We all know that hiring is a two-way street. You assess the candidates for skills, attitude, and availability to work. And in turn, candidates assess your agency to decide whether it is the right place for them. When you decide to bring a perspective caregiver for an in-person interview, you want to make the most of the time and effort both parties put in.
In my mind, great on-site interviews create a WOW factor that will make your organization stand out from other employers AND allow you to select the best-qualified candidates. To create the WOW factor you need two things: impeccable interview skills and a way show off the best your agency has to offer. In this very competitive employment market, you should still take the time to assess all candidates. Quality selection yields quality employees. Once those employees wear your company’s nametag, they are your ambassadors with clients, their families and your community. Isn’t this worth doing right?
When you invite candidates for an in-person interview, you want to make sure your agency puts its best foot forward. Think of on-site interviews more like a discovery tour rather than a tired, obligatory step with paperwork and interviews.
Follow these 5 tips to create the best on-site experience:
1. Treat prospective caregivers professionally. Professionalism starts with being considerate, on time and prepared for the interview. This is what you expect from caregivers on the job. Thus, it is really important that on the first encounter prospective caregivers get this message of professionalism.
2. Make candidates feel welcome and special. People don’t always remember what you said but they remember how you make them feel. If you make them feel great, they are more likely to take your job offer.
Although you want to have a well-oiled process in place for the on-site interviews, it’s important to individualize the experience. You don’t want it to come across as canned or robotic. Think about customer service in the hospitality industry. This is how candidates who come to your office should be treated to make a first great impression on behalf of your agency:
- Friendly Welcome – “Hi, welcome to ABC Home Care” or “Good afternoon, welcome to ABC Home Care. Are you here for an interview?” This second approach assumes that your recruiter coordinates with the receptionist who is coming for an interview that day.
- Make Eye Contact – Eye contact produces feelings of caring, trustworthiness, and likability.
- Smile – A smile is contagious and it’s actually true. When we smile, it creates a spark that triggers the brain’s pleasure center.
3. Structure the interview questions to get the data you need to make the decision. Let’s not lose sight that the on-site visit is about deciding if the candidate is the right person for your agency. Consider the qualities, skills, and behaviors you see in your best caregivers. Those are your success criteria. More than likely those success criteria including a caring disposition, an orientation towards service, patience. You need to assess if the candidate will be a good fit with your agency’s culture. Remember when you hire the caregivers to become your ambassadors. Do you feel good about this perspective?
4. Assume it’s a “yes.” In other words, consider the candidate will accept the position. You want to show them the best your agency has to offer. If you know you will make then a job offer, after the interview, take the time to introduce them to their future co-workers in the office. Don’t focus on their job title. Rather explain what each office staff does for caregivers in the field. Demonstrate that you have your caregivers’ back.
5. Arrange for a brief meeting with the owner or the agency administrator if that person is not involved in the interviews. This person should share a positive message about your agency and its mission to make a difference. Ideally, this mission should be linked to the importance of the staff and caregivers. This shows how important recruiting the right people is to your agency.
By incorporating those techniques into your on-site interview, you will create an amazing experience for prospective caregivers (or any staff really!). This allows each candidate to put their best foot forward. You also provide a realistic insight on the working of your agency and you have a chance to demonstrate how you live out your mission and values with your employees.