Your Next Recruiting Goal Should be to Make Candidates Feel “Seen, Heard, and Remembered”

Guest: Rachel Bitte candidate experience, Candidate Pool, Generations, HR, Networking, Pop Culture, Rachel Bitte, Recruiting, Resumes, Social Networking, Social Recruiting, Sports, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Talent Strategy, War for Talent 3 Comments

Earlier this month, I joined hundreds of talent acquisition pros in downtown San Francisco for Jobvite’s annual Recruiter Nation Live event (full disclosure: I’m employed by Jobvite). In addition to exchanging some new stories, the best recruiting practices, and winning strategies with our peers, I also had the great pleasure of speaking on-stage with the incredible Molly Bloom.

In case you don’t know, she’s the author of the best-selling book and award-winning screenplay Molly’s Game, which chronicles her journey from Olympic skiing hopeful to LA waitress to the operator of the largest and most notorious high-stakes underground poker game in the world. It’s a fascinating story, and if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, you should definitely check it out (it features Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, and Kevin Costner, among others).

Much like the challenges facing the recruiting game today, Molly’s Game didn’t start with the most money or brand recognition. Rather, she built her private poker gathering from scratch by developing authentic connections and providing a unique experience. Core to that process was Molly’s goal to make sure every player felt “seen, heard, and remembered” — something we should always be thinking about when approaching the candidate journey (especially in today’s challenging job market). Here’s how you can apply some of Molly’s Game tactics to raise the stakes on your recruiting efforts.

Seen

Applying for a job can sometimes feel like dropping resumes into a black hole. This sounds simple enough, but updates to show you’ve actually opened or reviewed candidates’ resumes can go a long way, making them feel seen by your company.

A great candidate journey can’t be reserved just for those you hire. According to Jobvite, Seventy-two percent of job seekers share bad experiences via social media and personal networks, and 85 percent won’t consider your company again after a poor experience. So, it’s important to devise ways for candidates who don’t make the cut to feel empowered by the application process.

Candidates today crave personalization. Initiate and maintain a multi-channel dialogue across various mediums, including text, video, and social media to make them feel seen at every step.

Heard

With record-low unemployment rates and a younger-skewing workforce, it’s more important than ever to be present and engaging in interviews. Today’s job seekers don’t want a laundry list of questions, canned responses, or trick questions. No, they want to be a part of an organic and authentic conversation, and ultimately, to feel heard.

Ditch a checked list and actively listen to the candidate to guide the interview. It can be so easy to default to our premeditated questions and not actually listen to the candidate in order to formulate more pertinent follow-ups. Diving deeper into the experiences the candidate just laid out will make the candidate feel heard and help you hone-in more on their relevant experience.

Remembered

Every candidate wants a unique experience. Even if they aren’t you’re number one choice, they want to feel like it – otherwise, you risk turning them off. In order to make candidates feel special and remembered, you need to move quickly and keep in-touch constantly to keep them engaged and show the process is moving along.

Whether or not you ultimately pick them for the role, make sure you don’t leave them in the dark about what is happening. A personalized note with details or feedback can go a long way for a candidate who spent a couple of hours applying and interviewing. That could be crucial for your talent pipeline down the road, as 88% of recruiters say that have, at some point, gone back and hired a “silver medalist” — or person who was previously passed over for hire.

Working with Molly to prepare over the past couple of weeks, there was a lot that I came to respect about her. She evolved in order to overcome personal hardships and rise to notoriety and fortune, only to lose it all and be forced reinvent herself again to write a best-selling book and award-winning screenplay. Despite all of that, she remains unbelievable attentive and personable — making you truly feel seen, heard and remembered — which was key to establishing Molly’s Game and her current success.

Molly understood the universal truth that all people want to feel special. That’s what she does with people, and it has stuck with me in not only my work in talent acquisition and people management but also my personal life and relationships.

So often we’re thinking two-steps ahead, that we forget how to be present in each interaction. But whether that’s a candidate, new hire, or your partner — doing so could make all the difference.

Comments 3

  1. Every employee wants to get heard, feel that he is been listening and you have mentioned a great factor to think upon.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Rachel, As someone who’s been on both sides of the recruiting game for a long time, your advice is spot on. So why do some (or most) recruiters and talent pros not heed your advice and instead default to automated messaging, standardized questions, lengthy processes, and a generally poor candidate experience? I hear a lot of them blame the hiring manager or say they are just being busy (too many candidates/requisitions). What do you suggest we do within our recruitment teams to move this needle more broadly?

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