Around the campfire: The interviews to include in every talent strategy

What if we told you the interview process shouldnt stop once you’ve found the perfect candidate and made them an offer they can’t refuse?

What if we told you the humble interview is a key ingredient in your talent strategy that can not only help with finding great talent, but keeping those amazing people on your team and growing as a business? 

Let us explain. 

Finding great talent: the recruitment interview.

The one that everyone’s heard of. THE interview. The one that decides the fate of the candidate for the role, and the one that (usually) involves a bigger decision at the end of the process. 

These are people that most probably haven’t worked with you before, and are seeing things as your potential customers or future candidates would. 

So what can you do?

  • Go in with the key objectives of what you want to get out of the interview.
  • Write a rough agenda of the topics you’d like insight on to help shape the discussions. 

And what can you get out of this?

Besides interviewing a candidate for a particular role, it’s also a crucial part of reflecting on your external perception and employer brand as a business. 

So as much as you want to get out about their experience, also take it as an opportunity to; 

  • Note down any comments, opinions or insights the candidate gives about why they chose to apply;
  • What really appealed to them and what factors really stood out which make up your external employer brand image. 

This will give you an insight into how you’re perceived on the outside, and things that maybe aren’t lining up from an internal standpoint. 

How can you use this?

At the end of the recruitment process, all of this information can be fed back into your talent acquisition strategy, and worked through to include in future job ads or recruitment drives. 

Keeping great talent: the check-in interview. 

You might see this as forming a part of an annual review process…but we think it’s important to separate the two out. 

A check-in interview should be less formal, so you could just call it a ‘chat’. 

It’s a chance to gather feedback, thoughts and opinions, on both the individual’s progression and the company, while giving an insight into what might need to change, and the themes which are coming out in employee responses. 

So what can you do?

  • Go in with a rough agenda on three distinct areas; what the company is doing well to make employees feel supported, what you need to improve on, and what would help them to grow and evolve in their role. 
  • These form the answers to why they would potentially leave, and how you can help retain them. 
  • Depending on the setup of your business, you could try holding check-ins in small mixed team groups, or informal one-to-ones, which include interactive elements, like post it notes, or a guided process with informal questions. 

And what can you get out of this?

The check-in should give you an opportunity to;

  • Dig deep on what is going well, what isn’t going so well
  • Understand from an employee perspective the areas that need some work

And how can you use this?

  • Look at the common themes popping up and work them into tangible actions that can be fed back into your retention strategy. 
  • If employees are listened to, heard, and they see these changes, ideas and feedback rolled out across the business, then that will positively feed your retention strategy. 

Growing as a business: the exit interview. 

So you have an employee that’s chosen to leave. It might be too late to retain them at this point…but seeing this as a tick box exercise is not the way to go. 

The exit interview is just as important as the interview that first hired them. 

So what can you do?

  • Create a safe space for exiting employees to feel seen and heard;
  • Avoid speaking to line managers before an exit interview, as it helps to keep an open mind and hear things first hand. 
  • Be honest with your approach, and let the employee know that feedback will be listened to.

And what can you get out of this?

  • Exit interviews help you to gather learnings to feed back into your future retention strategy;
  • They also help to create a positive lasting impression, aiding your employer brand;
  • They help your brand reputation (which will go full circle back into your attraction strategy). 
  • They create space for employees wanting to return in the future;
  • They show you truly care about investing in people and their experiences, not just numbers. 

And how can you use this?

  • Write up your findings, and create a system where you’re prioritising changes; 
  • If there’s an issue that is likely to result in more employees leaving, address this initially;
  • If anything stands out as particularly concerning, communicate with the employees still in the company, to see if there are common themes emerging. This will help you stay connected to what is going on, and avoid losing more staff as a result. 

And that’s a wrap on our interviews for every talent strategy. 

Want to know more? Or have any questions? 

Drop us a line we don’t bite! Promise. 

Luke Richardson

A highly experienced recruitment leader with a background in regulated, consumer facing financial organisations, broadcasting and media, tech start-ups and hospitality.

A serial hobbyist, lover of animals and the go-to person when looking for an “out there” idea or solution.
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