A candidate’s view of your company’s culture is often formed by their experience during the recruiting process. If the process is cumbersome, repetitive, redundant and lengthy, you run the risk of running off qualified candidates in favor of those that can merely endure the process – sort of a recruiting “survival of the fittest” – but not necessarily the best qualified applicants. Your company’s online presence says alot about your company, its values, and how it treats its employees and customers. Does your talent acquisition process, and the tools you use to support it, reflect those values or does it open the door to a metaphorical cold, dark, damp basement?
To a large extent, technology has helped take the drudgery out of the talent acquisition process, at least from the hiring company’s standpoint. Applicant Tracking Systems help manage the influx of candidate applications while endless varieties of assessments (behavioral, skills, cognitive, etc…) try to help companies find the best fit for their open positions. However, use of these technologies can make candidates feel as if the recruiting process is one to be endured, where the game is the survival of the fittest (or at least the most persistent) and not necessarily the best qualified. Make no mistake, technology has its place and is a necessity in today’s talent acquisition world, but it shouldn’t be the driving force behind how you interact with candidates, nor should it be the most memorable part of the recruiting process.
Talent acquisition has always been a bit of a numbers game. To fill a position with the “right” candidate typically means having to sift through myriad applications and resumes, conducting countless telephone screens, scheduling multitudes of interviews, finally culminating in an accepted job offer with “the chosen one.” Today’s economy, among other things, means that there’s greater competition for each open position and, if you’re in the high-volume hiring business – customer service positions, for example – you might feel like you’re hiring for the same position over and over again making things feel a bit like Groundhog’s Day.
As you create and refine your talent acquisition process, in addition to ensuring that it meets the needs of your organization, evaluate it through the eyes of a likely applicant. Does it reflect the values and culture of your organization? Does it provide a warm and engaging applicant experience that will attract top talent? Does it provide regular feedback so applicants know where they stand? Does it allow the opportunity for applicants to proactively take the first steps of the interview process – through virtual interviewing, for example? All of these will improve the talent acquisition process for applicant and company alike and yield better performing new hires.