There has never been a better time to reinforce the importance of building strong relationships with your candidates – talented people who you may want to hire now, or (equally importantly) in the future. Be under no illusion, people will always remember how they feel about a recruitment process, and therefore, a potential employer.
You are the Top Dog
The Corporate Recruiter of today is effectively the Top Dog for the company they represent – your leader of the pack greeting people at the front of the house. Is it a bark, a bite or an enthusiastic tail wag you’re putting out there? If you keep that in mind, you’ve got the right attitude. Couple this with a detailed understanding of the vacancy and the company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and you will win the confidence of your candidates from the start.
Training and communication are key to a great candidate experience
Providing updates at each ‘touchpoint’ and carefully guiding the candidate at each stage of the process is key. Setting candidate expectations upfront (particularly in terms of timings) builds confidence and trust; this will also cement the recruiter-candidate-potential employer relationship. Not that I’m comparing candidates to our trainable four-legged friends, but there is an element that they are responding to your cues – they need reassurance from you. There are two simple points I keep in mind as a corporate recruiter (and as a dog owner!)
- ‘A little goes a long way’- sometimes all the candidate, or our lovely Murray, needs is a bit of stroking, something to soothe and relax them, so they know they are in safe hands. Responding to candidates’ enquiries via phone or email takes very little time and is appreciated. A simple update on timings, feedback & ‘next steps’ is all-important in keeping the candidate updated and managing their expectations. Remember, you are representing the corporate brand with every interaction.
- ‘Be more Labrador’ – Labradors have a warm and friendly temperament. They have high energy and an amazing ability to cope well with the ‘hustle and bustle’ of modern life. They are welcoming, and on first meeting, everyone is their pal. In fact, sometimes everyone in the room is their best pal. It’s your job to do the same. Simply ‘keeping in touch’ is vital in these socially distant times.
Be the perfect host
When we return to on-site interviews, ‘being present’ is important – host your candidate and conduct introductions to the Hiring Manager or Interview Panel, share a coffee or give them an office tour before they leave. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet in person – these simple gestures all add to a positive candidate experience. Essentially, you’re walking at their heel throughout the interview process.
And finally…be a good storyteller. Candidates love to hear about corporate success stories – successful products or services and case studies that the company has celebrated. Share these stories with your candidates – get them excited about the prospect of joining a successful company and being part of a winning team.
Run the show – communicate – and tell the stories! We now live in a very different world as we knew it this time last year, more than ever, we need to keep up regular communication to build strong relationships and foster a great candidate experience.
This year, more so than before, we have the opportunity to be creative in our storytelling. Take some inspiration from sports commentator Andrew Cotter. I have loved ‘meeting’ Mabel & Olive over the course of lockdown, and Andrew has turned his sports commentary talents to creating stories about his Labradors…have a watch.
Jo has provided corporate recruitment services to clients on an interim basis since 2008. Her focus is international recruitment & direct sourcing, where key skill sets are scarce and in high demand.