How many of us interview for a job and never hear from the company again? In the pressured world of recruiting today, companies expect internal recruiters in talent acquisition to source qualified candidates and fill jobs as quickly as possible. Creating a positive experience for prospective job candidates is not a priority. Organizations forget their reputation or employer brand is critical when hiring the right talent. Everything counts in the recruiting process. It is like a courtship prior to marriage—put your best foot forward at every step in the process. Even if you do not hire a candidate, the impression you leave cannot be ignored. Candidates talk to each other. Work to create the best candidate experience possible. If you want to be the employer of choice for candidates, your company must act like the employer of choice.
I have recruited and been part of the hiring process in several different companies. Candidates have shared some of the following observations:
- People notice little things that are really important—returning phone calls promptly and acknowledging receipt of their resume. Candidates appreciate a phone call or email when someone else is selected for a job for which they interviewed. Maintaining contact during an extended interview process so the candidate knows what is happening is important.
- Candidates have shared stories about hiring managers arriving late to in-person interviews and even no showing for phone interviews. In other cases, it is obvious the manager is looking at the resume for the first time. Show respect for the candidate and prepare for the interview. Even small oversights can send the wrong signal.
- Think about your organization from a potential employee’s viewpoint. How do you tell your company’s story? Are you stable, making money and growing? Are you employee-friendly? Does your mission catch the mindshare and/or the heartstrings of the people you most want to recruit? Will a new employee feel part of something bigger than himself or herself if they join you? Will your organization nurture their talent? Candidates ask these questions as part of the emotion that influences the decision to accept one job over another.
The simple solution is to treat every single candidate as you would a prospective customer. From a candidate’s perspective, your hiring and recruiting process is a reflection of what it would be like to actually work for your organization. Be sure to leave a favorable impression in the candidate’s eyes, whether or not they end up coming to work for you. An effective talent acquisition strategy not only meets the expectations of your company but the candidate’s as well.