Recruiting and hiring: What to avoid in your candidate experience

Mistakes will happen throughout the recruiting process. Some errors are not that big of a deal so long as they're corrected, like mispronouncing an applicant's name, but others can seriously harm your chances of bringing on an excellent new employee.

"Ensuring candidate comfort is vital to a positive candidate experience."

With this in mind, let's check out some of the blunders hiring managers should try to avoid.

Don't start too narrow

Posting an open position in specific places, such as industry-specific job boards, shows you did your homework and know how to advertise a job strategically. But you also run the risk of not attracting as many qualified candidates as you otherwise could. Your ideal candidate may use more traditional and general job boards. You also may unintentionally encourage the same types of applicants, even after you show no interest them. In this case, expanding your reach can benefit your recruitment strategy.

By contrast, when it's time to pick people for a second round of interviews, narrow your finalists down to five or six very intriguing candidates, maybe fewer depending on the position you're trying to fill.

In a weird way, broadening the applicant pool can help you narrow down your candidates later.Broadening the applicant pool can help you narrow down your candidates later.

Don't be distracted by individual candidates

Over the last decade, group interviews became wildly popular (and widely despised). One big flaw of group interviews is they can lead to unconscious biases. One candidate's performance among three others might affect, positively or negatively, how the hiring manager sees the other candidates. It's best to treat your interview room like a laboratory: For the most accurate results, limit cross-contamination.

Additionally, don't hold too many interviews on the same day. This, too, can trick your brain into incorrectly evaluating candidates for reasons that ultimately don't matter, such as how their personalities blend or clash, or how a bad candidate might make a mediocre one look great by comparison.

Don't use the wrong tone

According to Workopolis, hiring managers and other HR leaders often mistakenly use a cold or curt tone in interviews, albeit sometimes unintentionally. Be mindful of how you and other interviewers speak to applicants. It's not wrong to want to keep things professional, but you don't need to check your personality at the door. At the end of the day, you want a candidate who matches your office culture, and that includes how employees hold casual conversation.

Don't forget to leverage technology

Every interviewer needs resume information at the ready and an efficient method for organizing notes, not to mention a streamlined system for onboarding the candidate they choose. Using end-to-end HR software that includes applicant tracking functionality can help you manage candidate interactions during the application process and seamlessly welcome the best applicant to your team.