Kate Maclean, Administration Officer
Although research into candidate’s perception of recruitment processes is still very much in its infancy, studies have revealed some simple strategies you can use to ensure your candidates have a positive experience when applying for a role in your organisation.
So what should you keep in mind?
1. First impressions last.
This includes the material you choose to advertise a role, as well as any websites an applicant may come into contact with. For example, research has found that both male and female applicants are more likely to apply for a lower paying role in an organisation that markets itself as being supportive, as opposed to a job with a higher salary in an organisation that markets itself as being competitive. In your job adverts, make sure you remember to mention the ‘softer’ elements of your organisation, like the development and support you give your employees. In addition, ensure your technology works! A primary reason that online applications remain incomplete is due to technical difficulties.
2. You are representing your brand.
With the proliferation of social media, if you have a recruitment process that upsets the applicants, there is a very good chance that someone will find out about it. A study conducted in 2013 found that applicants who had a bad experience in a recruitment process were not only less likely to buy or use a product of that brand, but they mentioned they would actively discourage their friends from applying for a role in that company.
3. It’s a two-way process.
It’s important to remember, whilst you are assessing the candidate, they are also assessing you. Poor or uninterested conduct towards applicants may make them behave differently, and diminish their performance. If you think about a time when someone has been rude to you, you’ll understand how much this can alter your behaviour. Usually, when we perceive someone as being rude or uninterested, we feel angry and embarrassed and may withdraw or become confrontational.
4. Give feedback.
In these tough times, expending resources to tell candidates that they were unsuccessful can be difficult, but for candidates who have gotten through the first stage of the application process, it is really important. Recruitment processes increasingly require a significant investment from applicants. Many standard processes often include psychometric testing, interviews and a lengthy application. If unsuccessful, letting the candidate know as soon as possible via a brief email will allow them to move on more quickly and lessen any feelings of animosity.
For employers looking to attract the highest quality and most engaged staff, looking at your recruitment processes from the candidate's perspective is absolutely vital. High quality applicants will happily turn a job down if they are unimpressed with an organisation, and even worse, they may not apply in the first place.