How Much Does Attire Matter for Your Interviews?

If you’re one to make snap hiring decisions based on what a candidate is wearing, you’re not alone. As many as 60% of recruiters consider inappropriate dress to be a deal-breaker in an interview. However, there’s more to the issue of interview attire than meets the eye. Let’s take a look at how expectations of dress can shape the hiring process.

To judge, or not to judge?

Chances are you’ve seen your share of slobs at interviews; after all, 75% of recruiters have met with candidates that weren’t dressed up to their standards, according to Jobvite’s 2017 report. Most recruiters will judge based on a candidate’s attire, and not for nothing; outlandish choices in dress can indicate poor judgment or a lack of professionalism.

No one would fault you for saying no to the candidate that showed up in slippers and smeared mascara. However, adhering too strictly to an arbitrary set of standards could mean shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to selecting qualified candidates.

There are a lot of reasons a candidate may not reach your exact expectations when it comes to dress, from financial to situational (after all, everyone has bad days). If specific attire is important, consider communicating your expectations to the candidate prior to the interview. That way you can judge based on their response to your instructions, rather than what may be their own incorrect assumptions about your company’s culture. Also, think about the importance of this candidate conforming to a certain dress code; if the position requires or allows working remotely, will that nose-ring really matter in the long run?

Now, what are you wearing?

When it comes to interviews, what you wear matters, too. The last thing you want to be a decision-making factor for your interviewee is the way you, and by extension, the company, presents itself. You could be scaring off candidates with your own fashion statements, so make sure your style choices reflect that of the company culture so that you can attract a candidate who will be a great fit.

If your company requires casual business attire you may know it’s not the right move to come to work in gym shorts, but the pendulum can swing the other way, as well. If your company has a casual dress code, but you decide to wear a 3-piece suit to interview candidates, those potential hires may not get the right impression about the culture. You could be saying goodbye to the right fit for the wrong reasons; after all, the option of casual dress is not an unimportant one when it comes to attracting candidates – 38% of recruiters say it is a factor in applicants’ decision to accept a job.

When it’s not a fashion statement

It’s important to keep in mind that choices in attire may not necessarily be an expression of a candidate’s individual personality. Religion, gender identity, or even disability may dictate the way a candidate dresses. For instance, a candidate on the autism spectrum may need to avoid certain garments based on a negative reaction to the tactile sensation. Sometimes, a non-traditional dress style may emerge from necessity.

When bringing circumstances like this into consideration you must then face the question, how important is it for you to stick to your guns when it comes to dress code? Keep in mind that many types of dress choices are unlikely to impact the performance of a candidate on the job, but your judgment may have ramifications. In addition to the potential legal issues, you could be dismissing a highly qualified candidate based on superficial reasons that are beyond the candidate’s control.

So, next time you want to make a snap decision based on a candidate’s attire, take time to consider their other attributes – and be mindful of your own presentation as well! Make certain you’re not losing a great hire simply because of something as frivolous as fashion.



5 Reasons to Text Your Candidates

Have you ever considered texting a candidate? Though it’s new to recruitment, texting is steadily gaining in popularity, and for good reason. Texting isn’t just trendy, it’s practical, offering tangible solutions to common problems in the hiring process. Here’s 5 ways texting can be applied to your recruitment strategy and give you a competitive edge as an employer.

1. Improve Candidate Engagement

With texting becoming more and more of a daily social staple, is it any surprise that its use in recruitment would improve engagement? Text is actually the preferred method of communication for job seekers, over both phone and email. Candidates are also more likely to respond immediately to a text than an email, making for a fast and efficient method of contact.

The improved speed of contact is something recruiters are already taking advantage of. Candidate engagement platform Jobalign has recently rolled out their own texting interface, intended to prevent abandonment from candidates that arises from the frustration of long application processes and lags in correspondence with potential employers. They may be onto to something—texting could be the shortcut you need to streamline the hiring process and let you snag a promising candidate before your competitor.

2. Attract Millennial Candidates

What’s true for texting the masses is even more true amongst the Millennials. 53% of this generation says that they prefer texting as their main form of communication. They also have an affinity for reminders and alerts issued by text, with 75% of Millennials finding them helpful. This is due to the non-invasive nature of texting; after all, it’s discreet, short and sweet, and is quick and easy for the recipient to respond to over the course of their daily activities.

You would think that companies would be chomping at the bit to make texting part of their recruitment strategy (perhaps some are), but few have implemented it thus far. Even though texting has great appeal to the generation, only 30% of Millennials report receiving texts from the companies they communicate with. Introducing texting as part of your recruitment process could be what makes you stand out as an employer.

3. Answer Candidate FAQs

What are you to do with all this positivity surrounding texting? One application is to use it as a way to field questions from candidates. By opening up a dialogue by text, you can create an environment where candidates feel free to ask a question whenever it happens to arise during the hiring process, instead of feeling the pressure to get all their questions in at once during the interview.

