A missed opportunity in recruiting

If you’ve ever applied for a job anywhere, you probably had a terrible experience.

Submitting an application into a black hole.

Waiting weeks without hearing anything. Maybe never hearing anything at all.

Vague instructions and trying to guess what the selection criteria are.

Delays getting an answer from early interviews.

Lack of any feedback if you get to later interviews.

More delays getting an offer…then, suddenly, time is of the essence and you must make a decision right now!

For most candidates at most companies, this is probably familiar. How does it make you feel about that company? They might be building awesome products, using the latest tech and working on a problem you really want to be part of. You start off with a great impression from their cool products, external marketing and great reputation, only to leave the process disappointed.

Recruiters are a waste of time – not only do they do a terrible job for their clients but they usually contribute to the reputation damage inflicted by badly run processes. But the companies themselves are just as bad. Once a recruiter hands the process over, then they could still run things properly.

Recruitment is odd in that it usually fails – the most common outcome is the failure of the candidate. That’s by design. Many more people interact with the company through the recruitment process than will ever be employed there.

So why not make them advocates? Or at least not detractors.

Even with the disappointment of not being selected for a job, the company can still leave the candidate with a positive impression.

A well run recruitment process should always send replies quickly and keep the candidate informed at all stages. The candidate should never have to chase for a response. It should be run quickly, with progression to the next stage happening over the course of days or within 1-2 weeks. Schedules sometimes don’t fit but with people being the most crucial aspect of the success of a business, making time for candidates should be a priority. And if a candidate dedicates time to the process, the least you can do is let them know why they weren’t successful in the end.

Every company uses a system to process applications. Communication should be built in, it can even be automated at the early stages. There is no excuse.

Why? Because the candidate might become a customer. They might tell their friends (who could be suitable candidates). They might apply for another position in the future.

Recruitment is another opportunity to build the company brand. To do some marketing. To enhance reputation and show off. It should be treated as such.