Several years ago, I decided to leave my career in the Latin American recruiting consulting field and transition back into corporate recruiting management. During this move I quickly realized how critical a new candidate’s experience is to a company’s overall culture. Even more important; this experience, good or bad, will have serious ramifications on a company’s reputation as a great place to work. As I interviewed for various positions, I became discouraged in my search, realizing that most companies tend to miss the mark in three key recruiting basics: attention, persuasion and experience.
- Attention: The new candidate experience begins the moment a potential candidate hears about a company, regardless of the method. But once this person has heard of a company, what drives them to apply for said company over its competition? What draws their attention? Is it a key message, a single word, phrase or simply curiosity? If you are a recruiting or hiring manager; are you willing to bet your career on attracting someone’s attention in less than 7 words, or in 15 seconds? You better. With a passive candidate, that’s all you get. A 15 second phone call drew me to my current role at Progrexion. Keep your messaging simple. The best candidates will have a natural curiosity and will start to ask questions, do research and contact your company based on the simple messaging used.
- Persuasion: At Progrexion, we offer each candidate a life changing experience. We stand by our motto, “Uniquely Different on Purpose” as an introduction to why Progrexion’s culture stands out against the competition. Would that persuade you to apply? What about benefits, culture or money? Is it more important for a company to offer community service or free food? In a candidate run world, and much like marketing, recruiting has the ability to persuade people into buying what you are offering. Moving them from their current status, location or job is all about marketing and the employee value proposition. What else can you offer to persuade today’s new top candidates?
- Experience: Finally, the most important part is the candidates overall experience. To determine if the candidate had an excellent experience, ask yourself these questions: Can the candidate apply quickly over the phone? Can they find necessary company information, and is it clear what your company does and offers to consumers? Is your interview process streamlined? If it is a more drawn out process, is the candidate willing to stick around? How fast do you call to set up the first interview, and when do you set the face-to-face interview? How BOLD are you during the process? Are you willing to tell a potential candidate they might not be the right fit for a position? How is your tempo during the interview? Do you move so fast the candidate feels they are being sold something superficial? How is the onboarding and day one process? *SHRM research shows that 90% of new employees decide whether or not they will stay with a company in the first six months, with up to 17% leaving in the first 90 days. How much paperwork does it take to onboard, and are you prepared? What is the new hire’s experience on day 1, 30 and day 90? Do your new hires have mentors to help them succeed? If you miss the mark on these key items, your new hires will be gone in less than six months and will only stay with the company until the next job comes along.
Final thoughts: As I mentioned, the candidate experience begins the moment they hear about a company and does not end until well after the candidate has been hired and on boarded. Remember that candidates not selected are just as important as those hired. What story will candidates tell about your company?
During my transition back to corporate recruiting, I met and interviewed with several companies. To this day, two of those companies stand out because my candidate experience was so great, and I still refer people to them seven years later.
Candidate experience is ever changing, and what you do today will be different six months from now. As markets and generations change, the three key basics will always stay the same: attention, persuasion and experience.
Ryan Reeder, Senior Director Talent Acquisition