The candidate can then maintain contact and engagement throughout the process, from the application stage up until the final hiring decision. You can even further streamline your process by utilizing a chatbot to answer common questions, taking some of the work out of human hands.

4. Keep in Touch with New Connections

If you’ve been frustrated with the response rates from potential candidates after a recruiting event, texting could be the answer you’re looking for. Heather Thomas, Recruitment Manager at Sodexo noticed that when she started texting candidates, she saw response rates in the 50-60% range. The response was so strong it prompted the creation of TextRecruit, a platform for candidate engagement that uses a variety of text-based messaging technology to aid with recruitment.

With such a personal method of communication like texting, it’s important to ask permission before making an appearance on someone’s mobile device unannounced. For your next event, consider encouraging your new contacts to sign up for text communications in order to stay informed about new job openings and learn more about the company.

5. Conduct Your Interviews Faster

Some companies have gone the extra yard and started performing interviews by text. While it may seem a bit avant garde, conducting text interviews has a long list of practical benefits for both interviewer and interviewee. Text interviews are a great way to make initial screenings of candidates without the huge time commitment of a face-to-face appointment. This makes them easy to schedule and gets your hiring process underway faster.

Interviewees benefit from text interviews as well. It reduces the opportunity for bias, as no one can judge based on appearance or accent. In addition, the discreet nature of texting makes for a much less stressful interview process for candidates who would like to avoid squeezing one into their workday or being overheard by their coworkers on a phone call.

A Word of Caution

Though text messaging has a lot to offer to your hiring process, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Texting by no means should be your be-all end-all method of communication, and you want to keep the content appropriate to the medium.

Make sure messages are concise and to the point, without unprofessional slang or emojis. Long-form discussions on the job description, salary negotiations, or announcements of your hiring decision should take place in an email, on a phone call, or in person. However, if you execute your communications correctly, texting could be the best new tool in your recruitment toolbox.


Win the Job Hop by Staying Balanced

As scarcity in the talent market persists, employees aren’t hesitating to take the opportunity to jump ship. Job-switching no longer retains the same stigma it has had in the past, and the practice is becoming more commonplace as offers improve and we continue to transition to the gig-based economy. This willingness to job-hop creates a challenge for employers—and an opportunity for recruiters.

Though employees are more likely to take the leap these days, it doesn’t mean they are going through a big job transition for no reason. People leave because they are dissatisfied, and they take offers because they see greener pastures ahead. What aspect of the job ultimately pushes them to make the change, though? Studies show that work-life balance is a major contributor in employee decisions to stay or go.

Why is work-life balance so important?

According to one study, work-life balance issues account for 28% of employee departures, however the statistics may be even higher. Flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely are huge contributors to maintaining a successful work-life balance, and a Yoh survey confirms their importance in retaining employees. The study returned a result of 42% of employees saying they would leave their current job for a more flexible work environment.

This is startling when you consider that nearly a quarter of workers claim their jobs interfere with their relationships with their children and significant other. That is a sizable chunk of the workforce that is at risk for departure (or that could be free for the taking).

Not the benefits you want, but the benefits you need

As the hiring game gets more competitive, expectations are growing for employers to provide flexible scheduling and other benefits that promote work-life balance. Even the retail industry is increasing benefits due to its problems with retention; Walmart, Lowes, and Starbucks are all offering paid parental leave to even their hourly employees.

When vying for talent using work-life balance, be sure to showcase your truly valuable benefits. Don’t make the mistake of throwing in every trendy office perk you can offer. 73% of employees say they would not leave their job for on-site gyms, daycare services, game rooms, or other office-lifestyle enhancing perks.

Providing benefits such as flexible work hours, parental leave, and remote work options are vital to retaining and attracting employees. This is especially true as workers progress in their lives and careers, becoming more valuable to your company and more established in their personal relationships. Providing long-term benefits, such as career paths that don’t require relocation, is a way to attract and retain talent for the future.

Don’t stop there

Having benefits available is a great way to get talent in the door, but in order to keep that talent, employers have to take things a step further. Offering PTO and flexible work is not enough on its own; the company culture has to support the use of these benefits. In one study, Science Daily found that 40% of respondents believed that using their PTO would jeopardize their careers and slow advancement at their company.

If employees do not feel free to use the benefits provided to them, the benefit of retainment is lost for the employer. These workers are just as likely to jump ship for a company with a better-perceived company culture; one that they feel will support them in both their lives and careers. It is therefore important to listen to employee feedback for guidance on how to retain workers for the long term and improve work-life balance at your organization.

Emphasis on work-life balance will mean more investment in your employees’ personal well-being. In the end, however, you’ll have a less stressed, more productive workforce and a company culture that will attract high quality candidates.

Hiring Tips,

4 Tips To Improve Your Overall Hiring Process

A great employer is always looking to improve their business, whether it be through their internal or external operations. One facet of business that can generate the biggest problems without the slightest hint of cause is the hiring process.Most business’ hiring processes often aren’t as immune to such complications as employers may think.