By Kathleen Laney - June 9, 2015
Have you ever gone through a recruitment process and felt like you were being herded like wild cattle into a holding pen? Did you like it?
A poor candidate experience can have devastating impacts to your organization. According to a HireRight survey, 82 percent candidates will talk with family and friends about a bad experience they had during the recruitment process with a potential employer. Sixty four percent said they would post on social media about it.
An employer’s interactions with candidates during the recruitment process – from your first communications with a candidate to the speed and organization of the recruitment process to the candidate's experiences when being interviewed – can impact an employer's brand and ability to attract talent.
However, employers can make the candidate experience a positive one.
Three ways employers can improve the candidate experience:
1. Rethink your approach
It is time to rethink your approach to candidates and treat them with the same level of attention you give to your customers. In many cases, such an approach requires a different mindset altogether. The goal of traditional recruitment has always been to get people in the door as quickly and affordably as possible. The emphasis to fill positions rapidly is often a reactionary approach and administratively focused – get the job posting out, screen resumes, schedule interviews, make decisions.
But to be competitive in the next five years and beyond, you must adapt to the new normal and make your recruiting a strategic endeavor. Today’s workforce has matured and candidates are increasingly savvy about what they need – both skill-wise and job application-wise – from a potential employer. Just as organizations need to make sure their customers have an overall positive experience, you must also consider the candidate experience of applying and interviewing for jobs – and for the candidate you decide to bring on – make sure they have a good onboarding experience as well.
2. Provide candidates with sufficient information that will help them assess if this is the right opportunity for them.
It is a 'win-win' situation in providing candidates enough information regarding the employer culture, benefits, and expectations. This information will allow your candidates to make an informed decision whether the role and company is a good fit. Employers should include an outline of the company's health insurance plan and other benefits with cost breakdown for single, couple and family. One of the most useful tactics I've used is to provide a total compensation summary that breaks down the dollar amounts for the various benefits the company offers. Often times the additional benefits cost well over $10k to $20k per year per employee. Work with your human resources team to put this information together.
3. Develop and adhere to a standard and efficient recruitment process.
Unfortunately slow hiring does not improve the quality of those you hire – you might assume that taking more time to make a hiring decision would result in better hires, simply because you had more time to gather information, to gather feedback and to mull over the finalists.
In practice, slow hiring actually has the opposite effect. The longer you take, the lower the quality (i.e. the “on-the-job performance” of new hires) will be. The primary reason for this drop off, is that with an extended hiring process, all of the top candidates will likely drop out, leaving only weak ones to choose from. Most managers don’t realize that the secondary impact of having all of the top candidates drop out is that the remaining candidate pool (that you will eventually hire someone from) may now only contain average and weak candidates.
As a result, the extra time for decision-making is negated by the fact that you only have average candidates to gather that information on. The lesson to be learned is: slow hiring may actually doom your firm to an extended period where you only hire average or slightly above-average candidates.
Obviously there will always be unexpected situations that arise that can derail your recruitment process or timeline. Employers should make every effort to ensure their candidates and prospective employees have the best possible experience.