In my last article, we defined talent management in 4 steps – attraction, negotiation, onboarding, and retention – to provide insights that can help companies maximize the candidate experience.
We started with the attraction emphasizing the importance that the image of the company and the knowledge of the potential candidates’ profile have in attracting those people who will lead the company to success. The promotion of the employer image thus becoming the key and part of the corporate strategy.
Now that the interest of these ideal candidates has been raised, only one step has been taken – much remains to be done to maintain their interest.
The next step is the actual recruitment process, which we will call negotiation. Why? Because just like a sales process, the perceived value of the other (candidate towards the company and vice versa) varies according to the different interactions.
The biggest challenge in this step is that several stakeholders will be part of it, and that every person, every word, and every gesture can influence the perceived value of the people involved.
This week, I offer you important elements to consider and promote to the various stakeholders to maximize the chances of success.
Have you already measured your average recruitment time by type of position? What is it?
In Quebec, before the pandemic, the average recruitment time for SMEs (250 employees and less) was around 57 days – while an average of 17 days between the start of the process and the first interview.
One of the main challenges is delays in the process. Lack of availability, vacation or unforeseen events – there are several things that can break the pace and decrease candidate’s interest – without neglecting the financial and operational impact on the organization of a vacant position.
Is it vacation time? Would it be better then to postpone the process to avoid delays, or is it possible to synchronize the steps?
After having selected the participants, make a detailed planning of the steps by reserving dedicated time slots in the calendar of each individual, while offering some flexibility for the unforeseen.
Emphasize with stakeholders the importance of respecting confirmed interviews with candidates, that any change can influence the entire process, the schedule of their colleagues involved and, most importantly, the perception of the candidates.
Fluency on the stages and clear deadlines for candidates is important. Unexpected events occur? That is okay – communicate with the candidates by proactively sharing new deadlines. Keep constant communication and respond to candidate follow-ups to avoid those gaps that break the rhythm.
In certain technical activity sectors (IT and engineering), companies have implemented the necessary measures to significantly reduce their delays.
For example, one of our clients in the logistics and transport sector reduced his time between receiving the CV and the offer by giving more power to Human Resources to condense the process. A 75% reduction in the timeframe, down to 5 days, enabled them to significantly reduce the number of candidates lost due to the slowness of the initial process.
The consistency of your ambassadors
What could be more insecure for candidates than to obtain contradictory information on the same subject, by different stakeholders?
Inconsistencies will cause candidates to question the credibility of the organization, teamwork, and the work environment. All of which are decisive factors in a potential offer, particularly in the event of multiple offers received by a candidate. He will go to the employer who seems the most credible in his eyes and meets his own goals and expectations.
Select the stakeholders who best represent your company and who are ambassadors of it. Who lives and believes in the future of the company, who exudes passion and lives the organizational culture.
Invite everyone involved in the process (internal / external recruiters, stakeholders, and hiring manager) to a short meeting at the beginning of the process to share goals and expectations. Make sure that everyone has a good understanding of the importance of their role, as well as the various key information such as performance indicators, expectations, compensation, next steps in the process, etc.
A question is raised by the candidate and the interviewer does not have an accurate answer? Encourage them to let applicants know that they will come back to them with specific information. Make sure they follow up on them to demonstrate to candidates transparency and concern for good communication within the organization.
The use of structured interviews is strongly recommended. Submit a few key mandatory questions to stakeholders at each stage to get the most objective assessment possible. They may ask additional questions to validate different aspects, but the prepared questions may ensure that they cover most important skills and abilities for the job.
The hiring decision: the sum of the assessment tools
There are different stages in a recruitment process, each of which collects the information crucial to selecting the candidate best suited to the role, needs and culture of the organization.
Once applications are received, interviews (telephone, video and in person), psychometric and knowledge tests, meetings with potential team members and reference checks are the most common steps.
It is therefore important that they are carried out objectively, while ensuring that the final decision is made on all the steps taken, and not just on one of the elements.
For example, selecting a candidate only based on a psychometric test could prove to be a mistake, without a thorough analysis of it. Ideally, these tests should be performed and analyzed before the final interview to allow validation of important aspects.
The company thus maintains open communication with candidates and increases its perceived value by potential candidates.
Applicants will be confident that their application has been objectively assessed and that, if removed from the process, the decision has been made on specific information. Which brings us back to the attraction, as employers will create potential ambassadors – or even potential candidates for another possible future vacancy – through these declining applications.
Contracts: Be clear
Have you ever had to respond to several clarifications and questions asked by candidates about the employment contract and its terms, and stretched this final step in a significant way?
Or, on the contrary, candidates come back to you quickly with a signed offer?
These clues give you a good indication of the clarity and quality of your offers.
Employment contracts should be representative of what has been said from the beginning, with expectations on both sides having been mentioned from the beginning, thus avoiding surprises and inconveniences.
Among these factors, total compensation is of course part of it, but also conditions such as, for example and not limited to:
- Start date and probation period
- Direct manager and workplace (office, remote work, etc.)
- Social benefits and other perks
- Vacation and sick days
- Confidentiality and non-compete agreement if applicable
Remember that the value that you and the candidate will create towards each other will determine the ease and speed of reaching this agreement because each will have a fair and informed perception that will confirm the proposed terms.
Reduce the risk of failure
Coordination always will be crucial to maximize the chances of recruiting effectively. A recruiting partner can take charge of this process to support all stakeholders through the stages, while being the link with candidates by managing their expectations.
This professional, through his/her knowledge of the market and skills transferable to the position, will bring expertise reducing recruitment time, a more efficient process, and the opportunity to find candidates who would not have been found in other cases. Therefore, he (she) will help reduce the costs associated with vacancies, while increasing the chances of long-term success.
Would you like to discuss your talent management strategy to maximize your attraction and retention efforts, and support your growth?
Write to us at email@example.com or directly at my address: firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be our pleasure to discuss and support you through the various stages.
Senior Recruitment Consultant - industrial and engineering
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