Organisations across the industry are working to grow their workforces. Unfortunately, I am hearing from more and more organisations that they are struggling to convert interviewees into new hires. So why is this happening and what can you do to fix it?
Back from 2010 to 2016, when Defence Industry was contracting, most companies reduced their workforce, and many workers transitioned to adjacent industries such as mining and construction. Aside from the loss of talent, a consequence of this contraction was that many organisations lost the ability to interview well.
Now, the industry environment has changed. With a multitude of current and upcoming projects, the industry is in growth mode and organisations are striving to hire workers. This rapid change has led to a candidate short market with most Defence Industry skill sets in low supply, including ILS, software and systems engineering, scheduling and project management.
Candidates looking for work often have a number of employment opportunities on the table, making it critical for organisations to give candidates an excellent experience in the interview process!
Regrettably, this doesn’t seem to be the case, with many interviewees having a negative interview experience. Some of the biggest complaints we hear are:
- “The person that is supposed to be my boss wasn’t there or was late/distracted or didn’t know who I was.” “I didn’t have the opportunity to ask any questions, leaving me with many questions and doubts. “
- “I didn’t get a clear description of the role or how I would fit into the bigger picture, so I don’t know what to expect.”
- “It was a very impersonal process, and I am not confident I will be valued as a hire.”
- “The interviewers seemed unprepared and one kept interrupting the others.”
- “The process was one-sided, with the interviewer asking a lot of technical questions and nothing about me as a person.“
- “They didn’t seem to care about my development or career opportunities.”
Experiences like these result in candidate disengagement and encourage them to turn to other opportunities instead. As they often have interest from a couple of organisations, companies that provide them with the best interview experience are most likely to get them on board. Skilled professionals want to know what they are signing up for, what the opportunity is and that they will be valued. The interview is a company’s opportunity to tick all these requirements and attract the best talent.
In a competitive market for talent, it is imperative that we make the most of every interview opportunity. I am incredibly passionate about helping our industry make the most of the considerable investment that’s made in getting top talent to interview.
If you want to create an impressive interview process, one that will stand out in the mind of a potential future employee’s mind (in a good way) here are my three top recommendations.
1. Understand the state of the market
Including why it is essential to interview with the candidate’s needs in mind, not just the requirements of the role. See our latest Defence Industry Insight publication for more information on the state of the candidate market.
2. Prior planning and preparation by the interview panel beforehand:
- Define the interview outcomes and agree on questions.
- Define the process and the roles of each interviewer.
- Review each candidate’s CV and background briefing.
3. Execute the process well:
- Tell your story, clearly and succinctly.
- Listen and record.
- Provide timely, quality communication about the process, timeframes and feedback.
Interviewing is a skill, and it can make all the difference to your ability to attract the right people into your business! Check out our eBook on interviewing skills for some insight.
For in-depth and tailored advice on how you can optimise the interview experiences within your organisation, get in touch today.
By Rob Kremer