The recruitment market is tough. Many recruiters are struggling to find the skills their companies need and the best candidates are finding they've got choices. Recruitment processes are in the spotlight with job seekers able to rate and review them, passing on their experiences to other candidates who are thinking of applying. Word of mouth is a big driver too as each candidate's personal and professional networks expand bringing them closer to others who may have knowledge or experience of the company they are thinking of applying to.
Each stage of the talent acquisition process is under scrutiny and expectations are high. Candidates want acknowledgement and feedback following each job application. Meanwhile, hiring managers expect research and preparation before applications and interviews. Job advertisements can often be misleading whilst CVs don't always tell the whole story. Interviewees want to be assessed for ability and potential yet too often interviewers look at past performance and achievements.
Most CEOs rate the attraction and retention of talent as their top priority, so it’s important for all businesses to send out the right signals. With growing transparency around recruitment it’s easy to put off talent without realising it. Here are four ways you could be doing it:
How easy is it to apply?
Job seekers are searching for new opportunities at all times. Mobile devices enable them to search while they are traveling, relaxing at home, watching TV or at work, and they are also our favoured way to access the Internet. Most candidates would prefer to apply from their mobile device - how easy is it for them to apply for a role on your site? What is the interface from a smartphone? Is it easy to navigate?
Candidates don't want endless screening questions or else they will get bored and look elsewhere. Neither do they want to download a separate app. If your career site isn't optimised for mobile, there's a strong chance they won't apply.
What interview questions do you ask?
Until recently, most candidates didn't talk about the type of interview questions they were asked, unless it was to a recruiter or career consultant. Now all of that has changed, with job seekers able to review the interview process on Glassdoor. Do you have favourite questions to put them on the spot? If so, they will probably get mentioned and shared.
One of the most negative situations for interviewees is when the interviewer is unprepared or hasn't read their CV. If that's the way you interview, then applicants will know about it and may decide to interview elsewhere.
How good are your HR processes?
If talent is thinking of joining your company then they will want to know more about your reputation as an employer. Your employer brand is now much more visible. The type of development opportunities you offer, the way performance is managed and how you engage and reward employees will all be on the mind of potential candidates.
Many HR processes are evolving with individual choice, broader remits for talent management and leadership development, and a more supportive, coaching-led approach to performance all coming to the fore. Job seekers know this and will be looking to see how your approaches are changing. If you still have ratings and rankings for performance, and a lack of recognition and transparency around engagement and development, they may look for a business that doesn’t.
Do you show or tell?
Potential applicants will look to find out what you are like to work for so the way your employer brand is shared counts. It’s not a marketing campaign, or glossy brochure, so don't treat it as such. Your brand is what you are like to work for, effectively the stories that employees tell about you when you're not there, so anyone checking out your career channels will want to see real people telling authentic stories and sharing personal experiences, not a sales pitch or airbrushed promotional photos.
Give your employees the platform to show how much they enjoy working for you, as this will encourage applications. Don't offer job seekers a manicured sales pitch, else they'll prefer to work somewhere different.
In the age of transparency the way you go about hiring and retaining talent is very visible with information available about what you are like as an employer, and as a recruiter. Make sure you don't put off the very people you are trying to attract.