The interviewing and hiring process is one of the biggest influencers on how your employer brand is perceived. Recruiters interact with more potential talent than anyone else in an organization – More so, than your executives, hiring managers, and employees. It is a safe bet that Recruiters hold the keys to delivering your employer brand experience during the hiring phase.
There are so many opportunities for interaction between a recruiter and a candidate, using a variety of communication channels such as phone, email, text, social media, application tracking system and face-to-face conversation. The role of a recruiter is varied, but at its core is to influence candidates that working for your organization is the best decision they will ever make. A recruiters role should not be just to extend offers and fill requirements, but to provide all candidate’s with an absolutely incredible experience so that they automatically accept your offer when it comes. When Blu Ivy Group conducts research with external talent we often hear feedback that recruitment and Careers pages are to be avoided due to the perceived lack of communication, lack of understanding and responsiveness, candidates expect to truly connect with an employer brand. Imagine if recruiters were measured and rewarded not just on how many interviews and hires they made each month, but how many candidates they interacted with and the candidate experience review?
There is simply more at stake when your candidate experience is less than awesome. Not only will you lose that fight for top talent, you potentially run the risk of having your candidates “negatively review you”. Social media enables instant global reach, offers a multitude of options and instant access. Think of a scenario where a candidate is not pleased with how you handled the recruitment process. More often we see candidates reviewing the interview experience on Glassdoor, Indeed, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and the thousands of other social media platforms to express their positive and negative opinions about you and your organization. These public review forums can be either your competitive advantage or otherwise. With as many as 80% of job seekers under 35 using review sites like Glassdoor in their job seeking process, the experience you deliver matters more than ever!
Looking at a slightly different angle, we should all be thinking of job candidates as future brand ambassadors and potential customers. You just never know when paths may cross in the future, so regardless of whether or not you hire a candidate, each one should walk away remembering you for how you treated them. Further, just like that disappointed candidate who shared their displeasure for you, those candidates who were “over the moon” may just as well share how awesome you are. This is as good of advertising and promotion of your brand as you can get.
With all of this in mind, what can you do to ensure your candidates perceive you as a top employer?
- Conduct a review of the candidate experience from application, to interview to either turndown or onboarding. Identify where the biggest gaps are and align properly to your employer brand and EVP
- Ensure that the EVP is experienced and communicated clearly at all touchpoints in the interview and offer experience. Branding effectively requires a continual commitment o that promise.
- Streamline your application process. If it takes a candidate 45 minutes to apply for one of your jobs you’re already behind the eight-ball. With the plethora of recruiting software platforms available to us there is no reason why your traditional application process should take longer than 5-7 minutes.
- Be kind and respectful. Not only are you interviewing them, they are interviewing you. Be kind, respectful, courteous of their time and appreciative, every single time.
- Take them on a short office tour. Show them your office, and introduce them to employees. Socialize and give your candidates an idea of what they will experience on a daily basis. Resorting to the boardroom after having them wait in the reception area misses out on this ripe opportunity to enhance their perception of you.
- Avoid the lull in communication. Avoid continuing the “black hole effect” that is all too common during the application process. Make sure you stay in constant contact with your candidates throughout the process. Over communicate if you have to because there’s nothing worse to a candidate than silently waiting.
- Be clear on your process. Set expectations on what will happen during the interview process – how long, who they will meet with, and other pointers on how best to prepare. Clarity always wins.
- Always hire first to your EVP and brand values. We know what happens when you have employees who misalign with your brand values; disengagement, poor performance and retention issues. You can easily avoid this by focusing hiring decisions on these things.
First impression is everything, which is why recruiters play a critical role in shaping the first impression of job candidates. The recruitment process is the key to this, and to kick-starting a fruitful long-lasting relationship with candidates. Your employer brand will thank you for an awesome first-impression and recruitment experience that you drove, led and shaped.
About Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a leading employer branding and employee engagement consultancy that aligns your organization with contemporary workplace paradigms. Blu Ivy Group’s mission is to help client’s build award-winning people practices, inspire extraordinary employee engagement, and cultivate unique and desirable workplaces.
Blu Ivy Group provides integrated solutions in employer brand and engagement research, strategic consulting, employer brand integration, creative and talent communications.
Blu Ivy Group is a trusted partner to many of North America’s most respected employer brands. For more information, go to www.bluivygroup.com