Recruitment is rarely considered to be a marketing activity, but establishing a strong company brand is all about building reputation and trust and this extends to the interaction with your applicants and the available talent pool whenever you recruit.
Candidates applying for roles within your company are likely to be supporters of your brand. If they have a less than positive candidate experience they may be left with a negative impression of your brand, and you may lose them as a loyal consumer. Possibly worse, they may choose to share their opinions to a large audience on and off-line.
What people say about your company is the very foundation of your brand. Your HR team should be your brand ambassadors, and all interaction with potential employees throughout the recruitment process should reflect your brand values.
Every time that you advertise a new opening, you are inviting a sample of the available talent pool to experience your brand on a very personal level. Not all of them will be right for your vacancy, however if dealt with correctly, this should not discourage them from working for you in the future.
In this digital age applicants are likely to already be connected to you through their network of friends, co-workers, social and business groups, and they have the opportunity to speak about their experience to the outside world, in either a positive or negative way.
Follow our guide to promoting a positive candidate experience and ensure the review they provide to the outside world remains positive.
1.Carefully worded job adverts
Ensure the language and tone of the advert reflects the culture of the organisation and with all written communication, use your standard format and font.
Carefully construct the job description so it accurately describes the role and includes all the essential and desirable skills. It is frustrating for a candidate to be rejected later in the process for the absence of a skill or experience that was not included in the original job description.
Provide access to clear and concise information about the role, the opportunity and the Company so applicants can make an informed decision about whether to apply for your role.
2.Acknowledge receipt of their application
If a candidate has taken the effort to apply for your role it is only polite to acknowledge receipt. A standard response is acceptable, thanking them for their interest in your opportunity, and giving an overview of the selection process and likely timescales. Providing links to your company brochure, corporate video and any other marketing material that can help strengthen the ‘why work for us’ proposition can be helpful.
If you want to interview a candidate move quickly to arrange a date. Recruitment at present is very fast moving, and if you do not prioritise this activity you risk losing good candidates who may mistake your delay for reticence.
When inviting a candidate to interview ensure all details are confirmed in writing to avoid any misunderstandings. Prepare ahead of time so you are familiar with the content of their CV and profile. In the actual interview be on time, be courteous, and allow time for the candidate to answer questions. Offering a tour of the business or interviewing in a showroom displaying product (rather than in a dull office) can help excite the candidate. Remember an interview is a two-way process and is as much about the candidate deciding whether the opportunity is right for them, as you determining whether they are right for your role.
4.Make a timely Decision
Respect the fact that the candidate has taken the time out of their busy work life to come to an interview with you and it is only fair to give them a decision within the discussed timeline.
If you are still considering your options don’t leave the candidate in suspense. Let them know they are still being considered but you have other qualified candidates.
Be aware that in this time of candidate shortages we are seeing a lot of companies losing out to competitors who have a swift recruitment process and move quickly to make an offer to strong candidates. Act quickly to ensure you secure the right person for your role.
Delivering bad news to a candidate who really wants the job is never easy. Rejecting candidates is probably the most uncomfortable part of the recruitment process, but it is essential to do it right.
Candidates seek closure, so it is of huge importance to reject unsuccessful candidates and provide constructive feedback so they can take something positive away from the experience.
Using a specialist Recruitment Agency may make the rejection less stressful for you (as the recruiter will be skilled at delivering the bad news on your behalf); however this does not mean you don’t need to give detailed feedback. The candidate has a right to expect proper feedback, and the recruiter will need the information to deal effectively with the applicant and also to accurately determine your requirements to find the right person for your role.
6.Give Constructive Feedback
Make your feedback constructive and personalised. Start with the positives before tackling areas that may have let them down. Be honest – in these cases most candidates will b
e aware of where they may have struggled, and remember there is a difference between being ho
nest and being blunt. By being honest you are benefiting the candidate in ways they can improve for next time.
7.Making a Job Offer to the successful candidate
If you are looking to make an offer move fast. In this competitive market good candidates are often fielding multiple offers meaning you can lose a good candidate through inactivity.
Decide on a realistic salary – whilst money is not everything, a low offer can demoralise a good candidate and make them feel they have been undervalued. If you are using a Recruitment Agency discuss the package so they can sense-check the offer before putting it to the candidate.
Always speak to the candidate to make the offer rather than sending a letter or email. This allows you to sell the benefits of the role and the organisation and also to sense their reaction. Be enthusiastic and explain why you feel they would be a good addition to the team. Often clients feel that the candidate should be ‘grateful’ for a job offer and then are surprised when the offer is rejected. Good candidates are always in demand and they have options.
Follow up with confirmation of the offer in writing.
The fair and proper treatment of all candidate, irrespective of whether they are right for your role helps you to maintain a flow of prospective employees and in this time of skills-shortage that can only be a good thing.