It may not be an employer-driven recruitment market, but many businesses are still acting like it is and this is causing them to lose out on finding the right talent for their teams. When job-seekers are spoiled for choice, employers need to do more to ensure they put their best foot forward when it comes to showcasing opportunities and culture. This starts with looking at your recruitment process and experience from a candidate’s perspective.
Still not convinced that you need to change your process? This month, Talent Board released results of their annual Candidate Experience survey which surveys 220,000 candidates worldwide. The findings this year reinforced how valuable experience is when it comes to finding good talent and also showed how damaging a bad experience could be. Forty-six percent of survey respondents reported that a poor experience during the interview process would take their loyalty, purchases and relationship elsewhere. This means that not only is your recruitment process either helping or hurting your reputation, it’s also helping or hurting when it comes to sales.
Reimagining your recruitment process can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be. There are small things that you can do throughout the journey to improve the process including using technology to your advantage.
Five Steps To Immediately Create A Better Candidate Experience
Clearly outline the job
Be clear on what skills and what type of person you’re looking for. This saves you time as it allows you to spend more time on qualified candidates rather than having to sift through irrelevant resumes. Ask yourself what kind of person you are looking to hire - not only based on what the role needs but the type of person you’re looking for. Avoid using jargon or buzzwords. For example, if you’re looking for ‘an open-minded, ambitious data scientist.” Think about what you mean by open-minded? Are you looking for a data scientist with a strong programming background that has used their technical skills in a creative way to solve a problem? That’s much clearer than saying something like open-minded or ambitious. It also opens the door for the job seeker to share an example of where their hard and soft skills came through on a previous project, giving you a feel for their experience.
Ask candidates for feedback
Surveying candidates throughout the process is a great way to better understand where your recruitment process can be improved. Determine what areas you would like to find out more information about and set up quick real-time polls that are delivered through text or email. Common areas for feedback include recruiter response time, clarity and expectation of interviews, ease of scheduling and format. Responses use a 1-5 scale and candidates can quickly add in their comments. As more and more candidates share feedback, it’ll be easy to see what candidates like and dislike about your process.
Communicate frequently and personally
52 percent of candidates had been waiting 2+ months for a response after applying for a job. In this data and tech-driven world, that’s simply unacceptable. Communications with a candidate can be time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be. The critical times that candidates want to hear from you are: after applying, as they progress in the process and once a decision is made on their candidacy. Use candidate communication software to automate this process so that specific actions trigger specific messages. If you use a template for these messages be sure the messages reflect your values as a company and that it doesn’t sound too generic.
Be transparent about expectations
As prep for their interview, a candidate is likely to go to third-party review sites to better understand the company culture, potential interview questions and salary expectations. However, there’s no way of verifying this data or knowing how current it is. Be transparent about the steps of the process when moving forward with a candidate. Will there be multiple interviews? Does it usually take three to four weeks to come back on a decision? Do you require a competency test?
Automate what you can to save time
There’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to interview someone and then waiting for a line of business people to get back to you on their schedules. You can only follow up and chase so much, especially when you know that the clock is ticking on the stellar candidate you found. Similar to automating communication, technology can solve this problem in two ways: online scheduling and digital interview software.
Let’s go back to our data scientist candidate. For this role, she may need to meet with the vice president of technology, a product manager, someone from the marketing team and a developer. Some of the people she’s going to meet with are easier to schedule than others. By having a full view of real-time availability and understanding who’s a mandatory interview based on job role, these interviews are scheduled quickly and easily.
In addition to scheduling, the data scientist candidate may be based in San Jose, California while your VP of technology just relocated to New York City. On top of it, he’s scheduled to be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for the next week meeting with customers. It’s essential that he signs off on the data scientist candidate but it’s not imperative he meets with her. Rather than relying on other people’s notes or quick feedback, digital interviewing software can be used to conduct a video interview. Unlike a Skype or FaceTime video interview, this software allows the candidate to record their answers to your questions. This video can then be shared with the VP along with the other interviewer’s notes and recommendations.
Where To Begin
With the war for talent raging, your recruiting experience is increasingly important. Don’t let challenges in the process turn talented people off from joining your team.
The steps above are easy to implement quickly. An excellent place to start is thinking critically about what message you are sending throughout the process and then applying technology and thoughtful approaches to the areas that are the most significant bottlenecks.
This approach will not only save you and your company time but also the candidate. Then, you can both focus on the more important aspects of the process - putting the right person into the right role.