According to a 2016 CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Study, 76% of full-time, employed workers are either actively seeking a new job or they are open to new opportunities. Conversely, 48% of employers report that they cannot seem to find the workers they need to fill their job vacancies. Clearly, there is still a disconnect between intention and execution whether you are the job seeker or employer.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the grandeur of your latest recruitment marketing campaign or the bells and whistles of your shiny new ATS – that promises to solve everything from candidate experience to world peace.
Can you woo, woo, woo?
At the core of your best intentions, lies the hope that candidates will see the effort you are putting into your brand and messaging – therefore wooing the right people to apply and hopefully work for you.
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What I see is more complexity and less focus on some basic things that generally illustrate that you, the company knows what it is doing. Everyone is busier than ever and most of us have little to no attention span.
The goal of candidate experience wasn’t to coin another buzzword for kicks, but to improve how we treat the hiring process and the candidates that have to pass through it.
Let us examine five things going on in your hiring process that are likely to be turning your candidates off :
- Lackluster Career Website- I’ve seen some pretty lackluster career websites in my time that had decent traffic. Ultimately, if you are a company or brand that people know and love, they will apply with you. However, there are some candidates (really good candidates) that will not appreciate several different fonts on one page, lots of scrolling to get to important information and a failure to give them any visual cue as to why you should be their employer of choice. You should always be monitoring traffic, bounce rates and the overall look and feel of your career website to be sure it is coherent and attention grabbing.
- Misguided Candidate Communications – Whether it is an automatic email via an applicant tracking system or your in-house prepared correspondence, there should be a personalized touch to your correspondence. Sending a follow-up email indicating a wrong referral source or a wrong name makes your company look disorganized. Doing spot checks via mock applications can expose glitches in pre-populated correspondence.
- “The Wait for Me”Complex- As someone who worked a recruiter desk , I get how difficult it can be to follow-up across the board. As I described above, over ¾ of the workforce is entertaining new opportunities. Half of your battle in gaining their attention is merely following up in a timely fashion. The average job seeker isn’t sitting and waiting for any one opportunity to emerge. They are applying to multiple jobs ( sometimes haphazardly) in an effort to maximize their chances of being called. Where possible, qualified candidates should be contacted within 12-24 hours during normal business days and 48 hours for weekend applications. You might think that is stringent, but in some industries a great candidate can be lost to a competitor in that small amount of time.
- “No Pain, No Gain” Hiring Process- Once upon a time, companies made the hiring process difficult to present a certain amount of challenge for the prospective hire. The mindset was: If he or she can get through the challenges created in our hiring process – they are good enough to work here. No one is interested in playing these games. The hiring process should not be painful. Candidates shouldn’t be left feeling like you are secretly setting them up for a challenge that they are ill-equipped to overcome. Being transparent, assessing candidates for qualities that will make them successful in your company and simplifying your process can go a long way in getting people interested in wanting to work for you.
- Good old’ “Word of Mouth”- Some industries and niches are so small that everyone begins to become acquainted with one another. If a candidate has had a poor experience with your company, it is likely to be memorable. If it is likely to be memorable, it is also likely that it will be shared with at least one other person at some point. It also means in some of the least likely places a conversation may or may not come up that allows them to draw on this said poor experience. It may seem like a long shot, but I promise you it has happened more times than I can count.
It isn’t about perfection, but about making sure you have a cohesive message that translates to what the value proposition is for a candidate to come work with you. The cohesive message has to be backed by consistent actions that illustrate your dedication to ensuring a positive experience from start to finish.
When’s the last time you looked at your hiring process to be sure there are no substantial bottlenecks preventing candidates from getting through your process successfully?