Quick preview of what’s coming below — the picture shown here is not how you want your applicants to react when applying for a position with your company!
The labor market is no longer flooded with people looking for any type of job they can find. For employers and HR folks charged with recruiting, the landscape is changing. Posting open jobs and forcing applicants to jump through hoops to simply be considered for those jobs no longer works the way it did in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
A big part of what’s changing is the expectation applicants have about how they should be treated when applying for work with an organization. The ability to apply online is a given at this point, but how can your company look different and have a more positive brand in the hiring marketplace? Below are 5 things any size organization can (and should) do to compete for great talent:
Be honest about your workplace
There’s nothing wrong with emphasizing the strengths of your company or the job you’re trying to fill. At the same time, don’t paint an unrealistic picture. Applicants appreciate honesty and expect that not everything is perfect with any job or company. Promoting transparency from the beginning of the process (day in the life, pay, work hours, etc.) will serve you well.
Make it easy to apply to your company
This is directly opposite of advice you received when the recession hit. Applicant volume was so overwhelming that many organizations intentionally asked for more information upfront in the hiring process to try to cut down the exorbitant number of candidates. As the applicant market has corrected, this no longer makes sense. If you’re still requiring applicants to provide a full application to be considered for openings in your company, now is the right time to reconsider that approach. Things such as shorter applications, multi-step applications, applying with social media profiles (LinkedIn, Indeed), etc, are all things that are very attainable with today’s technology, and all create a more favorable impression with potential job applicants.
Clearly explain your hiring process
This doesn’t need to be any top secret endeavor. Let applicants know upfront what will be involved in your unique process. This ties in with the honesty tip in #1 above. If applicants know what to expect, they’re more motivated to apply and more likely to stay engaged as you go through your cycle. Publish this in your Careers section or make it part of the online employment application process.
Stick to your process
Be sure to follow what you layout to your candidates. Meeting expectations is important, as this will quickly help applicants form an opinion about your organization. Try not to deviate from what you’ve laid out and do everything possible to keep a good pace/momentum to the process. This will keep you top of mind for those better applicant targets and help keep people from dropping out of your funnel.
Communicate with your applicants
Nothing kills momentum or great impressions like failure to follow up. Ask any job seeker their number one complaint and it’s almost assuredly the lack of response after a resume or application is submitted. Don’t fail to capitalize on the time and effort (and dollars) spent to get good applicants into your cycle. Keep them informed about next steps and timing for those. You’ll stand out relative to other potential employers and establish goodwill with your applicants.
There are more specific strategies for any of these core items listed above. These are simply big-picture ideas to use when framing out or revamping your hiring process.