The hiring process is oftentimes seen by managers and Human Resources as a necessary evil. Some organizations have no recruiters, so the process is thrown on top of an HR professional’s already heavy workload, and some managers are late to interviews, spend limited time once they get there, and then fail to probe the candidate to ensure he/she has the needed competencies required to be successful in the job.
Are You Hurting Your Company Brand?
I’ve had numerous colleagues tell me what a horrible experience they’ve had with the recruitment process at both large and small organizations. They submit their resumes through the company’s applicant tracking system, but they never get any response. When they are contacted by a recruiter, it may be weeks or months later, and then there is no follow-up by the recruiter after the call. A more recent trend seems to be having a candidate come in for a face-to-face interview, and then the candidate never hears anything back…not a phone call or even an email to let them know that a more qualified candidate has been found.
Companies, leaders, and HR departments that don’t understand the importance of the recruitment process are likely to be hurting their employer brand. People talk. They are going to share their less-than-ideal experiences with their colleagues and friends which can 1) tarnish the company’s reputation in the community, and 2) create doubts about the company in the minds of many qualified candidates.
Improve on These 4 Areas for a World-Class Candidate Experience
Organizations can build and shape their employer brand through a world-class candidate experience. This can be done by putting emphasis on a few critical areas:
- Communications – When you advertise a job, you should be touching every applicant at some point. Two absolute, must-have, communications include a generic email to let an applicant know you received their application, and a communication (verbal or email) to let them know once a decision has been made. All candidates who come into your office for an interview should receive a call from the recruiter to advise the outcome. This is not only common courtesy, but it brands your company as a professional and caring organization.
- Respect – The candidate’s time is valuable – don’t be late, and if there are multiple interviews, try to accomplish them in one day or as few meetings as possible.
- Responsiveness – If you say you’re going to call a candidate back, make sure you do it. If a candidate contacts you, at a minimum, send them an email. No response is not acceptable.
- Measure your performance – Surveys to hiring managers, candidates, and new-hires can let you know how well you’re doing and where improvements can be made. Remember, your primary focus should be on the candidate’s experience.
Companies that can make this shift recognize substantial value in their employer brand. As an example, Quicken Loans, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, has made a strategic decision to touch every job applicant whether they are qualified or not. At the beginning of this summer, they already had 35,000 applicants, and each one of them were contacted by a recruiter. This is an incredible approach, but it is well aligned with their culture as highlighted in their mission statement, “Everything we do is ENGINEERED TO AMAZE,” and it is a significant reason that they are a coveted employer of choice.
Overall, if you follow the golden rule and treat people the same way you would want to be treated, you will soon realize the tremendous value it brings to your hiring process and to your employer brand.