To help make sure your sales candidates turn up for interview, I have compiled a few tips below which if followed, should decrease your amount of "No-shows".
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOW RATE FOR INTERVIEW:
· Build a personal relationship with an individual so they look forward to meeting the “real person” on the other end of the phone.
· Give them a schedule and a description of who they will see (with titles and roles) so they know who they will meet, their importance to the firm, and why they are meeting with them.
· Tell them what they will be asked so they feel comfortable with the process and also so they know what to prepare for. Send them a job description, company information, or anything to increase their interest in the job.
· Excite them by telling them about the projects / clients / products /services they will work on. Tell them about the team and any recent team successes.
· Put some “WOW’s” in the process (lunch, meet the MD, a tour of the business) so they are excited about the process and the job.
· Educate them about their “prospects” Let them know if they are on the short list and what you like about them.
· Contact “no-shows” to find out why they didn’t come to the interview. Fix any weaknesses in the process or attempt to learn which factors predict who is most likely to become a no-show (college students, low paying jobs, people from a far away commute distance etc.).
· Make it easy for them to call and cancel (or reschedule) in advance of the interview time.
· Remove as much uncertainty as possible in the interview process so they lose their fear of showing up (tell them about parking, traffic problems, how to dress, what to bring, etc). email them a map with exact directions
· Tell them they don’t need an updated resume in order to interview.
· Stop formal interviewing. Invite them in to have an informal chat over a coffee about themselves and their ideas. Offer to answer all of their questions on the phone prior to the interview.
· Schedule interviews after hours if necessary.
· Call or send e-mail reminders of the interview the day before and the day of the interview.
· Call no shows and “forgive” people that are applying for hard to hire jobs or who are well qualified applicants etc..
Conclusion: While many employers (Inc myself) would think if candidates need this much hand-holding, then I don't think they will be any good in my sales role.
The other side of this argument however, is that we are at full employment so if you are not doing this, chances are your competitors are. Is it worth the risk of loosing a good sales person by not making sure they at least feel comfortable coming in for a chat?
In a world of employee shortages, HR needs to re-think their no show policies. By adding information and excitement to the pre-interview process you can decrease your “no shows” while at the same time you are increasing a candidate’s interest in your job and company!