There is a lot of advice online about how to be a good candidate and good candidates spend a LOT of time reading it and preparing themselves for their interactions with recruiters and employers.
Companies expect candidates to jump through hoops to get the best positions but what is being offered in return? Is it enough? After all, the impression you give to candidates is the one they will take with them whether they join your company or walk out the door.
Here are some ways you can improve your performance!
Work with your external recruiters to create engaging job specs. Sell them the benefits so that this can be translated to candidates. This is especially important when dealing with a headhunted candidate. Think about what would attract them to your business – what attracted you?
Ensure everyone involved in the hiring process is on the same page regarding the type of individual you are looking for, the company culture, career prospects and retention goals. Give your external recruiter access to each hiring manager to discuss what’s important to them.
Place your company in a favourable light by building personal and health benefits into your offering. Benefits such as gym subsidies, health care, development opportunities etc boost your company’s image and attract the best candidates.
Don’t put job orders out to dozens of different recruiting firms. I cannot stress this enough! It muddies the water when a thorough headhunter or recruiter is really trying to sell the culture of the company and the opportunity. Spend your time briefing 1 external recruitment partner fully as opposed to 3 or 4 half-heartedly. Give them your full commitment and they will give you theirs. By doing this you will get a thoroughly qualified candidate as opposed to a scatter gun approach of CV’s that may not be entirely relevant.
From a candidate’s point of view, there is nothing worse than a being approached 2 or 3 times for the same role. Not only does it put the candidate it an awkward situation, but it dilutes the exclusivity and excitement of the role and if each time a different message it being sold it confuses the process.
Give external recruiters full access to the hiring manager before starting the search and keep the lines of communication open throughout the process.
Don’t promise potential employees things that will never happen. Deception and disappointment leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.
Give solid feedback. Candidates expect to be informed of the hiring process, be kept up to date with the progress and to receive detailed feedback. Even a call to say I have no news is news, please just don’t leave them hanging. A good external recruiter will set clear timelines and schedules with regards to shortlists, interviews etc. Candidates want to know how many hoops they’ll be jumping through before a decision is made.
Treat each candidate with respect. Be courteous, honest and open. Bad experiences can now be shared over social media as well as websites and forums dedicated to discussing employers and their hiring processes. Have you heard of www.glassdoor.co.uk? If not it’s worth a look!
Make your environment welcoming and comfortable. The second your candidates walk through your door they should be greeted with a welcoming environment – and ideally a friendly face.
Put yourself in the candidate’s Choo’s and consider what is important to them. With a headhunted candidate the initial meeting is heavily about selling them the company and the opportunity. Talk about the great stuff your company has to offer. If applicable talk about how you nurture talent and talk positively about retention and career progression.
Take candidates and recruiters for a tour of the facilities, including parking and kitchen areas. Show off the best bits of your environment and sell the working day to the candidate. This is important to do with external recruiters as they need to get under the skin of your company to represent you in the best way possible.
When it comes to salaries please DO NOT expect good candidates to take pay cuts. I know for most people at a certain level it’s not all about the salary but don’t fall at the last hurdle by trying to get someone as cheap as possible. It cheapens your brand and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. If you’ve found a diamond, pay them what they’re worth, or someone else will. And if you do happen to get them for a steal, don’t expect them to stick around. 6 months down the line their head could easily be turned by someone who knows their worth. A good recruiter should tell you if you’re in the right ball park.
Look beyond skills and ask yourself how a candidate will benefit the company further down the line. It’s easier to do this if you know who your candidates really are, and have engaged with them on a personal level.
Give constructive feedback – let unsuccessful candidates know how they can improve their skills and hone their interviewing techniques. And conversely let successful candidates know what swung the decision in their favour. This will help gear them up for the next stage.
Turn the tables and seek candidate’s feedback on the recruitment process. This is best done verbally, or could be a simple questionnaire. It’s a great way to make the candidate feel valued and provides you with a valuable insight into how your company is perceived. You will also be sure that your external recruiter is representing your company in the manner you would expect – they should be an extension of your HR department.
If you want to attract the best talent to your company be sure to engage with a good headhunter that will get deep into the ribs of your competitors and comparable organisations. They can find you the best people but you need to work together to ensure that you can secure them. Think hard about your hiring process…would you be excited by it? If the answer isn’t 100% yes, then look at ways to change it.