CMO at Modern Hire, with 25 years of experience in leading and building brands, teams and scalable marketing engines for SaaS companies.
As we pass the six-month point since Covid-19 first impacted the country, so much has changed. We began this calendar year with a candidate’s market and record lows in unemployment. Candidates had their pick of jobs, and recruiting teams had a tough go finding qualified candidates to fill open roles.
Now, the tables have turned. Pandemic-related layoffs and furloughs have flooded the job market, and enterprise recruiting teams are overwhelmed sorting through thousands of applicants for one open role.
Yes, so much has changed, but let’s not lose sight of what has not:
• Candidates haven’t stopped expecting hiring interactions that feel personal, fast and convenient.
• Organizations haven’t stopped needing candidates who can step into a role and start contributing on day one.
If anything, the candidate experience has become essential in a talent market like we’re facing today, especially for companies that need to hire many workers quickly. At Modern Hire, our recruiting technology platform allows recruiters and hiring managers to streamline the process and give candidates a great first impression. Based on our experience, for companies that want to answer applicant overload challenges with a candidate experience that performs, we know that enhanced candidate communication skills and the right tech tools are required.
Tips For Communication That Enhances The Hiring Experience
When work overwhelms, communication is often the first thing that slips, right? In this candidate-abundant market though, we can’t slide back to the traditional black hole of communication in hiring. Modern candidates don’t tolerate radio silence from potential employers very well.
The key to ramping up communication is building it into existing hiring workflows. Here are a few suggestions for accomplishing this:
• Make providing more information — not less — the rule whenever possible.
• Use mobile technology to communicate with candidates. By reaching them on their primary devices and preferred modes of communication, you’re more likely to get in touch with them faster and enhance their hiring experience.
• Create more touch points with candidates during each step of the hiring process as you assess whether they’re a good fit for the role. Tailor your messaging at each touch point so it fits well within the larger context of the candidate’s hiring journey with your organization. This can be as simple as an automated text updating candidates on their application review status or where the recruiting team is in the hiring process.
• Use automated interview scheduling technology to speed up the often-tedious interview scheduling process. Instead of the back and forth, this enables candidates to self-select the time that works best for the interview, cutting down the time to hire and improving the candidate experience.
Ultimately, the way you communicate with and treat all prospective candidates, whether you’re conducting high-volume hiring or seeking to fill a handful of roles, reflects on your organization. Treating candidates with your organization’s values and culture in mind — and with a strong human touch — has the potential to instantly enhance candidates’ hiring experiences.
Technologies That Improve Hiring In A Candidate-Abundant Market
While it’s important to treat all candidates with a personal touch, it’s impossible to sift through all applications and move the strongest ones forward quickly without technology. Here are some things to consider looking for in a platform as you realign your candidate experience with the inundated talent environment:
• Technology that is backed by scientific study in the area of human behavior in the workplace. The integration of industrial-organizational psychology (I/O) theory and advances in I/O learning are essential in ensuring hiring technology truly can perform as promised in terms of supporting candidate evaluation and selection in a high-volume hiring environment. It also protects against the introduction of bias.
• Technology that harnesses data for day-to-day talent acquisition practices. It should enable recruiting teams to determine the characteristics that lead to on-the-job success within the organization for specific roles, and pinpoint which candidates have those core competencies and would be more likely to thrive in the role. I believe the use of data to inform hiring decisions is the future of best practices in enterprise talent acquisition. Data-driven hiring can lead to improved new-hire productivity and retention and supports diversity in hiring.
• Technology that is easy for candidates and hiring teams to use. The return on investment is low on technology that either isn’t well-adopted within the organization or is frustrating and confusing for candidates. Evaluate tech investments by considering a platform’s ease of use on the go, and its ability to shorten the hiring process with automation and other efficiencies. Both aspects have a positive impact on candidates’ hiring experiences, and they also ease the process for recruiters and hiring managers, particularly when it comes to communication.
Transparency Is Vital For Virtual Communication
The importance of transparency in candidate communication can’t be overstated, especially as the pandemic has sped up the virtualization of hiring. Candidates are looking for the realities of working in your organization, and they will be quick to spot messaging that isn’t authentic. At the same time, candidates want the chance to be frank about their qualifications for your job. The more you can use enhanced communication channels and technologies to create deep insights and honest dialogue, the more personal your candidates’ hiring experiences with you will be.
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