Job Candidates Are Also Customers

John’s Perspective

Talent selection is about impressing both sides. Always ensure that all candidates think highly of your organization.

I’m one of the very lucky few: I get to work my dream job every single day (is it even work if you love what you do?). But some of us aren’t so lucky. And many of us have a number of reasons for wanting to change to a new role or a different organization.

Talent selection is difficult (hint: don’t discount cultural fit…you might be able to teach someone how to use a new software, but you can’t teach them to fit into a culture that’s just not who they are), particularly when there are so many good job candidates and so few roles. And if we’re on the employer-side, sometimes we can feel as though we hold all the power, particularly if we have a number of qualified candidates. However, even with hordes of amazing potential hires in the lobby, you should never forget that talent selection should involve both sides impressing each other.

All those candidates are also potential guests, clients, fans, or patients! While these candidates may desperately want to work for your brand or organization, they will understand if you extend an offer to another candidate (it is the disappointing reality of recruiting, after all). But, what they won’t understand (and what they’ll tell anyone who will listen) is if you don’t treat them like a Lady or Gentleman during the entire interview process. They may be the one vying for the role, but you should also be trying to impress and ‘wow’ them. And this isn’t advice only for the one or two ‘top choice’ candidates whom you want to accept your offer…this is for all of your job candidates! They are investing time with you, and they’re experiencing your brand and culture first-hand. Even if you don’t extend them an offer, you want them to have a very positive association with your organization, as they (or their family or friends) may be a customer of yours in the future.

Learn about the selection process at The Ritz-Carlton, how we onboard talent, and our process for rewarding and recognizing our Ladies & Gentlemen at our one-day Service Excellence Culture course at The New York EDITION on May 31