To win the war on talent, businesses need to differentiate themselves from other employers by offering a great candidate experience. The length of the hiring process has a major impact on that experience. Take too long to schedule your interviews and meet with the candidates face-to-face, and they may accept another job offer.
Our recent survey of recruiters showed that more than a third of companies took more than two months to hire. Businesses and recruiters have work to do.
The longer you take to hire, the more likely you are to miss out on the candidate that can take your company to the next level. After all, unless a candidate really wants to work with you, they won’t turn down a job offer from one of your competitors. This only lengthens the hiring process on your end.
So how do you attract these great candidates? What can you do to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Speed up your hiring process
As I said in the introduction, the average time to hire for most companies is over two months.
Speeding up your time-to-hire means you’re more likely to be the one who steals candidates from your competition and not have them stolen from you.
Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) is one of the ways in which you can do this. An ATS can help with every step of the hiring process, from shortlisting to interview scheduling to candidate feedback.
The more parts of the hiring process you automate, the more streamlined the hiring process becomes and the faster you can find the right person for the job.
Create a candidate-first hiring process
When creating their hiring process, many companies only think about how it makes them feel. They seldom think about how it affects the people it’s designed for – candidates. This often results in lengthy application processes designed to weed out unsuitable candidates. But these can also have the opposite effect.
Filling in an application form is time-consuming and tedious. If, to apply to your competitor, all a candidate needs to do is submit their CV, they’re much more likely to do that than spend hours on an application form.
Once you’ve shortlisted candidates and chosen whom you want to interview, allowing candidates to choose their own interview slots is another way to put candidates first. They can pick their interview slot at their own convenience, meaning they don’t need to reschedule prior appointments.
The interview panel, meanwhile, spends less time coordinating their schedules because the slots suggested to candidates update in real-time.
Offering feedback is another way for companies to create a candidate-first approach. This is something that few companies offer but that every candidate wants. After all, how can they improve if they don’t know what they need to improve on?
By speeding up the hiring process, HR managers have more time to spend getting to know candidates and can use this time to offer them more in-depth feedback. Candidates can then learn from this, and, if they’re happy with their experience, may even reapply in the future for the same or a similar role.
Write a job description that reflects your company’s culture
Don’t just write a dry and boring job description that sounds like something any other company could throw together. Let your company’s personality shine through!
It’s just as important for businesses to stand out in the job market as it is for candidates. Writing a job description that reflects your company’s culture immediately weeds out those that wouldn’t be a good fit. It therefore saves you time and money in the long-term.
11:FS does a great job of injecting personality into their job descriptions while keeping it formal. They even have a section called ‘Nothing tickles your fancy?’ for anyone who wants a role with the company but can’t find one to suit their skillset.
People like to know what they’re signing up for, and jobs are no different. The more open and honest you are as a company, the more applicants can make an informed decision about whether it’s the place for them.
Buffer is a great example of a transparent company. They’re open about the money that they make and where it goes, and they also openly discuss their experiments – even the unsuccessful ones – on their blog. They’re also open about their onboarding process, and why they changed it…based on candidate feedback.
Applicants can then use this information to make an informed decision about whether they believe the company is the right fit for them. If they feel that it isn’t, they can spend their time applying for a different role. Hiring managers, meanwhile, don’t need to spend time filtering out candidates who won’t be comfortable in the company’s culture.
Create a positive working environment
When employees are happy, they’re more likely to speak highly of their employer. This can include positive comments online, or sharing positive experiences with colleagues.
Reviews on sites like Glassdoor can go a long way to changing a person’s mind about applying for – or accepting – a job offer, so don’t take these sites lightly.
To attract the best talent, there are two key things you need to do: streamline your hiring process, and have your hiring process accurately reflect your company’s culture. Both of these things set candidates up for success from the start. A speedy hiring process makes your company look forward-thinking, well-organized, and welcoming. It also keeps candidates informed of every step of the hiring process.
When your hiring process reflects your company’s culture, candidates know exactly what to expect from the start. That means it’s easier to find people who fit your company’s culture. There’s also less of a risk of new employees churning because they’re uncomfortable in the working environment.