hiring process best practices

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The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 1969. Candidates have options. The best candidates are in high demand. For hiring companies to get these candidates they will need to do more courting. Because it was a seller’s market, many hiring companies built more hurdles into their hiring process. Some of these hurdles included months of interviewing, psychological testing, and multiple work and presentation tasks. I’ve even heard from one candidate that they were asked to develop, as a test, a website and banner ads for free.

In this new low unemployment environment, the best candidates are going to be scooped up quickly and some of these hiring processes will need to change. How can hiring companies change and get the best candidates?

Easier Application Process

A survey conducted by CareerArc indicated that employers routinely put candidates through an arduous, on average 3 to 4 hour, application and ATS data entry process to even get into the “stack”, while 72% of employers spend less than 15 minutes reviewing the same application.

Speed Up the Hiring Process

…Or be prepared to explain to the candidate why the hiring process needs to be so long. What is the benefit to the company of a long hiring process? There certainly doesn’t seem to be one for the candidate. Be prepared to offer optional times or ways for a candidate to interview – a Skype interview after hours versus taking time off to visit. One candidate said, “I’m a contractor with a great hourly rate. I want a full time job but I can’t take the risk and cost of taking multiple days off. I can go in once but I’m going to have to say “no” to two or three times.” Build in required feedback from the interviewers into your hiring process schedule. Create penalties for not meeting those requirements or rewards if you prefer the carrot to the stick.

Communicate Consistently

Reach out often to both the candidate and/or their recruiter. Be responsive. Exercise common courtesy. Make sure to let the candidate know next steps or if the job is filled or on hold. If a candidate visits let them know one way or another about the job status. I can say from personal experience, I had an interview with a company in another state who paid to fly me in for a visit and I never, ever heard back from them. I called and had no response. To this day, I won’t buy anything from this company.

Fully 65% of candidates in CareerArc’s survey indicated that they NEVER receive any notification whatsoever about their application, and for those who do receive notice, 51% indicated that it takes a month or more to get feedback, and even then, it’s likely to be auto-generated and contain multiple errors.

Take Action on Reviews

CareerArc’s survey also indicated that 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience recently, and nearly 60% of employers had read negative candidate reports on their company…but 28% had never even checked for online candidate reports. Over 70% of respondents said they had shared that bad experience online or with someone directly. If you haven’t felt the impact of a bad Glassdoor review, be prepared. Responding to feedback in social media is critical to your company’s reputation and your responsibility for effectively managing the hiring process.

Hiring companies need to have some basic empathy for their candidates if they want to hire the best of the best. Not only are you hurting your chances of getting a great candidate by not implementing a good hiring process but you are hurting your brand.

Interested in assistance with your hiring process or your recruiting needs? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiter, Liz Siegel, at [email protected] or 312.589-7580.


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