Every year companies spend millions of dollars on marketing and employment brand development. And a company’s public perception is very important to how effectively they compete in the talent market.
All that time and money poured into marketing and employment branding could be wasted by someone in the hiring process who hasn’t been engaging effectively and representing their company in the best possible way. Most of the time this breakdown is the oversight of the three basics to candidate engagement.
Response time, two-way communication, and the sell.
If your hiring process doesn’t utilize these three basics, candidates may not be interested in working for you or your company and sometimes they will walk away with a very negative perception of your brand.
So let’s break down the basics.
Response time. Contacting a candidate in a timely manner to provide some sort of feedback is critical.
The number one thing that frustrates people during the hiring experience is long times between responses or no response at all and I’m not even talking about a simple application I’m referring to candidates who have been engaged and have interviewed. In fact, 60% of candidates who have gone for an interview will never receive any kind of follow up. No email, no phone call, no carrier pigeon. That’s a lot of people left hanging, wondering what happened. Am I still under consideration or did I miss the mark?
The professional courtesy of following up after an interview in a timely manner goes a long way to ensuring those dollars spent building the employment brand don’t get wasted. Let the candidate know if they’re still under consideration or not. You’re not going to hurt their feelings if you’re professional and they’ll appreciate being able to move on with their job search.
The next thing to consider is two-way communication in the interview setting.
During the interview process, hiring managers can turn a candidate off if they go on a power trip and don’t connect. Perhaps you’ve seen this before with someone in a position of authority and oversteps and turns you off. In many cases when this happens, the interview becomes an interrogation instead of a conversation.
A two-way street of communication, exploration and evaluation is key. This helps determine the long-term legitimacy of a candidates fit. If you’ve got top talent in the interview process and there isn’t a professional connection, it may very well mean the difference in them selecting your job offer over your competitors.
The last thing to remember during the hiring process is the sell.
This is your opportunity to impress the candidate, and make them want to work for you and your company. We frequently tell people that picking a great boss is as important as the company itself. In order to convey this, know your competitive advantage as a leader and outline the future of the organization and what it could mean for their career. You’re the company’s ambassador so sell them on why it’s so great.
For a lot of smaller organizations who don’t have big marketing budgets, or a well-developed employment brand, this is a very effective way to promote your company and spread positive word of mouth.
With all three of these areas, make sure candidates have a positive experience during the evaluation process, whether or not they get the job. You never know where people are going to end up, and a negative experience only hurts your company’s employment brand.
A good recruiter/search consultant can be a huge help in this area because they should know how to market you and your company and place it appropriately in the mind of the talent that matters to you. They are experts in candidate engagement and can maintain or improve on your overall employment brand.