In the Hiring Process, There Are Two Sides to the Story – Are You Paying Attention to Both?

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There are two sides to every story, and this is especially true when it comes to the hiring process. Job seekers want to find the right positions and companies for their careers, and employers are looking for high performers who will fill their talent needs. Everyone involved is looking for a happily ever after – but that doesn’t always happen.

Once an employee-employer match has been made, it often becomes clear that the two parties are on completely different pages and the connection isn’t as great as it seemed to be. These sorts of mismatches are so prevalent that a 2015 Indeed study found that within 91 days of being hired, 65 percent of new employees are already looking for new jobs.

To avoid high turnover rates, organizations need to start considering the candidate’s side of the story. By understanding candidate expectations and experiences, employers can understand job seekers from a new perspective. That shift can help you better identify the right talent for your company.

Here are four hiring process factors to reconsider in order to get yourself on the same page as your candidates:

1. How Informative Are Your Job Descriptions?

The job description starts the relationship between a candidate and an employer. Unless both are picturing the same details about the position or the company, it’s impossible to align expectations or for either side to make an informed decision.

Unfortunately, most job postings focus only on the employer’s needs. A job seeker is left to read the required skills, compare them to their own skill set, and try to determine how it all translates into a job. What they end up imagining may or may not match reality.

Revisit your job descriptions from a job seeker’s perspective. What questions might they have after reading one of your job posts? What might stand out to them as unique or interesting? Don’t think they’re just looking for information about salary: a 2016 study from CareerBuilder found that when considering a job, 76 percent of job seekers want to know what a typical day would be like and 82 percent want to know about the company’s team structure and how they’d fit into it.

2. How Much Time Do Candidates Have to Spend on Your Applications?

TimeHow long do you think a typical job seeker spends filling out an application? If you’re like most employers, your guess is probably less than an hour, according to a report from CareerArc.

In reality, the average candidate actually spends 3-4 hours on every application. That time not only includes filling out a form, but also researching the company and deciding whether or not it’s a good fit. Candidates are giving organizations a lot of consideration, but employers are not returning the favor: 72 percent of hiring managers spend less than 15 minutes reviewing an application. It’s doubtful that’s enough time to think about things from the candidate’s perspective.

Instead of simply dismissing an application that seems less than perfect, try to see why the candidate thought you were a good fit for them and vice versa. Chances are the applicant took the time to look at the company website in order to get a better feel for the organization, so reciprocate by digging into the job seeker’s online presence. That extra bit of research might make it clear that this person has the potential to be a great employee.

Of course, hiring managers don’t have unlimited time to review candidates. Consider creating a hiring team so the workload is manageable. That way, each candidate can get the consideration they deserve.

3. Are You Using the Wrong Technology

Over the past few years, there has been a huge boom in HR tech designed to make hiring easier. While some of these new tools accomplish that feat, others fail to take the candidate experience into consideration. Using the wrong type of technology can make your hiring process seem confusing or robotic to job seekers. A 2016 report from randrr, for example, found that 93 percent of job seekers don’t believe finding and applying for a job online is intuitive. Seventy-six percent find the process frustrating, and 49 percent find it downright depressing.

While automation can make hiring managers’ lives easier, the wrong solution can leave a bad taste in job seekers’ mouths. When choosing talent acquisition technology, think about whether or not it improves the candidate experience.

The tech you use affects how both job seekers and employers view one another. A frustrating application system can ruin your company’s image for candidates: In the aforementioned CareerArc survey, 72 percent of job seekers who had bad application experiences shared their negative stories with others.

Look for technology that makes candidates’ lives easier while keeping the human aspect of your company apparent. For instance, video technology allows companies to record videos of leaders talking about the organization, which provides candidates with a better picture of the company and its personality.

If you want to have a happy ending with the job seekers you decide to hire, you need to make sure you consider their side of the story. Think about what factors appear differently to them and how that can distort both of your perceptions. This will ensure both parties are getting the most out of the hiring process and that good matches are made.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of video interviewing solution Spark Hire. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

By Josh Tolan