A weird thing happens in most Talent Acquisition shops around the world. There is a love/hate relationship with candidates, and let’s face it, that relationship tends to stay on the hate side too much!
The thing with candidates is they are the solution to our problem and our problem all at the same time!
Everything you hear at conferences and read on TA and HR blogs has to do with all of us “LOVING” candidates. For those of us who work in the trenches of TA, we know that isn’t our reality. Many times candidates are the bane of our existence. While we need them and they need us, this relationship can be very rocky.
When I take a look at the best TA shops in the world, they have a healthy understanding of this relationship. They nurture this relationship the same way you would a new friendship. You don’t quite know if the friendship will turn into a loving friend or just another acquaintance. Top TA shops work to provide that answer to both parties. Sure, we might fall in love, but let’s make sure it’s right for both of us!
Here are some ways to help you fall back in love with candidates:
1. Stop thinking about candidates as a means to an end. Candidates are future employees. Some of your best friends are fellow employees you work with each day. If we viewed each candidate as our potential best friend, do you think we would view them differently?
2. Change your language around how you talk about candidates. We vs. Them. Most of us talk about candidates as a “them.” Try talking about candidates as a part of you—a “we.” We tend to have more positive thoughts when using “we” language then we do using “them” language. With “we,” it’s almost like they’re already a part of our team.
3. Stop thinking like TA and start thinking like candidates. It’s really not hard. In some way, we are all candidates at various points in our life. What did you hate about being a candidate? Okay. Change that! Don’t become that which you hate. Share information with candidates they would like to hear, not stuff that you want to tell them. This small change will put above 90% of the messaging candidates receive on a daily basis right now!
4. Treat every candidate like your next highest performing employee. You want to know something crazy? I’ve never known a high-performing employee before I hired them. Not one! I had a feeling some would be good, but I had no idea that some would be rock stars! Neither do you. Can you imagine how candidates would feel if you truly thought they were going to be the next golden child!? You don’t need a candidate experience strategy, you just need to change how you perceive the candidates you have.
Falling in love with candidates is easy and hard. It’s like falling in love for real. You never know when it’s going to happen, but there are certain things you can do to better your odds. We all eventually learn this, in life and TA. Happy hunting, TA Pros!
FOT Note: We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. To learn more about SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Automation Software for modern recruiting organizations, please visit the SmashFly website.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.