To differing degrees most hiring leaders appreciate the importance of candidates experience. However, for many, this starts at the interviewing stage.
Whilst taking a brief for a new senior assignment I'm about to commence in Building Products this week, I was asked a question that not only was music to my ears but got me thinking. Towards the end of the meeting the hiring MD questioned what our process was around attracting people through our headhunting and how frequently we communicate with those candidates that we progress through the process. In other words, are we "selling" the position in an ethical way that is in tune with how the role has been outlined at briefing stage.
I've never been asked this specific question. Reflecting on this I have come to the conclusion that clients either assume that whilst working with an Exec search firm this is a given, or, more than likely, they are ignorant to its importance.
The leader in question expanded his reasoning to asking this question by stating that the business has a strong heritage and employer branding within the market. He was spot on in asking this question and ensuring that he received a structured and genuine response.
Although in the minority, there are recruitment firms in the market that are solely driven by revenue and, sadly, this leads to little thought to the impact of what a poor candidate experience potentially has on their clients.
Always ask what measures your recruitment partner has in place to ensure constructive communication continues throughout the process of hiring someone, irrespective of seniority. Regions, markets, skillsets are always tight, people talk and, unbeknown to you, someone could be slowly destroying your reputation!
Once your candidates apply, make sure you’re in regular contact with them. Start with thanking them for the application and let them know when they can expect to hear back. Bespoke replies to each candidate are ideal, but we understand that for larger companies that attract hundreds of applications, this may not be possible. However, early, effective communication can go a long way to creating an awesome candidate experience.