we left off, we found that a critical step for both small business recruiting efforts and dating is the interview stage. Today we’ll pick up where we left off and discuss a few interview strategies that work for small business recruiting and dating relationships.
How many candidates should you interview?
How many candidates should you interview for an available position? Are we talking about small businesses or dating? Either way, the interview strategy here is that you should interview as many it takes to fill the position. But there’s a lot more that goes into that, right?
In the case of small business recruiting, the interview strategy is to interview no fewer than seven candidates, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that you bring seven candidates into the office. Lucky #7 should give you an idea of who is particularly qualified for the position, which personalities are a natural fit as well as how each of those potential candidates might fit into your company culture. Sure you could interview fewer candidates, but we find that seven gives you the clearest picture of who’s a good fit. You could also interview more, but we find that tends to just confuse the process.
Is there a target number for dating? Not exactly. Some will tell you that they met their true love on their first date and lived happily ever after, but not all stories happen so quickly.
In today’s dating market, if you wanted to approach dating like a small business, you might start your “interview stage” by seeing if your shortlist of candidates (let’s start with 7-10 people) can hold a text conversation for at least three days. In real life, you’d expect a partner to carry on a never-ending text conversation with you, so this approach is a great way to determine if a person can carry on a conversation while demanding very little from you.
Much like recruiting, this trial period mirrors a phone interview. Not only can you get a sense of a person’s response time, but you can see if you’ve got natural chemistry. Does he or she get your sense of humor? Are they a night owl or early bird? What are their favorite things to do? Do these text messages make you want more?
Further, narrow down your list and bring your top contenders in for a round of short face-to-face interviews/first dates. Keep it simple: coffee or lunch. Allow for no more than 30 minutes to see if you like each other enough to have dinner. If you don’t hit it off in person, cut your losses and move on. No harm. No foul.
Interview Strategies: Move from Interviewing to Selling
Whether you’re a small business or you’re pursuing a dating prospect, at some point you’ll find that in order to secure a candidate, you must move from interviewing to selling.
In the context of an interview, it’s important for your business to promote their best qualities, specifically focusing on reasons why a candidate would want to join your team. Just as your interview should determine if a candidate will fit into your current team, the candidate should be interviewing you to determine if your firm is a natural fit for their life. Use this exchange to highlight the perks of working with you. Do you have a campus gym, vehicle allowance, signing bonus? What does the current staff enjoy doing after work? Do they hang out or go their separate ways? Your answers may or may not be what the candidate needs to hear, but the conversation is important.
The same can be said of dating. Unlike a job interview, it’s often frowned up if you start blatantly bragging about yourself during a date. Therefore, while important to “peacock,” it’s best if you do it subtly. For example, if you want your date to know that you have a prestigious job, one “interview strategy” is that you wear swag (company-branded) that might encourage your date to ask more about what you do. Another interview strategy is to casually ask your date what they enjoy doing in their free time. Most dates will respond with their own interests and then turn the question to you, giving you the floor to speak about your favorite things.
Interview Strategies: Testing
One interview strategy that many small businesses use that could easily be applied to dating is a testing round.
Once a firm believes that a candidate is a good fit for the organization, it’s important to conduct your due diligence. This might include a personality assessment, simulation, or group interview. Each is designed to see how the candidate will potentially perform on the job.
We often do the same thing in dating relationships, even if we don’t always realize it while we’re doing it. Just as you want to see if a potential candidate can perform on the job, when you’re dating someone, you want to see how that individual responds to various activities that you find important. These include (but are not limited to) the gym, church, restaurants, and the bedroom.
On the same note, you can conduct a group interview to see how your love interest fits in with your friends. Pay attention to the interactions between your “candidate” and your friends. And, at the end of the activity, get feedback from your friends, just as you’d get feedback from your coworkers on a potential employee.
There’s a reason why job candidates often provide references to a company when they submit a resume, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t check those references.
Today’s dating scene almost starts with a reference or background check. Tell us that you went on a date without first checking out a candidate’s Facebook profile or scrolling through their Instagram account and we’ll call you a liar. And if you find that you and your candidate have friends in common, you’d be crazy not to ask your common friend about the person you’re dating. Some might call it stalking, but in today’s world, we call it smart.
What if the “Candidate” Isn’t a Fit Right Now?
In the event that you run across a great candidate, but they don’t necessarily fit into your life or business – don’t just toss them to the side. Become friends, or in the case of small business recruiting, continue to keep in touch by using our free version of Recruiteze! Recruiteze is a powerful online applicant tracking system. Your job candidates can apply to your open positions and be instantaneously added to your talent database. End-user customers can go online anytime and access candidate resumes and make any necessary changes. We make recruiting easy because Recruiteze also comes with a custom job board that allows candidates and customers easy access to information and creates a level of professionalism expected in today’s marketplace.