With unemployment at historic lows, job seekers are in control. As Recruiters, we can assure you that the candidates with the most in-demand, hard-to-land skill sets are considering multiple offers. And it’s not just compensation and benefits that they are weighing – it’s also what they hear and read about working for you. In the appraisal mix is their experience during the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. In our research of job seeker attitudes and behaviors, the job candidate experience has a definite influence on their perception of the company overall and what it might be like to work there. With companies investing more in developing and promoting their employment brand, all of that work can be undone by inattention to the candidate experience. Here’s what job seekers told us have the greatest negative impact on their impression of the employer:
Lack of communication: Whether it’s submitting a resume into a black hole with no acknowledgment, or not communicating in a timely manner, or a lack of clarity about what happens next, candidates express frustration with all flavors of communication fails.
Overall length of the recruiting process: Job seekers may be onto something. A recent study by Glassdoor indicates that the recruiting process has been lengthening over the last couple of years. Skills exams, background checks, personality evaluations, and all other kinds of assessments and testing have been added to the mix. It might be time to take a hard look at what’s truly necessary. Is losing out on that perfect candidate to a fast-moving competitor worth the additional time it takes?
Too many interviews: Are your candidates meeting with everyone and their mother for the job? But seriously – be thoughtful about who is most essential to the evaluation process, and prepare them well. A little planning goes a long way so that all the right questions are asked and all the pertinent areas covered in as few meetings as possible.
Excessive requirements for work samples and reference checks: Everyone wants to avoid a bad hire, and of course credential, experience, and skill verification are important steps we take to avoid that. However, companies should seek to strike a balance between meticulous validation and overburdening the job seeker and their volunteer references. Quality samples and ‘character witnesses’ over quantity should rule the day.
Fair or not, what candidates experience in the period between the initial contact about an opportunity and the job offer inspires their assumptions about the company as an employer. In a cutthroat talent market, make sure your company is setting out welcome signs and not red flags at every turn.