A big part of your employer branding lies within your recruitment process and the experience it creates for your job candidates. To elaborate a bit on that, I’m going to use some 3rd-grade calculus. Just imagine, for every position in your organization you receive about 300 applications. From the 300 applicants, you will probably select 30 for further assessment and at least 5 for an initial interview. As a recruiter, you will meet 5 people during the interview phase for this opening. But don’t be mistaken, all 300 are forming an opinion about your organization. And whether this opinion benefits you or not, depends on how positive or negative recruitment experience was for the applicant.
A final piece of math: if you’re a medium size organization, you may have approximately 10 vacancies annually. So, 10×300 equals to 3000 people being exposed to the way you treat your job candidates and 50 people that have actually met you and that are very keen on sharing their thoughts with their friends and connections on Social Media… I hope with this simple math you can comprehend the potential impact of a negative review posted on Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Facebook. To make it more realistic, try applying these calculations to your company’s number of applicants per year.
So, what you do to shape a recruiting experience that can actually benefit your employer brand?
The answer is not easy! But you can start by taking into consideration the following 6 practices to adjust your existing process and make it more candidate-friendly.
1. Create a recruitment process and stick with it
Design your recruitment process, select suitable assessment tools and don’t deviate much from that. Nowadays, everyone can acquire information about anything and candidates do take advantage of that to prepare themselves better, when entering the recruitment process. This means that candidates might even know the questions you are going to ask them and the type of assessment tests you use. So, it wouldn’t look right, if relatively similar positions at a certain company had various assessment steps and approaches. This could be interpreted as sloppy, inconsistent work or even discrimination! And you don’t want that.
2. Be careful with your job ads
The job ad is the very first thing an applicant sees when applying for a job at your company. With a bad job ad, you can either have a lot of qualified candidates or very few. Both cases are equally problematic. When having a lot of qualifies candidates, you have to invite all of them for further assessment, which may be extremely costly. And when having very few, it means that the possibility of you finding the most suitable candidate is extremely low. Each of these situations arises from a badly written job ad. That’s why you should be precise (not too demanding and not too easy with regards to requirements) and provide him/her with all relevant information. This way you will encourage only the most fitting candidates.
3. Invite for further assessment all qualified applicants
As stated before, you should be inviting all qualified candidates. Why? Imagine two equally qualified candidates who happen to be friends. It would be very unfortunate if you would invite only one of them for further assessment, as you would seem inconsistent in your judgment, which has a negative impact on your employer brand. So, write meaningful job ads, that can actually help you distinguish between the fitting and unfitting candidates.
4. Give information to your job applicants
Provide your job applicants with useful information throughout the whole process. Scheduling the first interview? Send an informative E-Mail to your candidate on
- where is the company located
- how to get there
- how long it takes to get there
- who should the candidate ask for, after arriving
- where is the toilet
- how long will the interview last
- who is going to conduct the interview
Google takes it one step further, by suggesting what questions the applicant should prepare and where to find the answers. You don’t have to take it that far, but you can minimize the candidate’s stress, which is mainly caused due to the lack of information, by giving him/her as much of that as possible. As a matter of fact, research has shown that applicant reaction is more positive when they are being provided with information concerning the recruitment and selection process. So, don’t hesitate to explain the purpose of each assessment tool, since not only does it improve candidate experience, it also happens to improve candidates performance.
5. Give feedback
Be honest, but also kind. Think of something that the candidate could actually use to improve his performance in feature interviews. A great technic is to place the negative aspect of feedback in-between two positives, which is called sandwich technic. So before calling the candidate, think of the two most positive aspects of his performance, which he demonstrated during the assessment phase, and one less impressive that requires some kind of improvement.
6. Ask for feedback
Ask the people that have been involved in your recruitment and selection process of the experience you offered them. Don’t just assume that they are happy because they showed up with a huge smile on their face! Measure their satisfaction with anonymous electronic surveys and improve your processes based on the feedback/suggestions you collect.
You absolutely must accept the inevitability of rejecting people and that it’s not in your power to change this. What you can change though, is the quality of the experience your process generates for the applicants. So, focus on creating a process that is friendly, fair and thus less painful. This way only, you’ll be able to truly enhance your employer branding through the recruitment process.
And one last thought, if you’re still not convinced: recruitment standards are getting higher and candidates more demanding. If you don’t change now, you may have to pay the price later on, and the damage made to your image may even be irreversible at that point. So why not start adjusting from today, and avoid an unpleasant future situation. What has to be done is minor compared to the benefits that can be gained or the consequences to be suffered. Therefore, act proactively with regards to forming and managing your employer branding, starting from redesigning your recruitment experience.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.