Kirsten Barnes, the director of HydroApps – part of Counsilman-Hunsaker’s circle of expertise – shares how to address staff shortages with group interviews.
As you start hiring for summer 2022 or beefing up your existing team, a great way to talk to a maximum number of applicants in a minimum amount of time is to utilize group interviews.
Many of you are looking at your tasks and responsibilities daily and figuring out how to get time back in your day. Add in that staffing shortages don’t look like they’ll be resolved any time soon, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of making job offers without having a real conversation with your applicants.
Group interviews can save you time. Seasonal hiring events can fill hundreds of positions in a couple of hours. Group interviews are a great way to see how candidates interact with others. They allow potential employees to show their skills through skill tests and activities and help you place candidates in the best position for their strengths.
Just like any program you offer, preparation is paramount to success. Treat your group interviews the same way for the best results.
Treat your group interviews like a program you would offer or a meeting you would conduct in a straightforward approach to make the event manageable.
Please don’t be “that person” who never responds to someone after an interview. Whether you choose to move them forward or not, send a quick note to everyone who attended. For those you are moving on, send clear instructions on the next step, whether that is scheduling a one-on-one interview or simply making a final offer. Don’t forget to debrief your team or write your notes on what worked well, what could have gone better and what you will change up next time.
Group interviews are great for seasonal positions, but be careful. They can sometimes give too much weight to an individual’s personality. For example, extroverts may shine while introverts may get lost in the mix. And even though we want to view teamwork skills, remember teams don’t become successful in a single day — it takes time and a mix of people in different roles.
Overall, those warnings pale in comparison to the benefits of a well-planned, well-executed group interview. They are efficient, exciting and fun for everyone, and they can set the stage for the culture you are growing in your organization.