It seems a week doesn’t go by without me reading another blog post or opinion piece about all the crap that candidates do wrong when trying to get a job. My favorite was a laundry list of reasons that you didn’t get the job. If recruiting is trying to be more like marketing, than recruiting, we are going to have to try a little harder. You see, I know you think these tips are helpful pieces of content, but what ends up happening is you look like the mean kids in school trying to tell the other kids how to be in the cool club.
The inspiration for this post was an article called “What Interviewers Wish They Could Tell Every Job Candidate”. The thing is; candidates already feel they are the weaker position. They are reminded all the time throughout the candidate experience. They are reminded with social media updates and blog posts telling them to be on time, while the hiring manager makes the candidate wait in the lobby. They are reminded when their applications go unacknowledged. So, expect a candidate uprising sometime soon.
So, with this post, I need to put on my strategist hat on in an effort to help guide my friends in talent acquisition to create a candidate experience that helps your recruiting and retention, the employer brand and the consumer brand as well. As a strategist, my job is to be the voice of the consumer, or candidate in this case, and whatever arena we might be talking about, and as a strategist, I would like to outline a counter point to the above mentioned post:
“What Candidates Wish They Could Tell Every Employer”
We ARE on time. Where are you?
If I read one more social media tip telling a candidate to be on time, I might freak out when I know that more times than not candidates are waiting in the lobby for more than 10 minutes for the hiring manager to show. Punctuality is a two-way street. If you are a brand telling candidates to be on time on your social channels, you better never, ever be late for an interview.
We know the posting is BS
Tell us what the job REALLY is. Tell us what you will expect us to do all day. We are giving you 40+ hours of our lives a week. This is time away from family and other things we would like to pay attention to. We know we get paid, but we get paid and you get productivity. It is also another two-way street. And don’t get us started on fake postings…grrrr. Those make you look REALLY bad.
Please don’t read our resume in front of us
The best candidates, you know the ones you say aren’t out there, spent hours researching your company, constructing thoughtful questions, trying to analyze our organizational fit based on your career site, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and so on. We did our homework and then the hiring manager shows up without being prepared…it doesn’t make a good impression. We would love for you to have constructed questions for us that are relevant to the job that align with our experience.
At least admit we exist
It is wholly unacceptable for you to not acknowledge our application. It is also not cool for you to not return phone calls and emails once we have interviewed. We are people. People you are paying good money to attract to your job opportunity. Once we land in your ATS, do they cease to be people? No.
No bait and switch, please
Candidates often feel duped in the process of applying, interviewing and getting hired. The role and company that is sold in the application and hire process is not always the experience that is reality. I honestly attribute a company’s poor retention rate to this reality. No one likes to feel tricked. Especially when the trick means spending 40+ hours a week somewhere that is not anything like it was billed to be AND job-hopping is so frowned upon. If the job description is full of fluff and no honesty, if you talk about being an autonomous environment, but you assign me a micro-manager, turnover is going to happen. Hiring is expensive; re-hiring is a massive financial drain.
Caring about the candidate experience means that you treat candidates with mutual respect. Let’s assume the best of our candidate pool and putting on an arrogant and condescending tone will not help your recruiting efforts and will likely crush your work on retaining your talent.
Did I miss any tips? What would you like to tell the employer that would help them make a better experience for candidates?