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Paying candidates for interviews: Folly or the future?

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

In many cases, the best candidates for your job openings aren’t in the job market. They’re happily employed elsewhere, and they need a major incentive to show up at your door for an interview.

A new start-up job board intends to create that incentive. NotchUp.com pays top candidates up to $500 for interviewing. Actually, your company pays.

How it works: At the NotchUp site, people plug in their current jobs, salaries and experience to estimate their interview pay rates (typically between $200 and $500). Then, they submit their profiles to the site. If a hiring company is interested, it deposits that amount with NotchUp and conducts an interview. After the interview—and with the company’s OK—NotchUp transfers the money to the candidate. (NotchUp makes money by charging a 15% transaction fee.)

Some major companies—including Google and Facebook—are already recruiting on the site, which just launched in January.

Advice: Don’t turn to this option until you’ve tried your own efforts to lure passive candidates. Three ideas:

1. Deputize your current employees. Use a well-paid referral program to reward your employees—rather than a web site—for bringing good, passive candidates to the table.

2. Revamp your interview process to make it more applicant-friendly. Offer interviews when people aren’t normally working, such as nights, breakfast time and even on weekends.

3. Go ahead and offer a small reward. Paying for interviews isn’t as radical as you’d think. Hospitals have found great success in paying $50 to nursing interviewees. Some companies give out $20 Starbucks cards as interview thank-yous. Even Cisco once paid $5 to conference attendees to hand over their résumés.

For more advice on the tactics—including using Google—to attract reluctant candidates, access our free white paper, How to Lure Passive Job Candidates.

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