I recently read “The Second Dimension of Screening Sales Talent” over at SalesHQ. In the article Lee Salz makes some very insightful observations in regard to interviewing and screening candidates. The article compares hiring a candidate to marriage. This may sound a little outlandish, but really it hits the nail right on the head.
If we were to spend our courtship learning everything we could about our partner never giving them a chance to learn about our values, hopes, and dreams how likely would they be accept a proposal. If they did accept, what are the odds that they are going to be happy once they learn more about you, maybe 50/50. Of course no one would actually do this, it is obviously a formula for failure. Somehow though we think this is exactly what we should do when we are interviewing a candidate.
Next time you sit down to interview a candidate make sure you leave ample time for the candidate to ask questions. Perhaps you should even think about conducting a reverse interview. A reverse interview is simply a meeting with the candidate conducted by someone other than the hiring manager. This purpose of this meeting is for the candidate to find out more about the values and culture of the company.
When you give candidates an opportunity to see how they can fit into your organization, they are able to make a much better informed decision when you make them an offer. Some candidates will screen themselves out, but it is much better for them to turn down a job offer than to have them leave after a few months. In fact it is estimated that replacing an employee can cost from 10% to 60% of that employee’s annual salary. In the long run you will be much better off hiring the right candidate the first time.