Bad news travels fast, especially with social media and the volume of information and feedback available online and the amount of research candidates do on your business, even before they submit an application. Being such a candidate short market, brand has never been more important and keeping this in check can be a minefield, but there are ways you can manage this.
According to candidate research, these are the top 6 considerations for candidates looking to make a career move and commencing their job search:
- Speed – candidates want to know as quickly as possible if they are suitable for the role (general consensus is three – five days maximum). Setting up an automated email acknowledgement of an application gives some comfort you have received their application. This email should outline the process: approximately how long to review their application and get back to them, who will respond and next steps – what is the interview process. Of course, you also need to then get back to them on their application.
- Improved understanding – of the company, it’s process and services, the role and culture. In the automated email acknowledgement, give them some information to start engaging with your brand, links to your website and social media platforms work well. A video which demonstrates your culture, office environment or a message from the CEO.
- Advice on how to stand-out – as a candidate, what’s important at the start of the application and throughout the selection process. There is lots of information and advice available on how to prepare for interviews, what a behaviorally based interview is and where to find practice tests online – if you use assessments as part of your interview process. You may want to explain your values so that they understand the culture and environment. This can all be included in an email confirming their interview time.
- Stay motivated – Feedback does not happen enough! Every candidate that is interviewed should be given feedback after each interview, this provides learnings and improvements for next time and keeps them engaged. There is nothing more demotivating than committing the time, energy and engagement to an interview process and to get nothing back.
- Keep informed of future opportunities – What better way to build your pipeline than with candidates already engaged with your brand and process. Ensure you add these candidates to an email list or use your ATS to keep them informed of future opportunities they may be interested in. There are some fantastic ATS systems available to facilitate this and many also have the functionality that allows applicants to share vacancies with their own network.
- The interview process – can make a lasting impression and an engaging two-way conversation will go a long way. Competency based interviews are important, but need to be balanced off with a broader understating of the candidate’s motivations and ambitions. If you do this well,they will leave feeling understood and connected to you and your business: As Richard Branson says “The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.”