I did a show on Drive ThruHR this week with Bryan & William, and the choice of topic was basically, “whatever” and “HR”. That can be kinda broad, so I told them I wanted to talk about candidate experience. Why? Well, I have my share of horror stories, but also because it’s one of those elements of HR I really believe doesn’t receive enough attention – -likely due to the robust volume of horror stories I have!
I asked my team to contribute and one of the quotes was, “It only takes a few doses of “crazy” to spread the word in the market” (thanks, Molly!). We’ve had senior HR leaders tell us they wouldn’t refer the best people they knew because of what they’d heard about the hiring process.
Bam! Your company is done. Finished. Word on the street goes a long way, people, and YOU know it because I’m sure you’ve walked from interviews thinking there’s no way in hell I’d work there.
Glassdoor released their survey findings regarding who were the Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs. They based this rating on one question, “Do you approve of the way your CEO is running the company?”. Not overly scientific, but the results are here and I wasn’t too surprised by who made the list based on their reputation (HR and otherwise) in the market.
What if your organization was rated in a similar fashion based on one question: “Would you work for company XYZ based on your first interaction with the recruiter?” Does that send chills down your spine are you sitting there thinking, “bring it”!
My guess is most of you would be somewhat anxious about those results. So here are 3 simple things to do and/or change about your recruiting process to relieve your stress.
- Treat people like humans. It really is that simple. Respond to candidates – either via email, canned ATS or if you dare, a phone call. Follow-up with those in the process with regular updates – even if it’s just to say, you don’t have an update. Prep candidates for the process. Who are they meeting, what are the personalities like, where should the candidate go to do research on your organization? If you are presenting candidates to hiring managers, your name is attached to them so why wouldn’t you help set them up for a successful process?
- Don’t be slimy. You know what I’m talking about here. It’s the recruiter who oversells without even knowing your level of interest. It’s also the recruiter who overcompensates by overselling because they really don’t know the role, the organization or the culture. Don’t be slimy. Know a little about whom you are reaching out to, assess their interest and then sell – but sell softly. This means having a compelling story to share about why the candidate should schedule time to talk about the organization or the role.
- Be direct, but be nice. Most recruiters, who know their company and the role they are trying to fill, know when a candidate is a good fit or not. There is the technical aspect, the financial incentive and the all-important cultural fit…and if any one of those is far off, then the candidate should be told. There’s nothing worse than making a candidate believe they are a strong possibility and then dropping them weeks later when you’ve gotten a better slate. Be direct up front. “Yes, this would be a step up in your career and you’d fit well with the team; however, we really need someone out of our industry who has the technical depth to have instant credibility with the R&D engineering team. Therefore, you are in the middle of the pack compared to other candidates right now.”
I have an old Van Halen t-shirt that is worn, torn and probably should be a rag by now. I wear it with PRIDE because of the awesome experience I had at that concert. You want your candidates to leave your hiring process “wearing the t-shirt”, regardless of whether or not they got the job. The t-shirt tells the market I had an outstanding experience and I really dig this organization, even if I don’t work there. No crazy to report.
Kathy Rapp is the CEO of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or project roles across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.