Tag Archives: Social media

Candidate Experience – The Final Frontier of Effective Recruiting!

The increasing automated nature of corporate recruiting should improve the candidate experience but as numerous commentators in the human resources space have noted, the process is not great and more work needs to be done to make it better. There are many key players in the entire process but most importantly, it is the hiring managers that really drive everything as they ultimately make the hire. The essence of this fractured relationship between corporate recruiting and candidate experience is candidly summarised by a post by editor and consultant Deborah Branscum who remarks that “if hiring managers were doctors, half of new patients would be dead in 18 months.” This is a stark assessment considering we are in fiercely competitive labour market with companies fishing in the same talent pool as every other competitor. Here are some (not all) of the common pains of the candidate experience:

  • Despite ATS’s, candidates are still falling through cracks, and it is taking longer to fill positions
  • Despite the commonly held belief that candidates are flexible on location, they actually want to work somewhere that is within commuting distance of the office
  • Assumptions are made regarding a candidates salary expectations
  • Candidates are passed between pillar and post by different hiring managers – and that is just at the CV review stage!
  • Candidates are not being properly updated on their candidacy
  • Candidates aren’t interviewed in a timely manner
  • Candidates don’t get the feedback they are looking for – responses are not constructive but general
  • Candidate experience doesn’t rank highly on a hiring managers agenda, and is increasingly misunderstood altogether
  • The on boarding experience is falling by the wayside with an increasing number of candidates rejecting offers after they have accepted
  • The automated nature of recruiting results mostly in communication with the candidate via email
  • The employer brand is suffering

The reality is that as technology and trends have changed overtime, behaviours have not. Recruiting is evolving, so should behaviours and with that policies and procedures to reflect the changing nature of the labour market. To get it right, companies need to develop a service orientated mind-set rather than being transactional. Hiring Managers and other key players need to become brand ambassadors for their company and become totally invested in improving candidate experience as they are invested in their day jobs.

Be the Hiring Manager that sets an example

The role of the Hiring Manager is absolutely central to getting the entire process to work properly so the following improvements should be put in place for Hiring Managers:

Holiday handover – When going on holiday, put a handover plan together updating the rest of the team on candidates, delegating responsibility for interviews and offer approvals. Don’t put things on hold when you go on holiday. Recruiting is important business!

Don’t set false expectations – If a candidate was interviewed and you promised to get back to them with feedback within two weeks, do get back to them and don’t forget about them! Treat others as you would like to be treated. Failure to do so is a recipe for disaster, and you run the risk of bringing the employer brand into disrepute.

Interview feedback – When you do get back to the candidate with feedback, be constructive rather than general – give them the good, the bad and the ugly. Regardless if they are successful or not, candidates will really value your insight as it might help them improve their interview performance next time they go for an interview, or might even help them address a weakness that was not apparent to them before. If they are a good candidate for future roles, welcome them to reapply, and keep in touch with them.

Work in partnership – Keep your recruitment department fully updated on candidates in the interview process, work with them on resourcing needs, and be fully aligned with them so they can go to market to deliver the key marketing message(s) of why candidates should join your team.

Interview team – Have an interview tag team in place that can pick up the baton from you if you are going to be out of the office or tied up on a project. Delegate responsibility to them to continue the interview process in your absence, and have pre-agreed interview dates in the diary so that candidates can be interviewed without delay.

Get everybody on the same page – Make sure resourcing needs are filtered down to all levels. Avoid scenarios where conflicts between workload and resourcing needs occur. If you have a hire to make, ask yourself – is there physical desk space available for them, which office will they be based in, what work will they actually be doing, do you actually need to hire in the first place? Addressing these questions will eliminate inefficiency and help to increase speed of hire.

Time management – As Hiring Managers, you do have a day job but you also have responsibility to grow the team and contribute towards profitability so set aside ample time for reviewing candidate applications, providing feedback to candidate, conducting interviews etc.

Improved processes and procedures

A periodic review of the effectiveness of current recruiting processes and procedures will help highlight any deficiencies but to create a recruiting model fit for purpose, the following elements should be considered:

Return to traditional communication – To counter the behaviours triggered by ATS’s, less email more phone should be the order of the day. A personal touch goes a long way to improving the candidate experience.

Be social – An increasing number of candidates are on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook so a dedicated social media strategy is a must for companies if they want to properly engage with the talent pool and effectively deliver the EVP.  The employer brand will be rendered irrelevant if there is there is a lack of social media presence.

Careers site – Have a dedicated career site candidates can visit to obtain information on the interview process – i.e. what is involved and how long it takes, the work the company does, interactive employee testimonials, FAQs.  A careers site will also play an important part in communicating the EVP to the external market.

