What impression are you giving to applicants during your recruitment cycle? Do the candidates you want in your team accept the offers you extend? With a global talent shortage, it is more important than ever to make a positive impact on the candidates you interview. Even when the outcome is that the candidate is not the right person for the position it is crucial that you leave them feeling positive and saying great things about your company. Malta and Cyprus are small islands and word of mouth is still the strongest form of marketing and PR you can have!
Have you focused on your recruitment cycle? Is it regularly evaluated and changed to suit the market? What things should you focus on?
It’s important to remember that the candidate experience starts right from their application, and a candidate will start evaluating you as a future employer as soon as they have clicked send. Here are some helpful hints to create a winning candidate experience.
1. Candidate Attraction
Be sure to have well written and engaging job adverts/job descriptions, include all the benefits you offer even down to free coffees as it all counts. The adverts should look attractive and in line with your branding and values in both look and tone. The application process should be easy, do you partner with other job sites and recruitment agencies or only your careers page? Be strategic about where you are posting your adverts to make sure their platforms are also user friendly on desktops as well as mobile devices, test them yourself to make sure. If you are partnering with a recruitment agency does your consultant know your company values and benefits, do they understand where the role fits and the core skills, competencies and characteristics which are important. You should view your consultant as an extension of your HR department, and they should be educated to the same level in order that they are “pitching” your opportunities in line with your own representatives. All of this will ensure the candidate has a clear and conducive experience regardless of the channel in which their CV comes to you.
2. Communication and Regret Letter after Application
Do you have an in-house ATS and are you using it to its full potential, are you communicating with your recruitment agent? Think about when you have been a candidate applying for jobs yourself, how frustrating is it when you have applied for a job and had no acknowledgement and no feedback or update on the outcome of your application. Even if a candidate does not meet all the prerequisites for the job, if they have received an email or call acknowledging their application, thanking them for their time in doing so and advising on the next steps you will maintain their interest and create a positive impression. If it an immediate rejection it is good practise to explain the reason why so they can understand the decision. If they are being considered state a fair but realistic timeline. This is where many companies faulter, the timeline from application to interview. If the line manager is away on business or on annual leave and not available to schedule interviews, then hold back on advertising. From receiving a CV, reviewing and inviting to interview should really be no longer than a week.
3. Inviting to Interview
Personalise this process and call the candidate to invite them to the interview! In this digital and automated world, we forget that a phone call can hold so much more power. Also, an automated email could end up in their Junk Folder and that star candidate could be lost. Make sure that all the information is clear, who will be interviewing them? Provide them with the full name/s job title/s of the people they will meet so they can do their research. Which job are they being interviewed for, re-confirm the title and provide a job description? Where will the interview take place, if it is in person provide a full address and directions, ideally a link to Google Maps to save them getting lost and advise on parking options. Lay out your expectations for example how you expect them to be dressed, if you are casual office environment and everyone is wearing jeans then the interviewee may feel embarrassed turning up in a full suit and tie or vice versa. If the interview is happening on video conference be sure to choose a platform that both your business and the applicant are familiar with and already have an account whether that be MS Teams, Skype, Zoom or Google Meets. Be flexible as it is hard for working candidates to have time to attend an interview so your flexibility will be appreciated and go a long way.
4. The Interview
Historically interviews have been perceived as a one-way street, the company is interviewing the candidate, as time evolved it became a bit more of a 2-way street. With such a global shortage of talent and new generations moving jobs more frequently looking for advancement and the best opportunity, it is becoming more and more like the candidate is actually “interviewing” the company to assess if this is the move they want. Use the interview to ascertain if the applicant meets the criteria for the job and if they will be a fit for your team, but don’t forget to use this opportunity to sell the position and the company. Why would they want to join you? Sell the benefits and use examples of staff who are happy, been with you a long time and progressed their career with you successfully, get them to meet someone who would be a peer not just a line manager. Be creative, give them an office tour, invite them to a team event if you want this candidate onboard think about what they want to see or hear to make you, their choice! You should use this time to get to know the applicant that you desire so you can make them an attractive offer that they could never refuse!
5. Communication and Feedback after the Interview
Similar to point 2 it is even more frustrating when someone has given up their time to attend an interview and then waits weeks for feedback or an outcome, or worse still no feedback at all. Again, feedback should be given no longer than a week after the interview, consider calling rather than emailing and ensure reasons are given if the applicant is unsuccessful. If there is to be a second and third stage, ensure this is communicated in a timely manner and ensure it is actually necessary. If the applicant needs to meet multiple people can this be done in the same interview, can you condense your process? The length of your recruitment cycle could be the deal breaker in securing the talent you need.
6. Extending an Offer
Before making an offer, you should know if the applicant will accept or not! You should understand what they need to accept and not just from a financial perspective. If you have followed the process quickly and asked all the correct questions in interview you will know what you need to offer. You need to understand everything about their current package including 13th salary, flexible working hours etc and also their expectations in a new role. Is the most important aspect a parking space? If so, make sure you have allocated parking space, and this is written into their offer. If they are currently on an annual basic salary of 40K and they have clearly said they will not consider anything less, don’t even offer 39K. Assess what your best offer can be and make it, so they feel valued from the outset and always ask yourself “What is the cost to the business of not having this person on board?” and that is their worth.
7. Notice Period
Be sure to keep in contact with the candidate during their notice period and ensure that they have all the information they require before starting. Be organised internally to ensure they have everything they need on joining, you don’t want a new employee starting and not even having a laptop/PC for them to work with. If you have any paperwork that needs completing for immigration, purposes or any privacy notices etc, send this to them ahead of starting so you look efficient and organised and create a good impression even prior to their joining date.
You should have an organised and consistent onboarding process, so all of your employees get the same experience and information on joining. Have a checklist! Make sure that all paperwork is complete for payroll purposes if they join ¾ of the way through the month it is vital to get them set up as imagine not getting a new employee paid on time! Have a training and orientation schedule mapped out before their first day and give it to them so they know what to expect in the first week. Don’t forget to introduce them to everyone and show them where the bathroom is, small things but very important and often forgotten.
What do GRS do to Assist in this Process?
GRS Recruitment invested in a new, sophisticated recruitment specific software at the beginning of 2021. We wanted an integrated applicant tracking system and recruitment CRM. Our system enables us to quickly and efficiently respond to candidates and make sure they receive feedback for the jobs they are applying to and interviews they have attended. Where possible we always call a candidate and ensure they are well informed of the company, the job and the interview in which they are attending. We ensure that the candidate is kept updated each step of the way. Communication is key in creating a positive candidate impression, and we love to talk 😊
For more information on our recruitment service and how we can assist you on making sure you have a top-notch candidate journey for all of your applicants, please contact the team today firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office +357 25342720