11 Best Practices for Creating Brand Advocates During the Hiring Process
By Tony Fogel
“You will only be contacted if we see a fit,” is the common recruiting refrain that needs to be abandoned. It damages a brand’s reputation and may serve to alienate customers or potential customers. Recruitment outreach is inherently marketing; each job posting is an opportunity to advocate the brand, and attract candidates and customers.
When I was part of a corporate HR team at Pepsi we purchased a family-run business that, to our amazement, had 25 people in their HR department. Incredibly, they interviewed all applicants. We viewed it as extremely inefficient; and the HR team was cut to 3 people. In retrospect, that family-run business understood something very important. They saw recruiting partly as a community service, with all their applicants as customers or potential customers. Why not provide all their customers with the chance to be heard? Why not make fans out of everyone they could, even rejected applicants?
Interviewing all applicants in person is, of course, not practical for most companies. But, at the same time, ignoring the vast majority of them is bad for business. The good news is that the reverse is also true--
The more candidates you have, the greater the opportunity to create brand ambassadors.
#1 Avoid the Black Hole
I often hear from applicants how much they hate not hearing anything from companies to which they’ve applied. They’ve taken the time to apply, shown interest in the prospective
employer and are treated with a black hole of information.
All candidates deserve a response and to know where they stand even if it’s early in a high-volume process. A good recruiting partner, ATS, CRM, or recruiting tool, should be able to help with this. The further along in the process, the more personal responses should be. I try and remember that the second best thing to a yes is a fast no.
#2 BE HONEST & FAST
The second-best thing to a yes is a fast no! When you determine they don’t meet your requirements, let them know. (And why not give them something too, like a discount off their next purchase or an introduction to helpful resources).
#3 - BE ORGANIZED & PROFESSIONAL
Demonstrate what type of company you are by providing an efficient and well-planned recruiting process. Provide realistic job previews in both written descriptions and in answering candidate questions. Remember that friction reduces completion so ELIMINATE friction from your process. Above all, be courteous and respectful. #trisearch
#4 – SHOWCASE YOURSELF TOO
The recruitment process is a two-way street and candidates will appreciate balanced and comprehensive information along the way. Your website, job descriptions, and other materials should not only be high quality and informative, they should be brand-centric, and consistent; this will impress candidates.
#5 – PROVIDE A FRICTIONLESS EXPERIENCE
Simplicity is the new sophistication. Forcing candidates to sift through a complicated application won’t work. Your dropout rates can and should be reduced – don’t be afraid to experiment with removing steps or making them easier to complete. Soon after becoming CHRO at a company, I applied online and was shocked at how much information we required and how cumbersome we made it for applicants. It was a horrible experience that was certainly driving away the best candidates. After we streamlined the process applicant flow increased.
#6 - Stay Tuned!