More than half of the respondents in an employment screening report said that hiring and retaining talent is their top business challenge. Could it be due to the communication disconnect between employers and candidates? The need for a more transparent recruitment and hiring process is evident, especially with 77 percent of job applicants saying they receive absolutely no communication from employers after submitting their resumes.
A transparent hiring process requires honest communication from the time the open position is posted to the final handshake upon the offer of employment. Applicants should know what to expect when they apply. Therefore, the following practices need to be checked for transparency to ensure organizational needs are clearly communicated to candidates.
Transparency Check No. 1 – the Job Description
Three-quarters of job seekers in this survey explained that they typically spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a job post. Thirty seconds may seem like enough time, but think of the information these job seekers possibly overlook. The same 75 percent of job seekers stated that the look and feel of the job advertisement influences their decision to apply. This is evidence that recruiters should aim to create visually appealing job advertisements, but it also shows how flowery descriptions can shadow the true nature of the open position.
“Organizational transparency isn’t a members-only thing, created for employees. It should be part of every point of contact with the candidate and even the customer, because after all, they are quite often one in the same. Transparency about organizational goals should be a solid part of your recruitment message, and what better place to start than job listings that will appear on the career page and social media outlets.” – Sylvie Woolf
Check: how many responsibilities are listed in your job description?
Erica Swallow recommends including between 5 and 10 responsibilities that convey your company culture. Cut out the common-sense qualifications and communicate your company culture and organizational structure. According to Erica, there’s nothing wrong with stating details on where the person falls within the company’s structure and who they would report to if hired.
Transparency Check No. 2 – the Interview
Are you aware that 32 percent of job candidates reported that they are less likely to purchase from organizations that never responded to their job applications? Not following up with applicants — even if they were extremely unqualified for the position — is not acceptable. Nobody likes being left in the dark, especially when it comes to something that ultimately dictates a person’s life. Not only do applicants need to be notified if and when they aren’t being considered for the position, but they should be offered the chance to give feedback regarding their hiring experience.
Check: Are applicants being treated the way you would want to be treated during the hiring process?
Raj Sheth, CEO of Recruiterbox, sheds light on the time and resources candidates invest in applying for a particular position. Shouldn’t that same effort be matched by employers? If follow-up correspondence is not properly sent to applicants, then the employer is at risk for being bad-mouthed on social media.
“With social media, globalization, and business becoming increasingly transparent, word gets around quickly and broadly. Each aspect of the hiring process should consist of thoughtful interactions that project the brand and culture of the organization.” – Raj Sheth
Transparency Check No. 3 – the Background Check
It’s now estimated that 1 in 3 Americans possess a criminal record. Therefore, background checks play an integral role in today’s hiring process. Whether it’s screening past employment records, running credit checks, pulling criminal records, or even screening social media accounts, candidates need to be notified of these tactics in the very beginning of the process.
Plus, well-informed applicants have been found to have a 35 percent lower dissatisfaction rate with the application and hiring process.
Check: Are you being upfront about your screening methods?
Being upfront gives the candidate the opportunity to drop out of the process before you waste time and resources on candidates who have something to hide. Also, providing a clear description of the screening process at the start gives candidates the time they may need to gather the documentation to explain their records and remain in the running for employment.
If in fact there is information against a candidate (that cannot be explained), the employer will need to legally continue with adverse action.
“Adverse action refers to an official legal process that an employer is required to follow as they inform a job candidate or employee that they are not eligible to work for your company due to information found in their background checks.” – GoodHire
Letting candidates know they’re going to be screened, and letting them know they aren’t being considered for employment because of their records are two different things. However, both are crucial to establishing a transparent hiring process.
It Doesn’t Stop There
Even after the candidate is hired, transparency needs to be cultivated in the onboarding process. Post-hire interviews are a great resource to use after a new hire has been brought on to the team.
Debbie Muller, CEO of HR Acuity recommends:
“This should take place anywhere from 4-6 months from the hire’s start date and with the goal of gauging how well the organization is doing with their recruiting, training, and onboarding practices. It is also a great time to get proactive about workplace issues that the new hire might be experiencing.”
Muller makes a great point and reminds us that being transparent throughout the employee lifecycle is a continuous effort. After evaluating each of these functions for transparency, what have you determined needs the most work? Feel free to share in the comments!