Sunday, October 1, 2017

Why You Should Remember You are Hiring People, not Statistics!

What does your current hiring system say about you and your company?

Job seekers are frustrated.

The trend towards automation when it comes to applying for jobs is often to blame. Electronic resumes can be slow to download and the interface with the employer’s application can be confusing, duplicative, or even filled with errors. 

The problems then continue. Job seekers are not always informed their applications have been received. At times applicants are not even kept abreast of where companies are in the hiring process, if the job has been filled, or may not even hear back from them at all.  

This leads to a system that is often fraught with delays and non-communication. Instead of automation making it easier to attract the applicants you need, it creates a process that is impersonal, frustrating, and even downright miserable for many.   

Companies will argue that they have no choice. Expanding their reach is essential in finding a better range of candidates, and that results in the need for online applications. They will also cite the sheer volume of applications they receive. Without programs that search for key words and pre-determined skills, and weed out applications that fall short, they would never get to the next hiring step. 

There is no doubt that when it comes to hiring, automation has its place. 

It is undoubtedly the easiest way to quickly help employers weed out those that are unqualified for the job. Streamlining this process through automation is an invaluable tool.

However, automation is often not the only cause of frustration for job seekers.

Lengthy hiring practices also play a part!

Many companies employ a multi-phase hiring process. There is the pre-screening stage (both automated and by hand). Those candidates that make it through this step are then often contacted by a recruiter or company human resource employee to set up an initial phone interview.

During this phase the applicant will be asked questions related to their submitted application or resume. A select few will then be slated for additional interviews, with the final ones most likely in-person. Oftentimes these interviews are conducted by multiple company representatives and can last anywhere from an hour to a half day or more.

Then starts the waiting game.

Promises to the applicant that they will be contacted “soon” can drag on for weeks or even months. And many times the only updates given are when the applicants themselves reach out. 

This leaves many job seekers in limbo and unsure of where they stand. It is even worse if they end up not being offered the job. It can seem as if applying with your company has been a lengthy waste of their time.   

But while a reliance on automation and multi-step screening practices make the hiring task easier for companies, the question then becomes ~ At What Cost?

Does the Way You Hire Help or Hurt Your Company Brand? “Tweet This”

What You need to know is Applicants Talk!

They share their job search experiences, both good and bad, with each other online and in person.

How does your company rate?

Find out what is being said about you on various social sites. Take note of common complaints and reviews. 

This is a snapshot of your applicants’ experiences.

Next, ask yourself this ~ Do these reviews of your hiring practices paint your company in a good light? Did they leave your applicants with a good impression of you and your company’s practices and values?

Be honest with yourself and, if you find them lacking, take action.

This means moving away from traditional, detached, and scientific hiring decisions and trying a more personal touch.

It starts with treating people not as numbers, or as a statistic, but as individuals.

What can You Do to Improve Your Applicant Experience?

For all Applicants:
Put the “personal touch” back into your Hiring Process.
This is possible even as you continue to use automation. Respond to all applicants. Continually update your job posts with where you are in the hiring process. Doing this will even allow those that don’t reach the next level to know where they stand. This is especially important when the job is filled or you have put your hiring on hold. 

Make your online applications responsive and easy to complete.
Get experts involved in developing your system. Nothing is more frustrating for applicants then when your application doesn’t load or work properly.

Ensure that your desired qualifications are indeed necessary to be successful in your posted job. Without this step you may be missing out on younger applicants or others with a diverse background. 

For those applicants that advance to next step:
Be transparent about every step of your hiring process. Share with them an outline of what will happen and when ~ and don’t forget to update them if something throws a wrench in your anticipated timeline.

These steps will go a long way towards improving your applicant experience and improve your company image!
By taking the time to recognize your applicants as people, not numbers and statistics, you and your company will shine.

More importantly, you will find that your improved reputation will lead to increased interest in working for you and your company ~ and this should be your ultimate goal!

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