Keeping Candidates Interested During the Assessment Process
BY Robert Hoffman
Successful recruiting requires not just the ability to find and attract candidates, but to sustain their interest during the lengthy assessment process. Companies today often subject candidates to a convoluted procedure involving many interviews, offer approvals, and pre-employment obstacles. A well-thought-out Candidate Management Strategy (CMS) can prevent candidate frustration.
Make sure candidates know the process in advance. The HR department should readily disclose the structure of the recruiting process. If candidates know how long the process takes, with whom they will interview, the company' s interview style and any pre-employment inquires (such as drug screening), they will be psychologically prepared for the recruitment cycle. Failure to discuss the process may result in a candidate abandoning interest in the position.
Treat candidates like customers. Simple tactics such as returning phone calls, sending thank-you notes and follow-up emails, and asking managers to make a courtesy contact with a candidate are activities usually reserved for customers or clients. Use customer marketing and sales techniques with candidates to enhance your overall relationship with candidates. Develop recruiting literature that delineates why your company is better than the competition.
Separate sourcing from assessment. Many companies get bogged down in one portion of the recruiting cycle. Careful analysis of the components of recruiting will reveal very different skills and competencies for the sourcing and assessing functions. The ability to find candidates and create interest in the organization involves knowledge of recruiting sources, Internet savvy, sales skill and good record keeping. Conversely, assessing candidate skill requires intimate knowledge of the organizational culture, interviewing techniques, employment law and compensation structures.
If at all possible separate the functions for greater efficiency. Many recruiters are not equipped to deal with the nuances of an effective CMS and function distinction can be a preventive strategy to keep contenders excited.
Understand what it takes to close a deal in your company. Similar to the need of informing the applicant of the overall recruiting process, the ability to give the candidate an opportunity to say "Yes" is crucial. If you don' t know how to get an offer letter out on a timely basis, or don' t understand the candidate' s financial expectations your probability of hiring the individual diminish.
Some companies require multiple approvals before a candidate can be offered a position. Do your homework and find out in advance of the offer what it will take to land the candidate and similarly what internal hurdles must be overcome to make an offer reality.