3 Ways to Prepare Job Applicants for the Interview - Glassdoor for Employers
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Three Ways Every Company Should Prepare Applicants

You’ve been in this situation before. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you burn hours hosting screening calls and scheduling interviews while trying to find the very best candidate for an open role. When the candidate arrives at your office for the next phase of the process—an in-person interview—you ask the question, “So what interested you in our company?” and are met with a blank stare. A stress headache starts to build.

“Oh no. I don’t think they know our company,” you realize.

The rest of the interview confirms your hunch. While the candidate read the job description and has the technical skills for the role, he or she hadn’t gone further to research and understand your brand and company culture. When the “test” of an interview came, they failed—or did you fail them? You had your job opening posted online and conducted screening calls, but missed out on the opportunity to educate candidates from the moment they first saw your career opportunity (or you reached out to them).

So what went wrong?

As a credit union recruiting talent in tech, finance and customer service, among other areas, our team at BECU knew that just putting up a listing on our job board was not enough to attract the qualified staff we seek. With the unemployment rate hovering below 4%, to say competition is fierce for talented employees is an understatement. This is doubly so when you’re working in competitive industries like technology or finance. So what can an employer do?

Start by making it easy for applicants to research your brand beforehand. By giving them the tools to check if your company is a strong cultural fit you’ll find interviewing is a breeze for you and the interviewee.

1. Be Transparent

While some companies view the interview process as a combat sport between recruiter and applicant (think more karate chop than handshake), at BECU we think the process should be more of a collaboration between the applicant and hiring company. Because of this, we actively work to inform and empower applicants:

● Craft infographics that detail our entire recruiting process, from end to end, and share them with candidates both online and in person

● Publish FAQs about BECU’s interview process on our careers website

● Share “how to prepare” tips on our Glassdoor profile and other social media channels

● Feature “day in the life” videos and recent awards in our candidate communications

We see more qualified talent in our applicant pipeline when we’re clear with our expectations. We also find that we host more successful in-person interviews. Offer or no-offer, this transparency makes our recruiting staff, hiring managers and applicants more successful in hiring quality talent—that is a good fit for BECU—faster.

[Related: How to Recruit Informed Candidates at Scale]

2. Harness Your Employees’ Voice

You cannot rely solely on official employer statements to educate a prospective employee about your company culture. No matter how awesome your career website, it cannot stand alone as the only place to convince either potential applicants to apply or to choose your offer over another attractive brand. Your secret tool? An employer hashtag.

An employer hashtag is a simple phase that you empower your staff and recruiters to use when sharing about your company culture on their personal social profiles. Great examples include Amazon’s #InsideAmazon; Starbucks’ #ToBeAPartner; and Expedia’s #LifeAtExpedia. Employers use such hashtags to express their brand love and professional expertise, while the employer gets to exhibit real-world examples of their culture and talented workforce out in the wild.

At BECU we encourage our employees to tweet and post using #BECULife on sites like Instagram and Twitter—and they share how they use their volunteer hours serving the community, or marching in a local Pride Parade with colleagues.

While successfully launching an employer hashtag is not without hazard, done right it can provide thousands of authentic proof points on why an applicant should consider you as their next employer.

[Related: Candidate Engagement at Every Stage]

3. Maximize Your Glassdoor Profile

The many branding features of Glassdoor make it a powerful platform for telling your employer brand story and attracting talent:

● Solicit employee feedback

● Respond to reviews

● Promote recent employer awards

● Upload company photos

At BECU we take the “constant gardener” approach to our Glassdoor profile. Instead of only updating our presence quarterly or annually, we make small adjustments weekly—and sometimes daily—just like the duties of any good gardener.

We respond to positive, neutral and negative reviews on our Glassdoor profile every week. We regularly update our company photo album, and once a quarter we update our profile with our latest company awards and employer details. This not only sustains a healthy stream of content for our Glassdoor following, it also means our applicants are continually updated on our latest and greatest.

By going beyond the job listing and telling your broader employer story, you’re empowering candidates to scour your social profiles, read your blog posts and watch your day-in-the-life videos. And, for those that do go the extra mile, you’ll know you have connected with a motivated and passionate candidate who could just be your next addition to the team.


The following blog post was written by Joel Ballezza (@JoelWho), who works in marketing at BECU, Washington’s largest member-owned credit union.

Learn More

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