We’ve all been there. You applied for a job and were selected for interview. You received a generic email or call with the time and location for the interview, but you did your research. You went into that interview so well prepared you could have beaten the CEO in a pop quiz. You feel like you did well, and you are waiting for another call. You’re waiting, and waiting. In this time you start to question if the company is a great fit for you after all. Your call for interview was generic, you’ve been kept waiting for feedback, and time has lapsed since you did all of that research. If they offer you the position, is this what it will be like to work with them?
The candidate experience fuels the onboarding and success of new employees. It also creates a useful tool in building a recruitment brand for your company. A candidate who has had a great experience will think highly of your company, even if they don’t get the job. Modernize your recruiting by making your candidate experience a priority. This blog post highlights some of the ways you can reinvigorate your candidate experience to improve your recruitment.
Communication is key
You may receive hundreds of applications for one role that you are trying to fill. But the chances are only a handful caught your eye.
It doesn’t take much to keep in touch with these people, but the benefits are plenty. Maintaining candidate interest in your company, as well as building an ample candidate pipeline are just two of those benefits. If you are waiting on a decision from a hiring manager or CEO, try reaching out to the candidates who interviewed. Explain that the selection process has been difficult with the high standard of applicants, but that you haven’t forgotten about them. Ask if the candidate has any follow up questions to keep the conversation open. If the candidate is unsuccessful, tell them as soon as possible. You don’t need to cut off all communication at this point - ask them to join your talent community instead. Read more about building a talent community below.
Interviews don’t vary as much as recruiters would like to think. For candidates, an interview means getting dressed up in your best suit and meeting a number of people who only know about you from what’s on the paper in front of them. Often there is a quick office tour, but it happens before the interview when you are too anxious to take much notice of the comfy couches or collaboration boards. Change this.
When you invite someone for an interview, it is most likely because they have stood out enough to impress you among a high volume of applications. Take the time to learn one personal thing about them and up your interview game. When they arrive for the interview come out to meet them yourself and ask them how that one thing is working out for them. Show the candidate that you have taken a real interest in them - leave the corporate drone persona behind. Finish the interview with a tour if it has gone well, your candidate will be more relaxed and will hopefully feel the same “good-fit” feeling that you do.
Build a Talent Community
To be at the forefront of your industry, you must encourage innovation and collaboration within that industry. Start by building a talent community. As you grow your candidate pipeline, start to think about hosting events for their benefit. The most obvious of these would be hackathons and breakout sessions. Become known for your involvement in their career outside the company. When the time comes to fill a role, you can encourage those that you already know are a great fit to apply. Any unsuccessful candidates can be invited to join in your talent community. Along the way this will also help you to achieve the next part…
Build a brand for candidates, not just customers.
Employees are some of the most important stakeholders in your business. Their drive to succeed drives your company to succeed. But between filling roles we often think very little of branding and outreach to candidates the way we do to customers. Change this in 2017. Your company has an image, a way of portraying their goals and attraction points. Start to think about this in a way that attracts candidates as well as customers. You won’t need to change much, but have these stakeholders in mind when you run campaigns. If your business is large, there is a chance that marketing and recruiting teams don’t often get together. Start scheduling monthly meetings or phone calls. Stay up-to-date on upcoming marketing campaigns and ask for solutions that can improve your company image to candidates as well.
Onboarding is not the first week on the job.
Every role is different, and onboarding is often left to the predecessor to teach a new employee what is required of them. But what if onboarding started before your candidate’s first day? Getting a new employee excited about the company and the direction you’re going in could be key to less turnover and more ambitious team members. Build a company onboarding plan as well as general training for a role. Choose a team member to be their guide to the company social scene, encourage group lunches with your new employees, and make sure they have the knowledge they need to succeed within the company - not just in a specific role.
As recruiters, we often see candidates as one-sided: those looking for a job. If we change this perception, we can create not only a great candidate pipeline, but also a brand that attracts the best in industry to us.