We’ve all been there…you have an opening that is very important to your skilled nursing facility and you need to hire the best candidate for the job. Your organization has invested time, energy and money into sourcing and canvassing leads in an effort to find the ideal fit to join your team. And now it’s time for the face-to-face interview. You think you’re prepared and ready, but are you really? Just because you’ve done countless interviews in the past, it doesn’t mean that you are conducting them in the most effective way possible. The first face-to-face meeting with a potential new hire is crucial on several levels…and not just for you, but also for the candidate.
First thing is first, let’s stop calling it an interview. "Interview" has such a cold, one-way vibe. It’s a meeting. A meeting between 2 people (or more) who are looking to communicate and engage in an effort to learn as much as they can about one another. It’s a 2 way street.
Your meeting requires preparation. I refer to this as the meeting set-up.
- Organize and straighten up the meeting space, whether it is your office or a conference room, take a moment to make sure it is clean and ready for a guest.
- Prep your team and facility that a guest is coming. Encourage them to smile, be friendly and say hello.
- Turn off your cell phone and tell reception that you are only to be interrupted in the case of an emergency.
- Make sure you have had ample time to review the candidate’s resume prior to the meeting. You do not want to be seeing it for the first time in front of them.
- YOU are the energy of the meeting. Be upbeat and positive.
- Regardless of whether or not this is your ideal candidate; stay positive and present. This is a very small industry and word travels fast.
- Use a combination of traditional and behavioral questions to understand the person on a deeper level. A traditional question is one that can be responded to with a yes or no. For example: Have you ever had to deal with a difficult family member of a patient? A behavioral question is one that requires an explanation or example. When you ask a behavioral question, it forces the candidate to have to think and elaborate. It gives you more insight and detail. For example: Tell me about a time when you had a difficult family member to deal with and how you handled that situation. After the initial answer, continue to ask questions based on the answers you are receiving to ensure you have gotten all of the information you can. Approach it like a conversation you would have with a friend. Be interested.
- Be mindful of the fact that behavioral questions are more difficult to answer than traditional questions. You are using this technique to gain important information, not to make the candidate nervous or uncomfortable. Don’t ask questions that you couldn’t answer yourself.
You’ve done a fantastic job leading a successful and fruitful meeting. Now it’s time to conclude.
- This is when you reinforce your appreciation of their time and the value you see in them as a candidate.
- Walk them out. Yes, walk them out.
- Set an expectation of what will come next and who will be in contact with them.
- Hand them your business card.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Wow, I don’t do any of that. This is going to take so much more time than it ever did before.” You are right, it does take time and effort to prep and execute a mutually beneficial meeting, but the return on the investment is a position filled with a top candidate and the opportunity for positive company exposure, which inevitably makes your life easier and builds the reputation of your organization.
To schedule a 15 minute review of your hiring and staffing processes with Tracy Lester, Vice President of Talent Management at Harmony Healthcare International, please fill out the form at: http://info.harmony-healthcare.com/connect-with-a-talent-management-specialist