Over the course of the last decade, we have seen websites such as Glassdoor provide insight into company cultures as well as overwhelming negative aspects regarding candidate experiences. Ultimately, negative perceptions during the interview process impact an organization’s brand. Without warning, a company may find itself slipping into the talent acquisition abyss. As search consultants, we understand this first-hand and offer the following simple suggestions for developing and maintaining a positive job candidate experience.
One thing that is crucial to realize is, if the description of the role is perceived differently by those involved in the hiring process, it is likely to cause confusion for a candidate and, quite possibly, your team. Without consistency and transparency, added stress and pressure is placed on a candidate simply because he/she is not sure what the position truly entails. To eliminate room for assumptions, make sure to:
When assessing candidates, companies should definitely focus on whether or not the individual will fit in with the culture of the organization. However, cultural fit is a two-way street. Candidates want to feel like they have grasped an understanding of whether or not the organization is a fit for them, which in turn, lays the groundwork for a healthy, respectable partnership. Most of us know what it’s like when a near-perfect employee quits after a mere six months. Not only is this costly financially, but it can also have a negative impact on the organizational culture. To properly communicate the culture and create mutual understanding, take the time to consider and do the following during the recruitment process:
A true measure of growth is looking back at the history of an organization, along with looking forward toward new horizons. As much as current employees like to hear and see both, so does a potential new hire. As a candidate, learning the history of a company builds credibility, making him/her feel comfortable with the prospect of working for the organization. On the other hand, if the history is provided without direction, or a vision for the future, the candidate may feel that the company has become stagnant and unsure of its long-term goals. Today’s generation wants to know how an organization is adapting to change. Incorporating the following can support this:
If the previous points have been done, it is likely that the organization and position have been clearly spelled out and you have accomplished initially attracting the potential hire. Now, it’s time for the candidate to align themselves to the company’s vision, core values, and job description. Ask about and listen closely to the individual’s accomplishments as they relate to the organization as it is now and where it is heading. Listening doesn’t just mean letting the candidate talk, it is interpreting factors such as:
If you’ve listened carefully, at the conclusion of the interview, provide positive feedback and don’t be afraid to bring up concerns. One might think voicing concerns at this stage may be “too much too soon.” However, it affords the candidate an opportunity to respond and address potential issues. There is always a chance your question was simply a misinterpretation, which the candidate may be able to clarify.
It is difficult to inform any candidate that he/she is not the right fit for a role or for your organization. But, the way in which you handle giving rejection can say a lot about your organization, and mitigate any negative feedback on Glassdoor and other sites. Therefore, we highly recommend:
In conclusion, it is important to put yourself into the shoes of a potential new hire. By doing the above, you will put a candidate in a comfortable position where he/she is attracted to your organization and inclined to be more open and honest with their skillset, areas of improvement, and ways to enhance the company’s vision. Cultural fit is as important to them as it is to your organization and, at the end of the day, we all just want to fit in.
*Note: Since the release of this blog, our posts on recruitment were noticed by Cleverism, a leading educational website. If you're involved in recruitment, don't miss their article From Good to Great: How to Become a Badass Recruiter. We highly recommend it!