How can you let candidates know what they’re getting into at the start of the hiring process?
You know that point when you’re sitting in the barber or hairdresser’s chair? You are maybe halfway through your haircut, can see exactly what’s happening in the mirror and you’re thinking “I’m not sure I like where this is going”. It would be pretty tricky (impossible for some) to criticize the person holding that sharp pair of scissors, so you remain silent, hoping it will all come good at the end (like one of those street artists, who with two or three final strokes turn a splodgy mess into a perfect likeness).
In an interview situation, either side may be thinking the exact same thing after the first five minutes, and throughout the rest of the allotted time either reconfirm that impression or look hard for redeeming qualities about that candidate or indeed that employer.
Let’s change the scenario to an online application, where a candidate is continually reassessing whether it’s worth the bother following through to the bitter end. Having enticed a jobseeker to begin applying, it’s all too common that the persuasion stops there.
Demands are made of a candidate, that frankly make them reconsider; attach a CV, complete this form, leave a video message, prove you are entitled to work in this country and so on.
If it’s true that passive candidates are the sweetest fruit, it follows that they are the first to bail out. What an employer is left with are the most determined candidates, not the most attractive ones.
“But wait a second” I hear you cry, “I’ll then be swamped with too many applicants if I don’t screen out the tyre-kickers with my rigorous application process!” Yes, that may be true, but the content of your advertisement or job post is where you start screening out the unsuitables and encouraging the best cultural fit.
Allow candidates to firstly and easily note their interest in your vacancy, by simply giving an email address, liking your ad on Facebook or whatever social media platform your target candidate spends the most time on.
This way, if they abandon the formal application process mid-way, you have the means to reach out to them at any stage, whether to remarket the job, encourage more applications or to gather feedback.
Technology does indeed enable over (or spam) applications, but it also empowers candidates to walk away if they are not attracted by your employee value proposition (EVP) or if they don’t like your application process.
By far the best way of attracting great, and even passive candidates, whilst at the same time dissuading unsuitable applicants, is by giving them authentic insights into your organization, your EVP, the hiring manager, and the role itself.
And of course, the best way to do that is by using video content right at the very start of the process.
The stats have already been established to back this up, but let’s consider the candidate logically: every serious potential employee will research your company because they want to know more before they commit to applying.
The onus is therefore on you to give them all the information they need to make an informed decision. In that case, they know exactly what they are getting into, unlike me when I visit a strange barber.