Clarity and Expectations in Recruitment (Part 2)

We are delighted to bring you the second part of a first-hand look into The Chasm Separating Companies from Good Candidates from Peter Brophy at Edbury Daley. Yesterday he talked about expectations of new roles or new recruits.

How we treat people through the recruitment process

In recent years many organisations have invested heavily in creating talent pools or have used agencies to source ‘difficult to find’ candidates at short notice but rarely then consider what happens once the candidate has been approached and enters the ‘assessment phase.’

In the current market many candidates complain of roles not materialising or long delays in the process and often question whether a role was real in the first place or was a benchmarking exercise against existing internal candidates.

Candidates' perception of an organisation's brand is often negatively impacted by their recruitment experience. To understand, Edbury Daley has recently instigated some timely research to investigate this by gaining feedback from candidates to a ‘typical’ corporate recruitment process - you can see the survey here. Once this research is complete we will publish and share it, so watch out for a further post.

The negative impact on your brand perception caused by poor processes or lack of feedback or poor communication should not be underestimated; candidates are potential clients or customers. They also talk to each other about their experiences so word gets around the market.

The challenge is that often recruitment has been re-organised during the recession to focus on transactional metrics such as time to hire and cost per hire to fill headcount slots quickly rather than consider the value that securing a better candidate could bring or the cost of getting it wrong (both hard to measure).

Now as the market improves good candidates are actively choosing roles based on their recruitment experience as much as the role itself or the organisation. To many candidates, their actual experience quite correctly is of the organisation in reality, in action, and laid bare, rather than the generic snappy careers site's words about engagement, opportunities and being a great place to work.

As a job hunter myself earlier in the year I often found that the standard of service and communication from organisations was often poor and sporadic. It made me wonder what the reality is for many candidates at more junior levels?

The following are some personal examples I experienced:

  • An organisation took so long to recruit for a maternity cover role that in the end it wasn’t worth bringing someone in
  • Arriving for an 8am meeting to be told ‘something urgent’ had cropped up and only being able to meet with a more junior person. I could see the person in the office sat at their desk reading something. What annoyed me was not that this happened because these things do happen but if someone has put themselves out treat them with some respect. For me 30 seconds to say sorry and I would have been happy or at least understood. I didn’t go back.
  • Think carefully about who interviews and how prepared they are. I was interviewed on many occasions by more junior people or by people who weren’t prepared, so they didn’t know what to ask or fully understand the context. For some of the junior people I could have made it up as I went along whereas a more capable interviewer would spot any inconsistencies.
  • Lack of feedback – often poor and incomplete and I had to chase and chase on many occasions. If a candidate has taken half day to travel is it acceptable to be told very little specific feedback? If given the right feedback in full they are more likely to advocate your organisation to their network.

Many of these may only be small things but they add up, and if a candidate has no other option your process may still secure them, but increasingly you need the process to be quick, professional and to sell the organisation as well as let the candidate meet some key people.

As reported in our recent Quarterly Market Update the market is improving and good candidates are becoming increasingly harder to attract and hire so this is becoming increasingly critical for organisations to get right

Your recruitment process needs to be well organised and to consider the candidates if you wish to source the best candidates and to ensure that those unsuccessful feel they have been fairly considered, met some good people who sold the organisation well and that they got some good feedback.

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