Three Key Ingredients For Creating A Positive Candidate Experience

Not only is a positive candidate experience vital to attract talent, it's also critical from a reputation standpoint. Given the power of social media, candidates who share poor experiences online can cause significant damage to both the corporate brand and employer brand. Conversely, great experiences that are shared online can have a positive effect.

There are many steps to create a positive candidate experience, but here are three key ingredients for success.

1. Open communication

It's critical to keep candidates updated on your process and your decision. When candidates don't hear back in a timely fashion, they often move on to other opportunities, sometimes carrying negative emotions about the process if left in the dark.

Communicate with the candidate throughout the process and provide council to them as needed. Clearly explain next steps and when they can expect to hear back from you. Advise them early on if they're not going to be part of the short list, speaking with them weekly and sometimes daily throughout the search.

2. A positive interview experience

The interview is perhaps the most vital interaction a candidate has with a prospective employer. According to a LinkedIn survey, 83% of candidates surveyed said a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. Conversely, 87% of those surveyed said a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.

A positive interview experience is simply a matter of respect. It starts with the courtesy of being on time for the interview and thanking them for participating when it's over.

3. The human touch

While technology is transforming HR and the hiring process is becoming increasingly automated, the human touch is still critically important. A personalised approach will make candidates feel like they truly matter and keep them engaged, which will help an organization stand out in the candidate's mind.

Infuse every interaction with a personal touch. For example, help new hires with the offer negotiation process and serve as a sounding board to them, as well as an advisor. Also, follow up with new hires on their integration into the company and meet with them 30 days into their new role for a coaching and feedback session.

Adapted from "Why The Candidate Experience Matters More Than Ever - And How To Improve It" by Howard Pezim, Partner, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Bedford Consulting Group Inc.

The World Continues To Change. Has The Way You Interview Kept Pace?

Change has, of course, been with us forever. The current rate of change, however, is new.

This shift is so profound that it challenges the very essence of what it means to be a leader. From a recruitment perspective it also means revisiting the multi-headed hydra known as "FIT". For example, in discussions with CEO's and Boards, it is commonplace to hear "comfort with risk," "learning agility" and "global reach" as critical leadership competencies.

That there is robust dialogue around the leadership competencies required for turbulent times is undeniable. Often absent from this discussion … how to assess these competencies during the interview. Now more than ever, the interview is a make or break issue.

Technique

Although engaging the candidate is an important facet of the interview, make sure to:

  • Approach the interview as if it were a critical business meeting, e.g., develop a game plan prior to the interview.
  • Remember, "success" draws verifiable evidence of past success.
  • Employ a consistent approach when dealing with multiple candidates.
  • Make the candidate feel comfortable and be transparent about your organisation and the mandate at hand (this is ultimately in both parties best interest).
  • Write-up the interview.

Process

Within a multi-stakeholder environment several key questions emerge:

  • Have the appropriate stakeholders been engaged in the process to solicit their insights on the ideal candidate profile?
  • Does everyone interviewing the candidate know their specific role and respective focus/probe areas?
  • Is there clear alignment amongst all stakeholders as to what the role-specific leadership competencies are?
  • Does each interview add value?

Shortcomings in either technique or process lead to poor decisions when evaluating "FIT". They become even more concerning when set against the new lexicon of leadership. Anyone who interviews as part of their role should ask "What am I and my organisation going to do to improve the way we interview?" Your capability to attract and assess top talent will continue to be critical to both your personal and your organisation's success. Indeed, it just might be dependent on it.

Insights from "The world continues to change … has the way you interview kept pace?" by Darren Raycroft.

The Benefits of Virtual Employment

"Virtual employment" has been embraced enthusiastically by some. Others have found it to be an unwanted intrusion into their lives. One study in Canada, the "11th Annual Salary Guide," found that two in five employees (43%) believe their companies have failed to provide measures that support their well-being throughout the pandemic. The lack of social interaction (45%), isolation/loneliness (27%) and increased workload (25%) being the main reasons. What can be said for sure is that things will never return to the way they were.

The virtual workplace has four major benefits:

  1. Cost savings. The obvious saving being significantly reduced office costs. Meanwhile, wage and benefit costs - especially if a large number of administrative staff can be recruited from low wage areas of the country or even offshore - can be trimmed. If you are based in a high-cost city such as San Francisco, London or Sydney this is no small thing. There is evidence that remote employees work an additional 1.4 days per month than in-office employees. (Inc. Magazine, October 2019.) The same source suggests that remote workers save over $4,000 per year on travel costs (compared to in-office employees).
  2. Lifestyle. There are an increasing number of city dwellers who - for lifestyle, the cost of housing and family reasons - would love to replace concrete with grass, a high-rise balcony with a garden and a seat on the subway with a quiet cup of coffee at home. Family health is especially impactful. Even after a workable COVID-19 vaccine is available, what will continue to be an emotional burden well into the future is the sense of vulnerability, the feelings of helplessness and the fear that accompanies a pandemic.
  3. Monitoring performance. Remote work is relatively easy to monitor. Tracking ongoing productivity and key outcomes is invaluable. Expect the technology in this respect to advance in leaps and bounds.
  4. Organisation agility. When fixed costs are replaced by variable costs, additions - or reductions - in the workforce become easier to manage. Moreover, having developed the tools to support a virtual workforce - webinars, products, video meetings, distance learning - greater value can be derived from the established training and development budget.

