“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
When does your relationship with a new employee begin? If you answered “the day they start their new job”, you are missing a grand opportunity to woo quality candidates, and you’re neglecting a crucial phase in your efforts to recruit the best. The employee relationship actually begins with their first impressions of your company, which often form even before they view your job description.
In a job market where professionals can be choosier about opportunities, they are less tolerant of a disjointed application and recruiting process lacking in accountability to candidates. Showing a relationship-driven, customer service attitude towards today’s job seekers is the way to go. If you feel that your recruiting practices could benefit from a usability test of their own, consider the following pitfalls that can frustrate and turn away your otherwise best-fit candidates:
1. Your Application Process
A talented candidate learned about your opportunity and is excited to invest his time presenting his qualifications to you. His enthusiasm is high as he tailors his resume, and he reviews your instructions for submitting his candidacy. Does he encounter any of the following roadblocks at your company?
A.) He discovers that he has to create a profile in your system before applying for the position of interest.
B.) He has to make several attempts to create a satisfactory password.
C.) He must answer a multitude of security questions. (“What was your favorite stuffed animal as a child?”)
D.) He must dig through information to find his address, and the addresses of his employers, from seven years ago.
E.) He finds himself questioning why he must provide private information such as his birth date or his social security number.
F.) He is asked to upload his resume and then complete a lengthy traditional application form.
G.) The form times out before he completes it, forcing him to start over.
H.) He is finally told that his account already exists in the system as he attempts to re-submit his information.
2. Using Mobile Technology
Let’s face it. In today’s world, if your advertised positions cannot be easily viewed on a smart phone, not only do you appear out of touch, you are missing candidates who are operating in a seconds-only world of efficient exchanges of information. If applicants cannot apply to your positions via mobile technology, they have to go back and complete the process on a PC. This means they have to decide how far are they willing to go for your job versus another job that has an easier application process. Studies show that increasing numbers of active and passive job seekers are found through mobile channels, as they can browse and apply for jobs on their mobile devices without being monitored.
3. Your Interview Process
In any situation where you ask someone for her time, you want to respect that time and any compromises she makes in her schedule. Many candidates begin preparations for interviews hours or days in advance. If currently employed, they navigate the delicate process of finding time away from their employer to showcase their qualifications.
Imagine their impression of how you value your employees if they…
A.) Have to wait in the lobby for a late interviewer.
B.) Have to tackle repetitive questions by multiple interviewers or questions that are irrelevant to the job such as “If you were a food item, what would you be?”
C.) Are hardly given the chance to talk while the interviewer monopolizes the conversation.
D.) Experience last-minute schedule changes as senior managers seem to have “somewhere better to be.”
E.) Are approached with scare tactics which only measure how well they can talk themselves out of an interview.
F.) Are asked to perform and submit large amounts of work as an “experiential interview” technique that take up more time than what should be considered practical for evaluation purposes.
G.) Are asked to return in excess of one or two times to accommodate an indecisive hiring manager or team.
Even Google, famed for its wacky interview questions, reevaluated their process and determined that “off the wall” questions were not reliable indicators of desired employee characteristics.(1)
An interview process is not only your chance to analyze the candidate; it is also an opportunity to begin developing a relationship with a candidate and show off all that your company has to offer. You will also lose talented applicants to other offers if your interview process takes too long. Let your genuine interest in your employees come through in every part of your interview efforts.
4. Compensation and Work-Life Balance
Years ago, futurists predicted that the Internet would reduce the time workers have to spend at work, and therefore increase the time they could spend on themselves and with their families. But today’s 24-7 workplace means that there are no natural boundaries between work time and personal time, and employees have to protect their priorities. Employers who do not understand and support this dynamic are losing out to companies who recognize that mentally and physically healthy employees produce better company results, including in the company’s hiring efforts. Even in roles where the hours cannot be flexible, there are ways to show respect for an employee’s health and wellness by not chronically requesting an overextension of an employee’s time or responsibilities.
With so much automation and so much candidate competition, prospective employees who rise to the top expect to be compensated fairly and trusted with their time and goals.
5. Following Up With Candidates
Once again, consider the basics of relationship development and common courtesy. The first steps in building relationships involve establishing trust and building rapport. When you do not follow up with your candidates to provide informative updates during the hiring process, you create a lack of trust from the beginning. You can at least develop an automated process that informs candidates that their materials were successfully received, and if you can provide a way for them to know that they are still being considered, that is even better. For candidates who have interviewed, even based on an initial phone screen, it is effective to provide a method for follow up and make it a priority to keep them informed of your process as much as possible.
6. Your Job Description
Let’s revisit what is potentially the first exposure a candidate might have to your company’s workplace expectations and culture. When a job description is vague or lengthy, or when a candidate has to guess the company name from a third-party recruiter, it can appear as if you are trying to discourage applications. Your job description is yet another opportunity to attract talent by advertising not only the details of the position but also the company’s internal brand and the value you place on your employees. A catchy introductory paragraph that exudes pride in the company’s accomplishments and in the employees welcomes skilled applicants to pursue new and exciting opportunities with your team.
Remembering the basic principles of relationship development as they apply to your recruiting process is a key element in attracting top talent and closing the deal on a new great hire. As you explore these topics of best practices with us, begin to implement small changes in your workplace as an overall effort to improve your methods, and join the ranks of companies entering into this new phase of talent acquisition.
Consider the strengths and weaknesses in your recruiting process, and stay tuned as we examine these issues individually in more depth in future articles.
By Christy Robb, Simply Hired
Original Link: http://employers.simplyhired.com/recruiting-overview