The Black Hole
Let me tell you a little story that we as recruiters are all too familiar with. Company is ready to hire a new or replacement position. Hiring manager sends job requisition to internal recruiter. Recruiter attempts to schedule an intake meeting but gives up after a few attempts due to manager’s lack of availability. Recruiter posts job on applicant tracking system. Potential candidates apply for a position. Overloaded recruiter rifles through applicants quickly to assess possible fit with limited information in part thanks to hiring manager’s lack of input. Recruiter phone screens does assessment testing and lines up live interviews for hiring manager. Hiring manager provides little, if any feedback, to live interviews except to the one person they “like” and want to hire. Offer is accepted if we are lucky and the position is filled. Done deal, let’s move on.
The one person out of the 50 that applied got the special attention for taking the time to go through the interview process. The other 49 applicants got anything from nothing to minimal communication. No wonder this entire process is so often compared to a black hole.
Time Works Both Ways
Look, I know, you’re busy. So am I, so is anyone with any semblance of a life. What so many of us fail to remember is that when someone is applying for a job at your company or my company they have taken the time to fill out an application or in some manner went out of their way to express interest in your company. On the next level when someone comes in to have a live interview, they have carved out more time out of their busy day to talk to someone at your company. And if they come in multiple times, well, let’s just say it’s an investment of their time and energy. Never forget this, always respect this. Being busy doesn’t make you unique, it makes you like everyone else.
You’re An Ambassador
You better like working for the company that gives you a paycheck because you get to sing its praises all day long when interviewing folks. You are selling a product so you’d better believe in your product. And if you believe in your company/product, you need to keep in mind you are one of the most visual ambassadors of your company. You can make the company a place people want to work, and you can also make the company a place people don’t’ want to work, all based on the experience of the interaction with YOU. Treat it as such. People remember their communication with the recruiter, good and bad.
What You Can Do to Make a Positive Candidate Experience
Even though technology is our friend, it doesn’t mean it always comes off like Alexa, warm and soothing. Hiring managers and ineffective processes and too much red tape all conspire against us in providing a positive candidate experience. Here are a few things you can do to provide a gratifying candidate experience, even when your company conspires against you.
- Give your AI a voice – hey, I get it. Right now I have a project manager position posted that gets 10-20 applicants a day. I spend 10 minutes every other day reviewing the resumes. The ones I don’t submit to the hiring manager I select to get an email sent out so that the candidate knows we received and reviewed there resume but they aren’t moving forward in the process. It also says in the email we appreciate the time you took to explore the opportunity with OUR company and we’d love to stay in touch – and here’s how.
- Keep Talking – The candidates that you do call and have a phone interview with should now go firmly in the pile of “stay in touch.” Even if you never bring them in for a live interview, you owe it to them to keep them apprised of what’s going on. Don’t make them wonder if you got hit by a bus or worse, just don’t care.
- Did You Bring Them In? – Well now you did it, you met them in person and took up a chunk of their day. When you’ve requested someone to take the time to get a haircut, dress up real pretty, do actual research on your company, and burn some time off to come in and talk about an opportunity they are excited about, you owe it to them to pick up the phone and let them know that they are the bridesmaid and as much of “why” as you can divulge.
- It’s All About You – It is. Remember you are the “face” of the company. I don’t want to overplay that hand but the reality is you, and I are the ones that have the first interaction with all potential employees of the company. And you and I are the ones that have the primary interaction with the folks that don’t get selected. Some we want to stay in touch with, some we don’t. Either way, they will remember us. And from one of the primary principals of customer service, if you provide a good or excellent experience to someone they will tell one or two people they know. If you give a terrible experience, they will tell ten people.
- The Golden Rule – Like many things in life it boils down to the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. If you provide the type of interaction that you would like to have personally, you’ve done your job thoroughly, and you can sleep well. The reason we are in this gig is that we love connecting people to opportunity. And providing a charming experience along the way helps us build our brand and makes more people want to reach out to us about our companies.
Use your powers for good!