Recruitment model – As companies grow, resource needs will increase too, so a fundamental discussion around the recruitment model should take place – is the recruitment model geared up for a growing business, is it set up for volume recruiting, are there enough recruiters, do processes need to change to reflect growth? Honest discussions on the recruitment model will help create an effective in – house team.

Final thoughts

Despite improvements in technology and the rise of social media, companies still strive to create a positive candidate experience. Persistent issues exist which need to be addressed but the focus needs to be on being proactive and hiring at a faster pace. Companies simply can’t operate at an ordinary pace but need to react faster on candidates as competition for candidates intensifies. At the Hiring Manager level, more management training should be put in place to help clearly define their roles, responsibilities and their understanding of the interview and selection process. A negative experience will turn off candidates but a positive candidate experience will serve as a formidable recruiting sergeant.

Photo by Max McKinnon on Unsplash

Your Online Presence Matters: 5 LinkedIn Rules to Follow

More and more companies are turning to LinkedIn as the ‘go to’ place in finding prospective candidates and an increasing number of job seekers are seeing merit in being visible on the network. Creating a tidy, professional and well written LinkedIn profile now is absolutely key in getting noticed by recruiters. LinkedIn is a professional network but being part of the wider online social media family, people often forget that and end up producing profiles that might be better suited to other social networks. Here are 5 things you need to take on board when crafting a decent LinkedIn profile and presence:

Do not name and shame: There was a member I came across recently who posted on his LinkedIn update of how chuffed he was feeling at leaving his current company and could not wait until he started with his new (nicer) employer. Regardless of how you feel about your job or any other issue, do not make it personal. Remember if things were to take a turn for the worse after posting such updates, you are responsible for what you post online and will suffer the consequences.

Pictures: Do take the effort to post a decent picture of yourself as it will add weight to your LinkedIn profile. Some points to note would be to get the background right (light blue or white is ideal), avoid pictures that include you posing with members of your family, as someone else, with friends on a night out however sweet that may look to you, and avoid pictures that you look absolutely miserable in.

Language: Look out for typos and be clear and concise in your language. Explain what you do and avoid going off on a tangent. Use keywords to be found so that you come up easily on searches.

Contact Information: Let other know how you would like to be contacted. If you are not an active LinkedIn user, let others know. The more detail you give the better, and also save time getting unnecessary emails. Moreover, also keep contact preferences up to date.

Updates: Post relevant updates that your network will find appealing. Keep politics and religion out of it. If you want to post updates of that nature, you can do that on other online networks. LinkedIn is a professional network.

Remember, you want to stand out well on LinkedIn so keep it simple and sensible.

Unemployment and Social Media – Jobseekers must Connect, Absorb and Create


Let’s face it; social media is spreading like wild fire across the populations of the world. In fact, Facebook recently claimed that is now has 1.11 billion members.  Whichever way you choose to look at that figure, that’s a pretty substantial number of people.

This may then be the right time for jobseekers to view social media in a different light given its ability to reach out to a staggering number of people. For businesses too, maybe it is time to move away from print media for placing job advertisements. The mass appeal of social media is that it keeps users informed on-demand 24/7 – its real time.  The ability of social media to keep people connected is the key here.  For jobseekers this is such a powerful tool. Joe McKendrick, a regular contributor to the blog Smart Planet commented on one of his posts on 21st of July 2010 on the subject of social media and unemployment. Here are three ways social media can help jobseekers:

An innovative recruitment and employment tool: Thanks to social media, people have been able to market themselves better more than ever before through their own blogs, LinkedIn accounts, Facebook, Twitter. Businesses can get a more rounded view of the potential job seekers real life capabilities that are often over looked in traditional psychometric tests. Direct communication through social media outlets also has the potential to reduce a business’s recruitment advertising budget. This is a win win situation on both sides.

An entrepreneurial tool: Social media has presented people with opportunities to reach out to customers across the country and worldwide. A whole new ‘Do It Yourself Economy’ has emerged where people can set up businesses at the click of a button. One trend that has really taken off is that innovative businesses now have their own Facebook page to promote their business. We are now in an era in which entrepreneurs can connect instantly to the masses.

 Outreach tool for distressed communities/regions: This can be a real kick start for communities and local economies that have declined in the recession and returning them to good health. With the aid of cheap, low cost internet access these communities can access the same information and take advantage of the same opportunities through social media platforms as individuals in thriving areas. This can be a precursor in helping to eliminate the divide that exists in societies around the world.

The power of social media to help job seekers still hasn’t been realised. However, this may be in part due to a lack of understanding of job seekers to make the most of it. There still seems to be a loyal group of job seekers out there who rely on traditional print media.  Individuals must embrace social media and make it work to their advantage. The true value of social media for job seekers is to connect with people, to absorb and make sense of the information out there and to create and maximise the opportunities that arise.