The benefits of remote working as decribed are far from the end of the story. Beyond this crisis lies, what well may be, an even bigger social upheaval. Many of the positions currently being moved away from the traditional office represent exactly the type of work that technology will disrupt/replace tomorrow. While employees work to become proficient in Zoom and other video-based communication tools, an army of technologists are working on Artificial Intelligence, algorithms and alternative ways for "the machine" to make further inroads into routine work.

Extract from "Virtual Employment: Don't Assume One Size Fits All" Orxestra Inc., © 2021

Leaders Who Capitalise On These Opportunities Will Set Themselves Apart

The pandemic is moving us into the future and creating a host of opportunities - a professional renaissance. In 2014, global futurist, best-selling author, and speaker Jack Uldrich remarked: "the future does not belong to 'a place.'" The pandemic has fast-tracked us towards this future.

As a result, we are experiencing a dramatic, systemic, and permanent change in many areas of life, particularly in our workforce. Enormous productivity advantages await companies that can take advantage of potential increases in productivity, skills, and compensation rates by hiring the best people wherever they live.

Companies that can execute a seamlessly integrated approach that maximises the value from this potential exponential growth in creativity, diversity, and efficiencies will see productivity expansion and increased profits. Of course, this is easier hypothesised than executed, but with the entire world working on seamless integration and explosive value coming from incremental and step-change value creation. It is a good bet to see dramatic improvements soon; this is what we might expect.

Leaders who capitalise on these opportunities will set themselves apart with greater agility, emotional intelligence, and authentic communication. The winning leaders of the future will be empathic, engaged with their teams, and skilled at delivering impact on challenging problems.

Insights from "Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore" by Chris Swan.

Virtual Employment: Don't Assume One Size Fits All
bedfordgroup.com

The COVID-19 crisis has changed, indelibly, our assumptions about leadership, the nature of work, what it means to be an employee, the hiring process and business travel/training. It has also shaken the very pillars of the so-called 'modern organisation'. When large numbers of employees are asked to work remotely we are redefining both the organisation's culture and what it means to be an organisation.

With today's challenge in mind, John Burdett outlines a simple workforce matrix to segment the work population and highlights five central questions that, as you come down the COVID-19 mountain, are worthy of reflection.

Read "Virtual Employment: Don't Assume One Size Fits All" leadership insights

Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore
linkedin.com

The pandemic has accelerated trends as nothing else could. We are experiencing a dramatic, systemic, and permanent change in many areas of life, particularly in our workforce. Chris Swan peers into the future to explore what we might expect:

  • The sweeping change of in-office employment
  • Impact on immigration and education
  • Leaders the future demands
  • The future is brighter than you think

Read "Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore" leadership insights

Recruitment Trends Shaping the Job Market in 2020
sladegroup.com.au

Anita Ziemer talks about recruitment and selection trends in 2020, the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn and how it's affecting the job market. Anita speaks candidly about her profession and how candidates can better work with recruiters. She gives job hunters inside tips, from understanding the mechanics of the recruitment and selection process to making your resume more effective, and your skills more easily noticed by the recruiter.

Read "Recruitment Trends Shaping the Job Market in 2020" leadership insights

Project: Core Strength
sladegroup.com.au

"It's no longer candidates who are nervous at interview; it's now hiring managers who are anxious about identifying the character traits they'll need to survive and thrive beyond the impact of COVID-19. This is as true for Boards and CEOs as it is for recruiters and line managers."

This study uncovers the employee attributes that will enable organisations to thrive in uncertain times.

Read "Project: Core Strength" leadership insights

The Now, The Next, and The New Normal
aesc.org

"It's important to take lessons out of this rather quickly. So, what can you learn out of this crisis? What can you do? How can you shape your solution? How can you shape your services? How can you shape the sale of your product? This is pretty much something that every single industry or every single client has to think about." - Ullrich Ackermann, Chair of the Board at TRANSEARCH.

Ullrich shares his views on dealing with the ever-evolving status of organisational life, with the AESC.

Read "The Now, The Next, and The New Normal" leadership insights

Where the interviewee is truly a top candidate both parties are being fully evaluated

Where the interviewee is truly a top candidate both parties are being fully evaluated. As a recruiter, there are candidate questions that you must know how to answer. Although by no means replete, in some ways, the 10 questions outlined are an acid test of how prepared you are for the turbulent talent management path that lies ahead.

10 candidate questions from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions"

Insights from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions" by John Burdett.

Bringing on board great candidates draws on six fundamental hiring building blocks

Uncovering, informing, involving, inspiring and successfully bringing on board great candidates draws on six fundamental, hiring building blocks:

  1. A winning hiring value proposition. People do not join your organisation … they connect with your story.
  2. The means to define (measure) both the organisation culture you have and the culture you need. Successful recruitment is always strategic!
  3. A robust performance scorecard.
  4. The means to define the emerging role-specific leadership competencies.
  5. In that tomorrow's organisation will be a team of teams, the tools to measure and assess future team fit.
  6. An integration process that provides the structure, support and the tools to enable newly hired executives to take a leadership role in their own integration. Given the opportunity, leaders lead!

Insights from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions" by John Burdett.