How can a company make an impression on its candidates?
In the fight to win the best-in-class talent, most organizations are putting their talent acquisition departments in charge. However, it takes much more than recruiting expertise and tactics to lead and win the talent war. In today’s talent-starved market, recruiting and retaining top talent itself is a high stakes game and players are leaving no stone unturned until they reach their targets. Going a step ahead, forward-looking recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are deriving a “competitive edge” from the advent of job boards and the rapid growth of social media. However, emerging as a “difference marker” as a recruiter is and has always been an arduous and expensive proposition.
If the basic recruiting indicators are anything to go by, the demand for passionate and skilled job applicants is skyrocketing steadily, while its supply is nosediving continuously. It holds true mainly for emerging economies where recruitment is now on an upward swing.
And this situation has brought a striking similarity between recruitment and selling. But you’re not selling any product here; you’re selling your organization’s employment brand. And here sales leads are your job applicants, while your sales calls are your interviews. Like sales personnel, your job as a talent acquisition specialist is to ignite enough interest in your desired candidate that they give your company a serious thought as their next employment destination.
A study from Monster.co.uk has shown that a job seeker’s first impression is influenced by everything—right from a company’s reception area to the interviewer’s handshake to even his/her fashion sense (quite astonishing but true). More shockingly, research says that over 70% of job candidates turn down their job offers if their very first impression is disappointing.
How will then top companies step ahead maximizing an interviewee’s experience while doing his/her a formal, in-depth analysis? Here are some insights our team has come up with:
Be clear about your expectation from a new hire: Indecision takes a toll on a job seeker. And most of the time, indecision starts right from the vacancy, especially if the recruitment manager isn’t very clear about the type of the candidate required and his/her roles. As is evident by a research showing that a whopping 69% of job seekers first want to know about the responsibilities of the position offered, while 59% opt for new job offers only if they are provided with enough advancement and development scopes.
This is precisely where talent acquisition specialists should work with their team managers to gain in-depth knowledge about why the position has been created and how it will go with their organization’s values and mission. Remember, you should have a robust rationale behind the vacancy, as a weak rationale is very much unlikely to make a cut. So, what is the rule of thumb? Write down a job description only for all the potential candidates, not for your hiring managers.
Ensure that your hiring managers are ready for interviews: The interview stage is probably the most significant part for most job seekers. According to investigative research, 83% of job seekers reveal that a negative interview experience can completely change their decision about a role or company they were once interested in, while 87% reveal that a positive experience can assist them in reconsidering the role they were once skeptical about. Overall, about 77% disclose that the interview stage impacts their decision to join a company, with just more than half considering the meeting held with prospective managers as the most significant part.
Industry veterans believe that a negative interview experience is the culmination of unpreparedness of interviewers or their less knowledge about interviewees. A two-way communication is indispensable at this stage. Further, hiring managers should act as a brand ambassador personifying the company’s culture, vision, values, and leadership style. They should master the art of selling the role and opportunities the company provides for learning and development.
Strike a frequent communication with job seekers and provide feedback: Job seekers should be clear about the entire recruitment process—right from the duration to interview stages to the selection process. It will help them understand where they are actually in. Vague messages from recruiters provide a poor experience and obviously, a poor impression on the employer brand. If someone isn’t considered, they should be intimated about the reason.
Also, talent should be provided with constructive feedback. A whopping 94% of participants of a survey prefer having interview feedback on their performance, while just 41% of them have actually received it. Studies also show that if constructive feedback is provided, unsuccessful candidates are 4 times more likely to consider a future opportunity in the same company.
Most of the organizational departments nowadays are functioning in an experience economy and the talent acquisition department is not an exception. Time has come for organizations to close the ‘faulty’ loop in their recruitment process since job seekers will evaluate them as much the experience they provide job seekers as the opportunities and scope they provide.