Getting the right people in the right positions is vital to your business. And while it seems like it should be a straightforward process, it often isn’t.
In one survey by Career Arc, almost 60 percent of respondents said they’ve had a poor candidate experience. Even more worrying for employers: 72 percent of those respondents say they’ve told someone about their bad experience, either directly or online.
Improving your recruiting process means putting the candidate first. “That’s the biggest thing — don’t lose sight of the candidate’s perspective,” says Tiffany Kuehl of Versique, an executive recruiting firm. Here are five tips for improving your recruiting process.
It’s tempting to cast a wide net when recruiting. After all, you want to get the best person possible for the position. But it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to want to work for you, Kuehl says. “Just because you love it doesn’t mean it’s for everybody.”
Instead, “identify where the candidates are and go to them,” Kuehl says. That means targeting your recruiting efforts to the kinds of people you’re looking for, rather than broadly posting a job description and waiting for the resumes to roll in. For example, if you’re looking for more women, start up a Pinterest board, Kuehl says, since the majority of users on Pinterest are women. If you’re looking for younger people, find out which social sites young people in your industry are using.
Tech tools are great for capturing and storing data, but you need to make sure they’re making things easier for the candidates, not just you. “I talked recently with a candidate I had recommended an organization to,” Kuehl says. “She said she started to apply but got only halfway through the application — it was all questions that were answered by her resume that she had to re-enter.”
That kind of experience can turn applicants off, Kuehl says. It’s frustrating to be asked the same question over and over again, so make sure your application software is optimized to eliminate redundancies for applicants. For example, our advanced matching algorithm eliminates the need for incessant searches, connecting job seekers and employers instantly.
According to Pew Research, more than half of U.S. adults have looked up job information online, and 45 percent have applied for a job online. More than a third of job-searchers say online resources are the most important tool available to them when looking for a job.
And increasingly, “online” really means “mobile” so you’ll want to optimize your jobs website for the small screen by reducing the number of clicks and pages required on applications, and making it easy to upload information. “The easier you make it to find your job using mobile devices, the better off you’ll be,” Kuehl says.
Do you know what it takes to complete a job application on your website? What about your interview process — how does it feel to outsiders? If it’s been more than a year since you’ve looked at your process, you may have lost sight of the candidate’s point of view, Kuehl says. Your website may have redundancies, tech glitches or even questions or pages that just don’t match your current recruitment strategy, and that might be alienating some candidates.
Go through the application process yourself, Kuehl says. “Get a feeling for what it’s like to be a candidate, and break down your process.” Make sure every step is as easy as possible and meshes with the next one. If not, it may be time to upgrade your technology or overhaul your process.
Many organizations have team interviews and may require candidates to meet multiple teams, but that can bog down the process, Kuehl says. Aiming for consensus across a large group often makes hiring teams lose sight of the best candidate, she says. “At larger organizations there may be cross-functional work down the line, and they feel like they have to get buy-in from everyone when they really don’t need it, but they don’t need to make it so complex,” she says.
Instead, identify the key people the candidate would be working with the most and use that as your interview team. And when possible, avoid having the candidate come back multiple times for interviews.
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