Do you know what candidates want when applying to jobs?
What candidates want when they are applying for jobs and what they get from those companies that they have applied to, are often two very different things. Below we list just a few of the disconnects we have come across. When placing candidates, how many are you aware of?
1. Candidates want to know about the salary, benefits and working hours.
Many adverts don’t include this information, and candidates are often expected to wait until the interviewer mentions it, or even the offer stage. It’s fairly typical interview advice not to ask these questions, but the recruitment process is a two way assessment of suitability, and there is no reason not to deal with hygiene factors early on.
2. Candidates want interview times that recognise they are probably already working someplace else.
Often, candidates find too many job adverts specifying fixed dates in advance and a complete lack of flexibility on the part of the interviewer. Hiring managers need to be flexible and respectful of their candidate’s existing commitments.
3. Candidates want the ability to upload much more than a two page CV when applying for a role, such as a social profile or links to work or websites, as part of an application.
Many recruitment systems, however, just aren’t capable of this, even in 2016. There is much more useful information online than just a two page CV, including social media sites or LinkedIn recommendations.
4. Candidates want a timely process.
No one wants to wait to see if they got an interview or not or got to the next stage, but many companies still don’t realise the importance of speed. Even the most senior roles should not need more than a two or three stage process. It isn’t essential for even a preferred candidate to meet every single person on the team always. Keeping candidates waiting might just mean that the best have gone elsewhere while the hiring manager is still thinking about it.
5. Candidates want a two-way dialogue between company and candidate so it can be established if there is a mutual fit.
Often, candidates get hiring managers who think that candidates should feel lucky to be interviewed.
6. Candidates want feedback — and plenty of it.
Whether they are successful in their application or not, they want to know what they did right or what they could have done better, and they want useful information to help them improve in the future. Unfortunately, usually candidates receive a canned response with no details whatsoever.
7. Candidates want to know where they are in the process.
Instead of automated emails or — even worse — nothing at all, let candidates know where they stand in the process. If someone has taken the time to craft an application for your jobs, the least they deserve is an update from a real human being about the status of their application.
Here’s the thing: poor processes disengage candidates. And it is fast becoming a candidate driven market. The best talent will always have choices. Conversations with the recruiters in my network tell me that it isn’t now unusual for candidates to not only be pursuing several roles at once, but to have more than one offer to choose from.
It is time to make a recruitment mind shift change, and begin to treat candidates like the discerning consumers that they are. Next time you’re placing a candidate, will you bear these things in mind when working with your client ?