Create a Positive Experience for Job Candidates, They Are VIPs

Recruit & Develop | 3 min read | June 26, 2023

I’ve been in talent acquisition for 25 years, and I can say with confidence that we’re in the middle of one of the most challenging labor markets I’ve ever seen. Right now, because there are seemingly infinite opportunities available, candidates have most of the power. If you’re involved with the talent acquisition process, you can do everything right in interviews, present a strong culture, and make an aggressive offer, but your ideal candidate still might not bite. Losing a great candidate is discouraging; plus, the hard work and money involved in finding the right fit is lost! Because of this, it’s more important than ever before to create a positive experience for the candidate from the first time we make contact to the moment they come on board.

When first contacting a potential candidate, it’s human nature to immediately dive into why the position they have applied to or been recruited for is a great opportunity. But if we do that, what can be lost is an understanding of the factors that caused the candidate to consider a job change in the first place. A strong early focus on a candidate’s personal situation can help create awareness of wants and needs that can be addressed throughout the recruiting process.

Many positions, specifically in the trades, are getting harder to fill. The candidate pool is shrinking for skilled roles, and strong candidates are harder to find. So, when we gain interest from a great candidate, it’s important to invest time into making sure they enjoy the process, regardless of the outcome. Doing the little things – creating a welcome sign when candidates show up for interviews, asking if they would like a beverage, and connecting on a personal level – can lead to a more positive experience.

Common courtesy also goes a long way. The way we displace candidates who don’t fit our organizational needs speaks volumes about our company’s values. We’ve all experienced candidate “ghosting”, as well as that frustrating feeling when a candidate doesn’t show up for an interview. But put yourself in the candidate’s shoes! The same is true for them – they’ve experienced ghosting, too. It’s true that having a conversation or sending an email letting a candidate know they aren’t a good fit can be uncomfortable. I know it’s easy to walk away and focus on other things. However, the trades are a small world. How likely is it that someone who’s been “ghosted” by an employer will tell others about their experience? Very likely!

Even if the news is good, everyone can benefit from more communication. If a good candidate we really want to hire has to wait too long for feedback and follow-up, they’re more likely to walk away, especially if they’re interviewing for multiple positions. This makes communication and an efficient process even more important.

By showing an understanding of a candidate’s personal situation, doing the little things, and being diligent in our follow-up, we can do our best to ensure a positive candidate experience. We’re more likely to gain a candidate’s interest, address their wants and needs, and leave them with a positive impression of the company culture.

The labor market shifts all the time. Conditions will shift again. Currently, the responsibility lies with us, as employers, to ensure we do everything possible to attract, hire and retain the top talent available. In an environment where it feels like everyone is hiring, shifting the focus toward creating a positive candidate experience is an effective way to improve our hiring success.

Thanks to Jason Florek, our newest Recruiting Coach and Executive Recruiter for sharing his insights. Jason has close to 25 years of experience developing and managing integrated recruiting programs for iconic brands. He loves to help businesses attain their growth goals, and specializes in sourcing strategy, multi-hire project management, and executive search. Jason enjoys helping members work through the complexities of building strong teams in a competitive talent marketplace.

Nexstar members, as you think about approaching your talent acquisition program holistically, contact Jason, or his Nexstar counterpart Steffan Busch. If you are interested in learning about becoming a Nexstar member, contact us today.

Jason Florek, Recruiting Coach

Related Posts