Candidate Experience Part 1:
Develop a Team-Based Strategy
Your company’s success depends on the quality of its Talent. But true Talent is in high demand, and you need to constantly differentiate your company from competitors so that you can hire and retain that top Talent. A great candidate experience is the best way to stand out. From attraction and recruiting, to onboarding and long term retention, Talent Management is foundational to the success of your business.
Crafting and executing a memorable candidate experience is core to building a winning Talent Management strategy. We’ve created a four-part series to walk you through the building blocks of ensuring candidate excitement about your brand. The first and most important aspect of a seamless candidate experience is employing a team-based strategy. Everyone in the company needs to be aligned on recruiting, otherwise, you risk losing great candidates for lack of cohesion.
Develop a standard process, communicate it, and hold your team accountable
Nothing great happens by accident, and your hiring process is no different. Your candidate experience objectives should be:
- Shared throughout the organization
- Sponsored by the executive team as an expectation for supporting company growth.
This process should include all steps of your approach from how your team searches, recruits, and manages the candidate communication through the entire interviewing experience.
This plan should be a living document which can evolve and change as your business grows. Your team should feel empowered to improve it and you should listen to your candidates and adapt to remain competitive. A tangible document allows team members to refer back to the plan. It sets out clear deliverables and assigns responsibility so that all participants can be held accountable for staying on track.
Ensure your team understands their roles
It is imperative that all team members that could potentially interact with a candidate are on board with the goals for attracting this specific person. This includes such activities as greeting the candidate when they arrive for an interview, providing a tour, offering access to company facilities, and obviously goals for the assessment process. It’s also possible that candidates may reach out to a current employee behind the scenes to get more information about the company. So make sure that your entire business is at least aware that recruiting is in an active state.
Before launching a hiring process, effective recruiters get their entire team on board. Finding and welcoming the right candidate is a team effort, including executive management, the hiring manager, and anyone who interacts with the candidate during or after their interview. Be very straightforward with your team that recruiting and onboarding new hires is not only the responsibility of “People Operations.”
Build consensus around the who, how, and why of the candidate evaluation process
If you’re bringing in a new person to fill a gap, then your team may already know why the upcoming hire is necessary. They may understand that the department has a dearth of technical knowledge, for example. But it is still very important to build consensus about who exactly would be a perfect candidate.
It’s entirely acceptable for hiring managers to lead this conversation. Discuss the specific qualifications that you’re looking for in a candidate. Explore which competencies could be less important. Talk about finding the balance between culture fit, expertise, and problem solving capabilities.
Your hiring managers should be 100% consistent on why a candidate is being invited in and how they are being evaluated. There should be no conflicting measuring sticks. The worst possible outcome is a candidate leaving confused, and telling everyone they know about your company’s dysfunctional hiring process.
The first step in creating a memorable candidate experience is building internal team consensus. With your entire team aligned, you can offer a consistent yet differentiating experience to candidates. This can significantly improve your company’s talent attraction efforts and ultimately improve business productivity by netting top talent who feel excited about joining your team.
Stay tuned for Parts 2, 3 and 4 in our series about creating a game changing candidate experience.