The average applicant’s expectations have drastically changed over the past decade – it’s time for your hiring practices to change as well. To reignite your recruitment process, you need to do the following three things:
- Modernize your social media presence
- Audit your current process
- Build a unique candidate experience
Social Media Management
Job seekers are more prepared than ever before. They are able to easily compare company reviews, pay and benefits before applying. Glassdoor users report that they read at least seven reviews before forming an opinion of a company, and according to iCIMS (a talent acquisition software provider), nearly one in three candidates have declined a job offer primarily because of poor online reviews. These stats highlight the importance of monitoring activity and managing your social media presence. Regular engagement on social media sites and responding to both negative and positive posts can help shape your company values and build confidence with candidates.
Managing your social media presence should be an intentional part of your strategic recruitment process. Talent Works International reported that 69% of active candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a company that manages its employer brand. This helps provide a realistic view of your organization while establishing a positive brand and culture that attracts candidates whose skills and character align with your organization.
Recruitment Process Review
To effectively audit your recruitment process, you must first become the candidate. Take time to visit each job posting and use a general search to find your postings. If you can’t find the open position, candidates probably can’t either. Review postings from a candidate’s perspective with the following list in mind:
- Check for spelling and grammar errors
- Confirm spacing is appropriate
- Assess readability
- Ensure abbreviations are either defined or not used
- Gauge the job description’s accuracy
- Determine if qualifications are clearly identified
- Capture attention with intriguing content
Reviewing your application for compliance is extremely important. Many state employment laws expressly forbid certain types of questions regarding age, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender or veteran status. The Ban the Box campaign has legally required the removal of conviction history questions from applications for several cities and states. Pay equity is another movement impacting the recruitment process on state and local levels. New laws now prohibit questions regarding a candidate’s salary history in an effort to close the gender pay gap. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on existing and emerging laws and regulations.
Another critical part of the audit is completing the application process through each application site. Every platform will provide a different experience, so it’s vital to test each one. Sixty percent of candidates have quit an application process because it took too long.² Ask yourself the following questions when testing out your application process:
- Was it easy to complete?
- Did the resume upload option work?
- How much time was spent completing the entire process?
- Were appropriate, job-specific questions used?
- Were there any repetitive or unnecessary questions?
Posting open positions on several platforms and social media sites is recommended, but it can become problematic when organizations do not redirect candidates to one application portal. Streamlining this part of the recruitment process will enhance both the candidate and the recruiter’s experience by reducing the time it takes to review and respond to candidates. The best candidates are typically off the market within 10 days, so your recruitment process needs to be efficient.³
Having a mobile-friendly application is also important to today’s candidates. Gen-Xers and Millennials spend a lot of time on their smartphones and prefer the ease and functionality of websites and apps on their phones. In fact, 78% of candidates say they would apply for a job on their smartphone.⁴ Furthermore, 66% of working Americans (including 82% of millennials) expect every company to have a mobile-friendly career site and job application process.⁵ This is no longer “nice to have,” it’s a must-have.
Elevate the Candidate Experience
After critically reviewing your recruitment process, you should focus on the candidate experience and connection. Recruitment should be a partnership between your recruiter and the hiring manager. The recruiter should have a standard list of questions and objectives for the hiring manager to address during their initial meeting. This should include a thorough review of the job description, preferred education level and license requirements. It’s also important that they discuss an ideal candidate’s skills and experience, and identify the top three qualifications a successful candidate would possess. This initial collaboration ensures that both parties know what they are looking for. The hiring manager’s role in the recruitment process is intangible. According to LinkedIn, 94% of candidates say being contacted by their prospective manager would make them accept the job offer faster.
The interview portion of the recruitment process also needs your attention. When a candidate is invited to interview, it’s important to value their time – do not leave them waiting. They should receive the highest level of customer service. Arrive prepared and know what questions you are going to ask. Ask questions specific to the position for which they are interviewing for. In group interviews, plan what each person will be doing as part of the interviewing team. Interviews can be uncomfortable, so start with an easy question to help ease the candidate into the conversation. When you ask open-ended questions, actively listen to what the candidate is saying and respond appropriately. Interview questions should be a good mix of both soft skill and technical questions to provide a complete view of the candidate.
During the interview, give the candidate a realistic impression of the job and the organization. If you expect they will be working inconsistent hours, show them the redacted schedule for the past two months. If there are specific skills required for the position, have them demonstrate their proficiency by completing a skills assessment. Pushing candidates during the interview process can actually be beneficial. Glassdoor research indicates that a 10% more difficult job interview process is associated with a 2.6% higher employee satisfaction rate.
Remember to always follow up with candidates who apply and interview for a position. An e-mail is typically appropriate for candidates who did not come into the office for an interview, and a phone call is suggested for those who did. Candidates who have a good experience during the recruitment process are more likely to apply again, but candidates who have a negative experience are unlikely to reapply and will probably share their experience with others.
Recruiting for Success
In order for your organization to reach its full potential, you must have the right people working for you – and that begins with your recruitment process. The labor market has shifted to be candidate-centric, so your recruitment process needs to be more appealing to potential candidates. Keep up with the latest trends and make changes when needed. If you are ready for a comprehensive review of your recruiting strategy and to understand how it compares to best practices, contact our HR Consulting Team. We can work with you to build a customized recruiting strategy to help your organization attract top talent.
¹ Kessler, Glenn. “Do 10,000 Baby Boomers Retire Every Day?” July 24, 2014. The Washington Post. Accessed on June 21, 2018 at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/07/24/do-10000-baby-boomers-retire-every-day/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.59200119c00b
²,³ Robins, Ali. “12 Recruiting Statistics That Will Change The Way You Hire.” April 27, 2017. Accessed on June 25, 2018 at https://www.officevibe.com/blog/12-recruiting-stats
⁴ “The Evolution of Recruiting.” 2018. Recruiterbox Inc. website. Accessed on June 22, 2018 at https://recruiterbox.com/blog/infographic-the-evolution-of-recruiting
⁵ iCIMS. “Consumer Technology Trends Are Transforming the Hiring Process.” October 4, 2017. iCIMS website. Accessed on June 21, 2018 at https://www.icims.com/hiring-insights/for-employers/ebook-the-modern-job-seeker-report
This article originally appeared in the 2018 | ISSUE TWO of the SilverLink magazine, under the title “Reignite Your Recruitment Process | How to Compete in Today’s Job Market.” To receive a complimentary subscription to the SilverLink magazine, sign up here.