4 Ways to Instantly Improve the Candidate Experience at Your Company
With recruiting complications due to Covid-19, hiring managers frequently ask us how they can improve the candidate experience and hiring practices at their company. One of our main suggestions? Go the extra mile to sell your company and the roles you’re looking to fill. I hope we can all agree by now that the pandemic made a tight talent market even tighter. And just because you are desperate to fill your open positions, doesn’t mean talent is desperate to come work for you. If you want to compete for the best talent, here are four things to include in your hiring process and improve the candidate experience.
Shine a positive light on your company.
We find ourselves in new territory as it relates to the job market. Regardless of unemployment numbers, there simply aren’t enough candidates motivated to re-enter the job market or change positions. Candidates may be reluctant to return to the office or hesitant to take the first open role that comes along. Of course, as a hiring manager, you think your company is great but candidates, especially for highly qualified roles, will need more convincing.
Now more than ever we have to overcome over a years’ worth of pandemic induced inertia to get talent to move. Don’t let 2019 thinking get in the way of rolling out the red carpet for a 2021 hire. The mindset of, “they should want to work here” doesn’t work anymore. Remember, you are in a dogfight for quality professionals. It doesn’t matter how good your view is, if you have a foosball table or really good snacks. Candidates need flexibility and work life balance. We all just proved that we can be very efficient from home. While there are certainly advantages of being in an office, a happy and appreciative workforce is the primary goal. Flexibility is the new “wow” factor. It shows that you care and trust your employees. Lead with it.
Respond to what they want.
Sure, money is important. But one of the biggest reasons job seekers say “yes” to an offer is company culture. Ensure yours is fully represented to candidates throughout the recruitment process. How? Tell them why you love your job and make sure everyone in the interview process does the same. Employees stay with companies for different reasons – make sure everyone in the interview process can clearly articulate theirs. Soon enough, you’ll figure out what pushes the prospective candidate’s culture button. It could be flexible hours, remote work options, opportunities to volunteer, who knows. Dig for their cultural must-haves and if your company has it – sell it!
Show them all sides.
I could give you all sorts of reasons why my company is the best place to work, but those are my reasons. At Planet, we are caring, supportive, competitive and fun, but we take what we do very seriously. If you are looking for a company that rings a bell and rolls out the keg, we aren’t the right place for you. But if you want an organization where you will be challenged to be the best that you can be, and that will offer you a real career opportunity that will reward you for many, many years, then this is the place to be. Be open and show them who you really are as a company. If they don’t love it then it was never meant to be. Better to figure it out early-on so you don’t invest extra time when it’s not a fit.
Keep it real.
We all know the importance of selling the company and the role, but not at the expense of hyperbole. Don’t oversell it! Show them who you are – warts and all. In the end, be honest about how you feel. If after all of this mutual sharing this is someone you like and can see being on the team, tell them. Everyone wants to be wanted and there is nothing better than hearing it. And if you’re not feeling it, tell them that, too. Sure, candidates don’t love to hear they aren’t the one, but they will certainly appreciate you being honest and upfront with them. No one wants to hold out hope or push other things off for something that isn’t going to happen. By doing so, even candidates you don’t select will sing your praises, and in this world of fast traveling news, that positive press will help you land the ones you really want.
By starting every interview with the mentality that this candidate deserves a positive, real and respectful experience, you will not only entice the candidates you want, but you will also send the message that you are a company who truly cares about people. This has always been true but it’s even more important given Covid-19. Salary alone might not be enough. Taking steps to improve the candidate experience, though, may be just what your company needs to motivate top talent.
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