Skip this step and kill your brand – recruiting etiquette 101
I was preparing a presentation the other day where I am planning to share the various steps of the recruiting process.
As I reviewed the list of the steps we have been conducting for years, I realized how truly involved the recruiting process can become. On just my basic list, there were over 20 steps and that doesn’t include the actual sourcing/recruiting tactics that occur within the process. The 20 steps was just getting from the creation of a req to an offer acceptance.
Twenty steps. Some of these twenty stood out like a sore thumb – communicating with deselected candidates. As I reflected on the importance of this activity, I approximated that at least 70 percent of organizations skip this step altogether. Then I thought about the likelihood that 95% of organizations underestimate the importance of this communication. Do I have anything to validate that percentage? No. But we’ll do it this way, if you’re doing a great job of effectively communicating with every candidate who touches your recruiting process, stop reading. Job well done. But if you don’t, keep reading – it’s important.
In the busy world of recruiting and management of the process, communicating with the deselected candidates is an easy step to skip. Now more than ever, your employment brand is important in attracting and even more importantly engaging candidates. Communicating quickly to deselected candidates keeps your reputation intact not only from an employment branding perspective but also from an overall brand perspective.
Think about it. Looking for a job is filled with emotion. No one wants to get the “thanks but you didn’t make the cut” response but at least they can deal with the denial and move on. They might even be impressed that ABC company took the time to respond (remember, so many do not). But to leave a candidate in the land of limbo is bad form. In addition to leaving a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth, it also can result in jamming your inbox with emails/voicemails requesting information on said position which is a drain on productivity. Worse yet, the next time the candidate is at the store and trying to pick between your company’s offering and another, this one interaction may just be the tipping point needed to dis your brand for your competitors offering. That hits right where it hurts – the bottom line.
Does it happen? You bet. Often? Who knows? But let’s conservatively guess that for every 1,000 candidates you process, 1% leave with a bad taste (because you didn’t tell them they were not selected), that’s 10 people. In 1981, it was shown that people who receive bad service tell 10 other people. Well, it’s the era of social media and everyone has the immediate ability to influence others. If it was 10 people in 1981, I would guess it’s at least 100 people in 2013. So using that logic (stick with me – I’m getting to the point), for every 1,000 candidates you process, you are influencing at least 10 people directly and 1,000 people indirectly.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. If someone isn’t hired at XYZ company, are they really going to go out and tell the world. Probably not. But the next time a discussion pops up that discusses your brand, they just might take that as an opportunity to voice a negative opinion. You’ve just given them the catalyst to be your adversary. In addition, they aren’t as likely to apply for future positions or refer others to your organization for potential careers.
With the volume of candidates increasing, companies must have an automated process in place that manages these important communication touch points. If you don’t have an automated process and need one, give us a call – it’s one of the 20 steps that we do for clients every day.
Bottom line, be nice, protect your brand and be sure your recruitment process is as effective for those who you don’t hire as it is for those you do.
Jen Iliff is the VP of Marketing at Novotus.