How an Unexpected Request Turned into a Pleasant Surprise!

Posted on December 2016 By Speller International
Unexpected Request (1)

It’s not a common practice, but facilitating interviews between clients and candidates on the recruiter’s premises can unlock some hitherto hidden benefits!

We recently had the pleasure of hosting candidate interviews in our offices. This came about at the client’s request;
“Our offices here are quite small and we won’t have room to do interviews! Could we interview your candidates in your offices?”

Of course we said yes and what happened next surprised us…
We discovered that this seemingly ordinary request turned out to be a very simple and effective way to gain insight into some key aspects of the recruitment process.

Considered from the client’s position, it enabled them to clearly carve out a time for interviews that removed them from the immediate concerns of their regular environment and enabled them to focus more on the matter at hand, free from their usual daily interruptions.

From the candidate’s perspective, having the interview occur on the neutral territory of the recruitment office allowed a more relaxed approach with less pressure. Given a more relaxed environment, the candidate was allowed to simply focus on being themselves rather than feeling under the scrutiny of a whole office or department!

With both client and candidate being at a greater sense of ease, we observed an almost instant rapport in most cases arising from the different tone and presentation of what can often be a very formal affair.

From the recruiter’s perspective even more benefits were evident. For instance, not only were we able to elicit almost instant feedback from both sides of the table, we were also able to develop an even clearer picture of role requirements – and in particular, the personalities that meshed most immediately with our client’s expectations.

There are limitations, however. What we’ve described is an ideal situation that is not always possible, nor desirable. For instance, if it is a permanent role on offer, then it will always be best for interviews to be conducted on the client site, in order for each party to better assess the potential working environment.

In instances where a client will hold a number of interview rounds in the process of hiring for a role, then it is a wonderful opportunity to conduct initial interviews in the recruiter’s office. Such an approach minimises risk, while maximising the likelihood of a successful outcome for those on each side of the table.

It’s also important for recruiters to ensure they have the necessary bandwidth to accommodate any such requests without disruption to the regular workflows.

Nonetheless, there benefits to be had. As such, we recommend the following:

For candidates, ask your recruiter about the possibilities of interviews occurring in the recruitment offices. Explain that you feel it would give you the opportunity to be most yourself in an environment already committed to your success.

For clients, ask your recruitment partner if they are happy to host at least the first round of interviews on their premises. It’s very likely they’ll say yes, given the immediate access to valuable data it affords them.

And finally, recruiters should take the initiative and suggest such arrangements when feasible to their clients. They should also ensure to ask their candidates about how comfortable they are with the suggestion.

Simply put, understanding and clearly communicating the above benefits to each party is really key here – you want to make sure there is a mutual understanding of the advantages of such an arrangement, after all.

For our part, we’ve seen an even closer relationship develop between us and our client in question, along with our candidates. In fact, the whole process has served to deepen an already solid relationship in unexpected ways. It almost goes without saying then that we’re both looking to run a similar interview process when the opportunity presents.

We look forward to seeing what we can learn next time and what surprises await us!

How about you? Have you or your organisation had a similar epiphany, or experiences with interviews similar to this? If so, what was the most valuable thing about having access to a neutral site for the interview or interviews?  We look forward to hearing any comments!