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5 ways to make job candidates more comfortable during onsite interviews

Competition for qualified job candidates is fiercer than ever. To attract the best talent, employers need to convince desirable candidates that their company delivers the best workplace experience.

Potential employees recognize they are in the driver’s seat and are assessing the company as much as they are being assessed. Millennial and Generation X candidates aren’t just looking for a paycheck, they are looking for a job that complements their values, encourages them to be collaborative, and provides a comfortable yet productive environment. 

Bad hires can be potentially harmful, leading to lost business, diminished efficiency, disruption of company culture, or the departure of star performers. Making candidates feel welcome and comfortable is an important element of your recruiting strategy to ensure you have your choice of the best candidates. 

You only get one chance to make a good first impression

According to a Monster.com survey, 70% of candidates have turned down an offer because of a poor first impression of the company. Although many aspects of a first impression are highly subjective, others are well within the control of the hiring company. Survey respondents specifically cited the reception area, the demeanor of the receptionist, their interview room, and their wait time as possible reasons they might decline an offer of employment.

5 steps to make job candidates feel more comfortable

This is your opportunity to shine!  Here are five things you can do to make candidates more comfortable, so they can’t wait to work for your company:

1. Show job candidates you respect their time

The candidate arrival experience should be frictionless no matter what is happening in the office that day. Upon arrival, the presence of a visitor management system shows job candidates that your company uses technology to enhance efficiency and deliver a modern workplace experience. Candidates will appreciate a simple sign-in app that instantly provides them with a visitor badge, unique Wi-Fi password, and automatically notifies their host that they have arrived.

During the interview process, try to consolidate meetings if there are a large number of people you want the candidate to meet with. You can wither schedule short back to back interviews or consider consolidating a few interviewers into a group discussion.

It’s nice to provide the candidate with an interview schedule. Clearly communicate the pace of the day—let them know if they will be staying in one meeting room for all of the interviews or if they will need to move to different rooms to meet new people.

2. Create a welcoming experience that conveys efficiency and organization

In an era where there are more open jobs than unemployed professionals, and nearly three-quarters of job seekers are only passively looking for a job, employers need to make the extra effort to convince potential candidates they deliver the best workplace experience or risk losing top talent to the competition.

Envoy recently conducted research and published an ebook to help companies create the most effective workplace of the future, with 98% of executive respondents saying that having a modern, attractive workplace is important for attracting and keeping talent. 

3. Give candidates the assurance that they (and their personal information) are safe with you

Digital visitor management solutions help enhance workplace security and put people at ease. An automated sign-in process with clear documentation of your privacy, security, and physical safety procedures demonstrates to candidates that they are important to you and that as employees they will be protected.

Sign-in apps can also calm candidate safety concerns by providing information on evacuation and other safety procedures. If there is an incident, visitor management tools integrated with systems such as Everbridge and Send Word Now can automatically alert guests and provide instructions. That way, nobody gets left behind in the event of an emergency. 

But, physical safety shouldn’t be your only focus. Data privacy is a concern for job candidates and customers alike, and most companies are subject to regulatory compliance. Visitor management systems allow guests to indicate how their data may be used by the company (if at all), showing you care about protecting candidate privacy.

4. Use the time between sign-in and interview to make them feel welcome

Human interaction is one of the best ways to put office visitors at ease and make them want to be part of your organization. Simple touches like offering job candidates a beverage, smiling, and making meaningful ‘short talk’ can make a powerful impression after sign-in.

Offering printed visitor badges featuring a candidate’s photo is a great way to let their host know what they look like. Good visitor management systems will automatically send photos to the host after sign-in so they know just who they are looking for in the reception area. This simple gesture helps relax the candidate and makes them feel special.

5. Follow-up with job candidates in a timely manner after their visit

Don’t miss this important step. Too often potential employees report a long lag time between a candidate’s visit and receiving communication from the recruiter or hiring manager. Be sure to send a thank you note with a clear timeline and next steps within 24 hours. This is your last opportunity to let them know your organization values them and you appreciate the effort they took to visit your workplace.

Once you hire the right candidate, you’ll want to ensure all aspects of your workplace are designed to keep your employees productive and comfortable, whether they are in the office or working remotely. To learn more about what employees are looking for, download our latest report, The Workplace of the Future.