Mercedes is an International HR Consultant working with Small and Medium Companies helping them to build their HR departments and processes. She is also the editor of this blog
By now I am sure that you have read everything about recruitment and candidate experience. We, HR professionals and those who called themselves GURUs, have told you how important is to follow the processes in recruitment, to make sure that you hire the right person for the role.
You have also read all the possible interview ways that you could do at your start-up. You have also probably read about the different ways of testing your candidate’s skills, and those how NOT to do it 😊
I’m sure that the moment you put on LinkedIn your title as CEO, or cofounder, hundreds of recruiters have contacted you to let you know the amazing talent they have available to work with you, if you pay a basic fee of 20% of their first years salary, right?
And here you are, reading another article about recruitment, Why?
Because recruitment is not that simple. Even HR people fail sometimes. However the main purpose of this article for me is not that you get how to do a perfect recruitment process, that you should, or that you understand the different things that you need to test on your candidates.
What I really want to make a point about today, is the importance of what it has been lately called The candidate experience. The candidate experience is important in every single company, but it is extremely important in start-ups.
How many people know you right now?
Let’s face it, nobody knows your company. Unless you are a super tech company full of well-known professionals within their field, that are about to build the next Facebook, nobody knows who you are. The most probable reason for them to start working with you is that they are applying every single place that has a vacancy.
This is the awful truth! You may have really great points, your team is amazing, and they have the opportunity to grow with your company, if you survive the first five years, of course. Unfortunately, they don’t know you. You don’t have a good employer branding, is not bad, is that nobody has spoken to them about you. They just saw the advert on a job board and applied. So why would someone like to work with you?
They are going to be hesitant; they see your LinkedIn profile and there are only 10 employees working with you if you are lucky. They see your office and it is a coworking space, the vibe can be amazing, don’t get me wrong! I am not saying your company is not great work at, but they do not know that. They are full of questions and they really want to solve them.
Why a good candidate experience is important?
Imagine the following situation: You are a recent graduate and you have the opportunity to be applying to the big four, all the start-ups in your city who are looking for recent graduate to pay you poorly. Five start-ups have contacted you and one of the big 4. You are really aiming for the last one… but you do not lose the opportunity with the others, just in case you end up job less…
What kind of things would you be valuing as a candidate during the recruitment process?
Things like the information about the day to day, how the work would be, plans for the future, who the line manager would be, why the world exists, main clients, industry, etc…
You don’t need to tell them that your company is amazing, if it is they would see it. Nothing wrong with saying the positive facts aspects of working with you or what you do for the world. However, the most important part is that they feel that you have been honest and that there’s nothing behind the scenes that they haven’t seen during the recruitment process.
Points that affect the candidate experience
If you are honest with them and tell them some of the negative points and the things that you are working to improve, they will feel that they have all the points to value the company.
Of course, cover the basics, respond to every single candidate and update them on their recruitment status. This shouldn’t take long if you have an applicant tracking system in place from the very beginning (and you can have some free options, so there is no real excuse)
Do not sell to them that they are going to grow and that they are going to be head of the parliament within three years. that could be true, it may not, you don’t really know how things are going to work out or how they are going to work out within the company, whether if you open on be tired of them or whether if someone else is going to come and take their position. So be honest from the very beginning.
Something else that you need to take care of is the experience in every single email and conversation we have with the candidate during the interview process, again being honest, but friendly, or at least your friendlier version.
Do not use tricks on the interview, make them feel at home, is one they will be more natural, open, honest, offer them a Cup of coffee tea or just water, but do not forget your manners. It is amazing how many people have seen for getting their manners as they were interviewing people.
Don’t forget they are not just candidates; they could be clients in the future
And last but not least, remember that every single candidate it is a potential client at some point of their life. You don’t know what their family do, who their friends are , or the kind of role but they would end up doing in five years, they could be the person that you are negotiating with add a provider, or they could then that being your best follower or social promoter.
I have had candidates who were rejected from the very first moment and came back saying that they had the best recruitment experience ever. That great experience followed into a lot of sharing on social media , network and referral for other candidates who could feed what we were looking for. it is all about being respectful and honest to people, they are basic things, but not that common, so use it in your advantage, I will make sure they love you!
Here you have an idea on how to go crazy with your recruitment process.
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