Woe to the candidate experience. Perhaps not dead, but terminal.
No longer a hot topic, not the high point of networking conversations anymore yet this drama still plays out as an endless soap opera searching for new sponsors.
We can do better.
Consider for the evidence: In the last month an exceptionally talented peer who had a wonderful afternoon of interviews only to be dumped after the last one (the “host” having forgotten to “pick her up” following the last session) searching her way through the labyrinth of offices to find her own way to the exit. Email follow-up from the company? No.
The friend with many years experience who, following the perfunctory phone screen, was allowed to sit in the reception area for 20 minutes after being invited on-site (more than I would have waited) before the scheduled interviews commenced.
The mentee who – after working on two continents, holding three degrees and fluent in as many languages, was told by a recruiter, “we’re not sure you are qualified enough” for a mid-level position. Really? You couldn’t discern that from the resume review?
Bleak times out there for candidates in the midst of one of the most candidate-friendly eras we have known. Organizations globally are searching for talent, yet, doing so badly with outdated practices and piss-poor execution. We can do better. And must.
The solution is two-fold. One, put your candidates in the hands of professional talent people. They’re out there, I know. I’ve worked with many of them. They will be clear about needs, follow-up with candidates about details, keep all parties informed and push hiring managers to provide feedback. This is simple – put qualified people in charge of reaching out to your candidate pool. Want to get good talent? Hire strong talent professionals.
The second? Almost easier; be upfront about what you want and what you have. Hiring for a location that’s not desirable? Own it. Asking people to work on the weekends and travel continually? Be up front. Fighting against macro headwinds affecting your business? Be honest about it. Yes; some candidates will be scared off. This is a good thing. When looking for people to join your team wouldn’t it be better to filter out the ones who can’t or won’t want to join you so you can concentrate on those who will?
Which brings me to the end-piece. In the art of sourcing/recruiting we are looking for the best fit. It’s a courtship between two parties. If getting that fit is important to your firm, remember how to court. Put your best foot forward, keep communication up to date and be transparent.
You never know when you might find just the one you’ve been looking for.