Throughout the recruiting process we are constantly evaluating our candidates.   Often our recruiter’s first experience with a candidate is their resume and initially we evaluate them on how their resume is written.  Is it relevant? Concise?  Grammatically correct? If all goes well with the resume we extend them an invitation to tour our office for the first face-to-face interview.  We continue our evaluation the instant the recruited candidate walks through the doors.  Are the presentable? How are they dressed? Did they polish their shoes? How you present yourself can say a lot about you and how you approach all aspects of your work and life.  I don’t take issue with evaluating candidates on their first impressions – I believe its human nature to do so and first impressions will influence an employer’s decision to move forward with the interview process.

With this in mind, we’ve now made it part of our practice to gauge the candidates initial impression of the potential employers.  What impression did you have on your recruited candidates?  The feedback has been interesting to say the least.  The candidate’s first experience with your company is often your website.  Is it relevant? Concise? Grammatically correct?  Secondly, they scour the internet and dig up as much as they can on your company through search engines and social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.  What does your company’s digital profile look like?  Will they be impressed or are you hiding a few skeletons?  Then they search their own network to see if they are connected to someone that has been affiliated to your company in search of a referral.  By now they’ve begun to evaluate you and your company as their potential employer and formed their initial opinion.  From time to time we have candidates drop out of the interview process at this stage.  Something about the company’s digital profile as deterred them from continuing with the interview process.

If the first impressions have gone well for you and your chosen candidate, a face-to-face meeting is arranged.  The candidate is re-evaluating your company the moment they enter your office: What is the state of the office? Is it presentable? How are people dressed? Is it a professional work environment? How receptive is the staff?  I certainly don’t take issue with this form of evaluation either –  it is human nature and first impressions will influence a candidate’s decision to move forward with the interview process.

First impressions are a two-way street for both candidates and employers.  Attracting employees who will be productive and motivated is largely dependent on the first impression, so it is essential to put your best foot forward for each new encounter.