There are so many articles and pearls of wisdom for job seekers, I often wonder why these nuggets aren’t as readily available for employers. The dated mentality that “we” (employers) have something “they” (applicants) want has thankfully met its demise, and is slowly being replaced by recruiting and interview processes that center respect and transparency as key tenants.

Personally, I want every applicant to be a perfect fit for the job we have posted. It increases our chances of enhancing the team and ultimately makes filling the job easier. But whether a perfect fit or not, I want every applicant to feel valued and appreciated for engaging with us.

At OCF, we follow a 12-step recruiting process every time a job is posted. I won’t bore you with the minutia, but you may be interested in knowing some of the high-level objectives we try to achieve when hiring.

  • Job postings are thorough. In addition to making sure that the job description thoroughly describes key responsibilities, we tell applicants a little about the organization. We try to illustrate the tone of our corporate culture through the writing and find ways to make the process enjoyable—and dare I say, fun!
  • The application process is easy and uncomplicated. We use an online system that allows applicants to quickly upload a resume and contact information and answer some interesting questions about themselves. We also want the process to be equitable, so we allow applicants without ready access to a computer to drop off a resume, and we do the required work to get them into our system.
  • Applicants have access to a real person. The name, phone number, and email address of a real person is available to applicants who may have questions. It’s typically me since I’m the HR Director, but it could also be a hiring manager. Either way, we want our applicants to be supported if an issue arises.
  • Communication is consistent, prompt, and kind. Following the same process every time creates equal opportunity for every applicant. We know that everyone is not going to be invited to participate in the interview process, which is why it is so important to respond to every applicant in a timely and kind manner. If they aren’t a fit, we want to respect their choice to apply elsewhere. If they are a fit, we don’t want to waste time setting up the first meeting.
  • We treat applicants like we treat our employees. We always try to keep the interview process as light and casual as possible. By providing relevant details in advance, each person has the opportunity to really shine. Being intentionally present and connecting with an applicant makes the entire conversation that much better.

Since joining OCF, I have been impressed with the way our team has approached interacting with our applicants. It says a lot about the character of the organization when I receive positive feedback from applicants who did not get the job. Real comments have been:

“Your friendly welcome really went a long way to making me feel like I was talking with friends and sharing great stories. My visit confirmed what I already thought I knew – the Foundation is a very special place – one in which each action is collaborative, genuine and authentic. Please know that I really appreciate your commitment to making this process such an enjoyable one. And to leave with a custom cookie, well, that is a home run in my book!”

“Your interview process has been one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve experienced.”

“I wholeheartedly enjoyed our conversations and appreciated the openness of the interview!”

“I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an interview quite as much!”

“Thank you for the conversational style interview experience. It was clear to me in the job posting and reaffirmed in today’s interview the culture of your organization. I continue to be impressed.”

By choosing to make it a personal and professional experience, our candidates leave feeling like they’re a valued guest. Rather than treating them like a herd of cattle, we seek to recognize the unique talents each person presents. Because word spreads, and we hope the respect we show is earned back from the community we serve.