Job seekers often realize very quickly that not all hiring processes are created equal. While the job search should be a time of optimism and excitement, it is often ruined by hiring processes that are not optimized for the job seeker’s convenience. Some recruiters get the process totally right, some get part of it right, and others simply miss the mark altogether.
Even if your hiring process isn’t totally perfect, there are some non-negotiable aspects that must be in place in order to keep optimistic and engaged candidates moving through your pipeline.
It All Starts With a Seamless, Easy Application
Because many people who are applying to jobs are already working full- or part-time, it’s important to respect their time. Applications should be standardized, with a minimal number of steps, and recruiters should paint realistic pictures as to what job seekers can expect in terms of company cultural, role, and other relevant aspects of the interview process and the job itself.
If at all possible, you should try to leverage video interview technology in the earlier stages of the process, so that candidates don’t have to take time from their already busy schedules to travel to your location. This will show candidates that you are technically savvy, respectful of their time, and interested in making the process more convenient for them.
Remember: the Market Has Shifted — and Will Continue to Shift — in Favor or Job Seekers
This means that initial interactions with candidates should be all about selling them on the opportunity. While most recruiters are stuck on whether or not candidates meet the necessary qualifications, most candidates will be thinking, “Why should I work here?”
In general, humans don’t like to be sold. However, this is the one instance where an exception can be made. In to order plant an emotional seed within the candidate, sell them on the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the company and develop as a professional in the new role.
Treat the Candidate as You Would Want to Be Treated
Another fundamental consideration recruiters should take is fairly obvious, but often overlooked: “What would I want if I were interviewing for a job, and how would I want to be treated?”
Naturally, you would want a job that attracts you with a healthy balance of the right workplace culture and the right amount of challenging projects. An admirable employer brand that you could be proud of would likely be important, too, as well as a vibrant career site and rich social media presence that is in sync with the company’ culture.
To get candidates excited about employment opportunities at your company, think about these things that you would want in a job opportunity — and then make sure that candidates get them.
The Candidate Is Your Customer
When candidates arrive on site, the process should have a customer-oriented feel to it from the moment they walk in the door. More likely than not, they will be feeling some pre-interview jitters, so greet them by name and with a warm smile to help them settle in. You could also take it a step further and offer to take their coat, present them with water or coffee, let them know where the restrooms are located, and inform them of the logistics of the interview schedule.
If the interview process results in an offer, it’s time to communicate clearly with candidates about the onboarding process and set realistic expectations for the next steps. For example, you could give candidates a timeline for how long the background check and drug-testing procedure will take. Candidates will appreciate you taking the time to guide them at this critical stage.
Even on their start date, your job isn’t quite done yet. Be sure to set up the new hire’s workspace with any and all supplies necessary for them to do their job before they arrive. Introduce them to people around the office, and when you do so, share details about them that highlight their brilliance. Build them up and reassure them of your confidence in them. Set them up for success from day one — that is, if you intend on keeping your newly acquired talent.
What new candidates want is simple: they want assurance that they are working with great people in a company that will allow them to thrive. You can give candidates this from the very beginning at the application stage, all the way to their start dates.
Will any hiring process ever be perfect? Maybe, maybe not. But regardless of the answer, what counts is that you always strive to create the most exciting, engaging, and accessible hiring experience possible. To keep top candidates engaged with your brand and in your talent pipeline, you need to continuously evaluate and improve each and every part of your hiring process — especially the ones we looked at here.