Best Practices for Engaging Top Talent in Interviews


image_015A prospective employee’s interview is part of the hiring process continuum rather than an isolated stage. Top talent engagement begins before the formal interview and continues while they remain in the pipeline, during training and throughout their career with your company.

Engagement Based on Employment Brand

Your organization’s employment brand derives directly from the company’s shared vision of the future. The brand image must be comprehensive and present themes tailored to your hiring demographics.

Each organization’s brand is unique, but encompasses basic values:

  • Open communication and information sharing
  • Support for learning and growth
  • Meaningful work goals
  • Regard for work/life balance
  • Generous compensation for great work

These and a shared sense of mission towards personal, department and company-wide goals are the basis for recruit engagement.

Prior to the Interview: Consistent Branding

Smart companies will have developed suites of videos communicating their organizational values and showing off their “best place to work” attributes. Videos reinforce brand image after an interview and are easily shared via social media.

During the Interview

Despite a consistent brand image, a top candidate may remain skeptical about whether the organization means what it says. Prepare for their doubts about how their career goals align with those of the company. Listen carefully and address these with relevant, concrete examples. If possible, enlist a member of the team with the requisition to address their questions.

Post-Interview Engagement

Especially if your candidate was identified with the help of social media, utilize that media after the interview to maintain engagement. Sharing relevant media or comments shows interest as long as it is tasteful and non-intrusive. Regular contact lets the candidate know there is ongoing interest, and he or she will greatly appreciate the attention to any further questions they have.

Benefits to Interview Engagement

Candidates who feel that a company has a place for them and listens to their concerns and ideas are far more likely to accept an offer and subsequently grow to be high performers. They also have potential to become one of your organization’s greatest proponents of the company culture to other recruits.