It's that time of year when your social feeds read more like motivational post it notes. My recent favorite - "Hustle Till the Haters Ask If You're Hiring." The start of the New Year is filled with energetic resolutions to just "Keep Calm" and get in shape, save money, land a new job or follow your dreams; all lofty, all good - but almost all personal.
As a business owner, I use this period of hyper-resolve as time to think about the changes leaders should make to their business that can improve the odds and help some of those personal resolutions stick past January.
For instance, how about resolving to treat candidates well? A new job has the potential to be a life changing experience for someone, yet at too many organizations, the experience is an inefficient soul crusher. Like so many personal resolutions, there's no longer an acceptable excuse for letting this happen.
Here are 3 attainable resolutions to improve your candidate experience in 2016. (There's even something in this for you too, hint: improved profitability).
#1 Resolve to Follow Up Immediately.
Regardless of the whether you extend an offer, you need to follow up with candidates immediately - no longer than 48 hours after a decision has been made. Lest you forget that the line between candidate and customer barely exists, understand that 58 percent of people are less likely to buy from a company to which they've applied if they don't get a response to their application; 69 percent are less likely if they have a bad experience in the interview; and the same is true of 65 percent if they didn't hear back after an interview. Now think about it again. Can you really afford to ignore your candidates who may be your top customers one day?
#2 Resolve to Respect Everyone's Time.
With the scheduling technology available today, there are zero excuses for running a sloppy process. You wouldn't tolerate an employee constantly rescheduling meetings with you, so why should an extremely talented person tolerate it during your interviewing process? Again, there's an impact on your bottom line; 69 percent of candidates are more likely to buy from a company to which they've applied if they're treated with respect throughout the application process.
#3 Resolve to Give People a Real Shot.
The first step in honestly giving candidates a shot is to stop pretending a resume is a reasonable way to screen candidates. Resumes cannot give you a clear picture of the passion, skill or potential a candidate could contribute to your team. A resume is just a bloated laundry list of power verbs detailing where a candidate has been - largely irrelevant in the context of where they can go. Allow people to be more than a resume. Use technology like mobile apps and video that help give candidates flexibility and a voice while giving you the ability to predict cultural fit. More often than not, you'll find some incredible talent that a resume based process will systematically overlook.
Regardless of the time of year, I counsel companies every day on the importance of treating their candidates as well as their team members or customers. Those who 'do unto others' enjoy 50 percent higher productivity and 27 percent less turnover. Ironically, fixing the candidate experience is not as hard as losing those 20 lbs and keeping them off.