We work with many clients, all of whom have a preferred recruiting process. Within those many clients, we often work with many stakeholders, all of whom often have their own preferred recruiting process. This has allowed me and my colleagues to see some great examples and some pretty poor ones too!

The main misconception I see is the assumption that volume of interviews is the main consideration. From the employers point of view I understand that the target is almost how many interviews can we do, before we risk losing candidates - the more interviews conducted surely the more chance you hire the right candidate? However from a candidates point of view, I really don’t see the issue being volume of interviews.

I recently successfully managed a candidate through a recruitment process. This candidate had a total of 9 interviews but was actually really positive about the experience (it’s worth noting at this point, the candidate had a senior role already and was working at the time of this interview process). His positive feedback somewhat surprised me, as the length of the process and number of interviews was pretty intense but having explored it in a little more depth the candidate provided some great points that I think offer organisations some really good insight;

Quality, not quantity - The first point the candidate made is that they really weren't concerned about the number of interviews, sure it lengthened the process a little but the focus was on finding the right role, not the quickest. The candidates biggest concern was that they wanted to ensure every interview added value, and what they liked about the process was that they really felt they learned something new about the role at every stage, meeting another key person and peeling back another layer resulting in a much greater understanding of the role.

Clear from the start - The other point made by the candidate was that they found the lengthy process much easier to take, as we had been so open from the start about what to expect. It’s so important that you commit to a process at the very start, and stick to that process. This allows you to set expectations with the candidate, for them to plan for the required number of interviews and doesn't leave them feeling deflated or frustrated.

So really take time to consider your interview process when hiring critical roles. Top talent is in greater demand than ever and your interview process is your opportunity to impress just as much as it is theirs. Focus on ensuring every single interview benefits both your organisation and the candidate, giving them an opportunity to learn and explore the opportunity in more depth. Setting expectations early allows you to manage a candidate through a more comprehensive process, but being proactive and setting things out at the start will really help keep top talent engaged throughout the process.