Recruitment and selection: Improving the candidate experience

When Grace and I took our walk this morning, I felt rushed and wanted to move along. My strong inclination was to tug on her leash and get her moving. Similarly, when we rush through the interview process only thinking about our own needs, we miss the opportunity to have a shared experience with the candidate. Taking time to answer their questions and involve them completely in the process will deepen their engagement and loyalty to you and the organization.
When Grace and I took our walk this morning, I felt rushed and wanted to move along. My strong inclination was to tug on her leash and get her moving. Similarly, when we rush through the interview process only thinking about our own needs, we miss the opportunity to have a shared experience with the candidate. Taking time to answer their questions and involve them completely in the process will deepen their engagement and loyalty to you and the organization.

For most hiring managers, the recruitment and selection process is overwhelming. It takes precious time to advertise, coordinate, interview, offer, and onboard. Most of the activities are focused on the organizational needs. There is another important aspect that should be taken into consideration, and one that is often overlooked: the candidate.

Improving the candidate experience will help you in key ways. First and foremost, it can help you secure the best new employee. Candidates that are selective are looking for organizations that do things well. They have choices in today’s job market and if the behaviors they experience as part of the process are annoying, they will go elsewhere.

There is another primary benefit. You become an employer of choice when candidates start to talk about your good practices. Candidates are out in their communities sharing stories about the companies that are part of their job search. If they have an irritating experience, they’ll tell friends. Lousy communication, such as missed deadlines for call-backs, or taking days or weeks for follow-up shows a lack of respect.

Take action to improve your recruitment and selection process

Many organizations take steps to evaluate their internal process but fail to take the candidate’s perspective in the equation. Imagine the delight a candidate would have if the hiring organization asked for feedback on how they are doing! It immediately provides a sense of collaboration and accountability.

What can hiring managers do to make the candidate experience memorable?

  • Be timely in all correspondence.
  • Ensure you are personable, even in automated messages; be human and appreciative of a person’s interest in your organization.
  • Be direct and honest. Explain to the candidate next steps and what to expect.
  • Share the team’s rationale for all decisions made.
  • Ask the candidate what has gone well and what hasn’t throughout the process. Be open to that feedback.
  • Talk to anyone currently searching for a job and ask about their experiences. I’m certain you’ll hear many things NOT to do!

Your company’s reputation is built on every action you take. Be certain to use that to your advantage in your recruitment and selection process! When you involve people fully and respect their time and effort, this will yield results that benefit everyone.

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