Nov 21, 2013

Recruiting is a hugely competitive process, and it’s what sets the tone for a new employee’s time at your company.

Few things send a stronger signal to applicants than your office space and the team that fills it. Use them correctly and learn how to recruit top talent with your space (in ways that require little extra effort) and you’ll find powerful assets in attracting and hiring top talent.

And, who knows, you just might find yourself having a better time conducting each interview.

1. Never make them wait outside

Don’t pull the old trick, “Sure, sure! Welcome! Bob’s finishing up a call, so if you could just have a seat for a minute…

It’s only a good idea if you’re looking to hack off the talented people you bring in. Your reception area might even be beautiful, but if you wouldn’t make a VIP wait out there, don’t do it to a candidate either.

Your office will become a home-away-from-home to anyone you hire; make it welcoming from their first impression. If you must be late, have someone else from the team welcome them in, show them around, and strike up a quick conversation.

2. Help them be at ease

Shock and awe has no place in an interview.

Always offer a water or coffee, or any other perks your office might have. Have a quick game of table tennis, foosball, or any other game you have lying around. Use the fun side of your office as a soft intro to the space, your company, and the process of joining your team.

Interviewing is an illogical thing; you’re evaluating someone you likely have no connection to or relationship with. Any five-minute activity that allows you to have some fun and make some inroads with your candidates will help you both in the long run.

And it never hurts that they’re a little bit more relaxed for your interview.

Bonus tip: You don’t have to interview like Google. Keep the wonky interview questions to a minimum. They make your candidates expect tricks and stunts, not an honest conversation.

3. Pick the best place to interview

Find somewhere private and relaxing; preferably not a conference room or an office. Your office lounge should be a great place to conduct interviews, particularly if you did a good job creating an inviting space that’s not too formal.

Consider switching rooms if the interview will be complicated or involve separate parts. Use your location to keep everyone awake, aware, and involved in the conversation. Break up a long interview into parts, with an office tour or breaks for casual introductions in between.

4. Give them a quick tour

Show everyone around your space; it’s a great opportunity to have a casual conversation away from the interview.

Introduce them to a few team members so they get a feel of your team — and visa versa. Show off your meeting areas, break room or cafeteria, or any other particularly interesting areas of your office. Most of all, get moving!

This is a good time to cover the more tangible parts of the job: everything from their future workspace to whether your office is Mac or PC. They’re important factors in joining a team, yet often overlooked … just like using your office to its fullest potential during interviews.

What do you think? Do you agree that your best solution when wondering how to recruit your next employee may be the walls around you?

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.

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