It’s hard out there in the hiring world. Job seekers are having a hard time finding a job that checks all their boxes. Hiring leaders are having a hard time keeping candidates engaged throughout their pipeline.
With so many variables affecting today’s hiring market, it can feel like we’re in the center of this perfect employment storm that we can’t control. But despite certain elements of the hiring process being out of our hands –employer hiring timelines, candidates ghosting you, flaky communication, etc. -- one of the things we can control is how we respond to this climate.
As a recruiter, the biggest frustration we hear from employers and job seekers alike is how they either don’t hear back about a job, weeks (sometimes months) later, or they don’t hear anything at all. While this isn’t the case for each individual or company, it is something the Talent Acquisition community can take control of.
These three aspects of hiring are well within the control of hiring managers and TA professionals, and make all the difference in the eyes of the job seeker:
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1. Move Quickly
One thing that makes today’s employment market so challenging is the speed at which it moves. Both job seekers and employers need to be able to make decisions and move quickly on the next steps in the hiring process.
As an employer, you should be able to review applicants and candidates that have engaged with you within 24 hours. If you reply to a candidate quickly after they apply, not only does it show that you are serious about hiring their application, but it also shows that your business is organized. Furthermore, the sooner you can respond to a job seeker, the more likely it is that they will respond positively to your outreach.
Your interview process should be complete within a week, in most scenarios.
2. Cut out the Crap!
Do you want a more effective hiring process? Cut out the crap. It’s that simple. If your interview process includes making a presentation or taking multiple assessments –especially to move on to the interview process–please stop!
If you have a highly specified or senior-level position where proof of work is needed to inform your final job offer, that’s fine, but please only do this as part of the final stages of your hiring decision. Not only will this save you time by cutting down on the time needed to sit through presentations, writing samples, test results, etc., but it will also allow applicants to withdraw from job consideration if these tasks are not something they’re willing to do.
If you are transparent about what your candidate selection process looks like from the start, you can build trust with your applicants and explain WHY the items you’re requesting are needed to make a hiring decision.
Get your candidate engaged and set expectations from day one by walking them through what your interview process looks like. Candidates (and the market) reward a hiring process that moves quickly and can deliver fast feedback.
If you have four people that need to interview your applicant, is there a way you can schedule a group interview and knock them all out in one day? Not only will the candidate see this as being mindful of their time, but it also sends the message that your team operates like a well-oiled machine –which is always something a job seeker wants to see.
3. Put Yourself in their Shoes
In order to improve your hiring process, it’s important to understand what that process is like for your applicants. Apply to your open positions and see what that experience is like on mobile, desktop, job boards, and through your website.
How convenient is that process for a job seeker? If there are roadblocks, what can you do to remove them?
If your application process is not simple and intuitive to complete, you’ll likely have a high drop-off rate due to poor user experience.
Keep in mind, user experience isn’t limited to job boards and your ATS system. Consider your applicants’ schedules; offer flexible interview times outside of traditional work hours. Job searching is hard enough without the added stress of taking time off from a current job to interview for another (without setting off flags).
Most importantly, give feedback and follow up after a decision is made. The last thing a candidate wants to hear from a job they spent time and energy researching and preparing for is crickets.
Whether it is a simple “We went with someone else,” or a more detailed breakdown of why they decided to go in another direction, closing the loop will mean everything to that job seeker. It also shows a level of integrity and gratitude on behalf of your business that, unfortunately, is not as common as you would hope to see in 2021.
It's all about Empathy
Remember the hiring process isn’t simply what goes on behind the scenes at your business. It starts the second an applicant applies and ends once a hiring decision is made. Part of having an effective hiring process is being able to listen, adapt, and make changes based on market trends and job seeker feedback.
What job seekers see as a flexible and easy hiring process, is a result of an empathetic hiring process that puts the job seeker first – and what top performer wouldn’t want to apply (and work) for a company that shows they care?
While each business and its hiring process is unique, building a hiring process that keeps applicants top of mind will allow you to strike while the (job market) iron is hot and find applicant gold.