Karen Bloom, principal and CEO of Bloom, Gross & Associates has devoted her career to creating exceptional candidate experiences. In addition, Karen is a role model for mentoring recruiters and contributing to the profession through her on-going work with the Chicago Staffing Management Association. I caught up with Karen in Orlando at the SHRM Staffing Management conference and asked her what can be done to improve the candidate experience. When it comes to employee selection, Karen says: communicate clearly and often, establish expectations and disclose the nature of your hiring decision.
In an earlier video, Gerry Crispin also spoke about the importance of setting expectations in the employee selection process. Companies in general and recruiters, in particular, have increased reliance on digital messages, web pages, boiler-plate e-mail for status disposition messages from the ATS, or no message to the candidate at all.
Candidates want to know what to expect. If you are not going to communicate with them, tell them. If you are going to only contact the top 10 candidates, tell them the date you will do so. Give the candidate some sense of the “what” and “when” in your candidate evaluation process. Process information and expectations will help them know when to stop thinking you might be interested in them.
Karen talks about communication touch points. If you have a multi-step process that will stretch out over several weeks, share that information. You can use simple clear messages. And the message might be different for batch hires, continuously open requisitions, and individual hires.
A sample message for batch hiring might read like this:
We will be hiring 20 individuals to start a class in December.
Applications will be screened for minimum qualifications in September and October
Candidates meeting minimum qualifications will be invited to complete a pre-employment assessment in late September and early October.
Telephone interviews will be conducted in during the same time frame.
Final interviews will be conducted and job offers to the most qualified candidates will be made by November 1st.
Candidates have a life too. Make it easy for them to know where they stand. Even if the message is shared indirectly, (did not get an invitation to the pre-employment test, did not get a call for the telephone interview, did not hear anything by November 1st). Applicants appreciate participating in a well-informed candidate experience.