The link between candidate experience and your talent pipeline
Fuelled by decreased unemployment, retiring baby boomers and different workforce expectations and behaviour, the skirmish for the very best top talent is intensifying. Many organisations pay no or very little attention, to their candidate experience process. It’s either outsourced or automated, with varying degrees of success and efficiency. Ads frequently display clauses “If you haven’t heard from us in 6 weeks, you are not successful”.
Clearly that side of outsourced automation passed them by. But what that line flags up, is that the company needs to place an ad.
They don’t have a talent pipeline.
Succession planning is critical yet the reality is that apart from the largest organisations, many companies have only the vaguest idea who should cover the gaps when they arise. Oftentimes it’s based on workaround solution which are far from ideal. They look for the “right now” candidate, rather than the right one. This is when all companies need to have a strong talent pipeline in place.
Shorter time to hire
Guaranteeing the shortest time to hire has assumed a new significance. Companies need reserves of potential and good candidates, who can be brought in at short notice. That process relies on a flawless candidate experience history offered by your company, which should be second to none, and certainly better than your competitors. Poor candidate experience is now just bad for business.
Research from Career Builder shows that it is “high-touch, not high-tech” that guarantees a successful experience: 61% of job seekers reported speed of response as being critical, while another 58% cited regular updates No news a.k.a. the “slow no” is now old school. Read: How a slow no damages your employer brand
Recruitment specialist Bill Boorman references a talent tipping point which is “the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs.” This doesn’t have to be formal recruitment contact, but could any other network interaction, including social media. When forums such as Glassdoor gives employees the opportunity to make comments about their experiences, companies are easy to search. See the comments on Shopify.
All of these contribute to a positive candidate experience and expectations, even indirectly.
Many hiring managers don’t understand the real cost to their company of an open assignment and what that means in daily lost revenue, which can be calculated per employee. Unless the open assignment is a cost center role (and even they add some value), then there is direct revenue loss associated with it being open for a lengthy period. With P & L positions such as senior management roles, sales, cash collection, and production, the costs will be even higher.
The recruitment process then becomes part of the company’s marketing process and the pipeline takes on increased significance.
Why is that?
Your recruitment process is marketing
Every candidate who interacts with your organisation has a first hand experience of how you do business and the quality and professionalism of your employees. It’s a bird’s-eye view of the culture. Getting that right, will spill over to your marketing feedback. Although some companies get away with it, especially in any “cool” sector or function, great product, crappy company can come back to bite, as we saw with Amazon.
Candidates are your brand evangelists
If the candidate loves you and your company, even though she was not successful, she will sing your praises. Candidates will forgive rejection, if you treat them with integrity. Think of the companies who have candidates lining up at their doors just to get a chance of joining.
Reaching passive candidates
Top candidates, are busy people. If they are happy in their jobs, they are not active on the job market, casting around for new opportunities. What they do is network strategically to drive traffic to them, especially from the hidden job market. Letting them know they that they are on your radar is good policy, so that when an opening does arise, all it takes is a quick phone call.
Candidates today have increased power and reach
The ability to share information is available with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a Smart Phone. The slightest doubt shared by any candidate in his/her network, is likely to be seen by more people than the recipient.
Recruitment develops relationships
A transparent process, conducted correctly, creates long-term relationships for your talent pipeline. If the candidate is not on target this time, perhaps it will work in the future. If they are not right at all, maybe they can refer you to someone in their network.
Reject with empathy
No one likes to be cut from a job search process, especially if they are almost “at the altar.” How this is handled will be their last memory of you and your company. Make sure it’s a positive one.
You would be surprised how many hiring managers do not know the basic maths underlying their own processes. Do you?