The wooing of talent takes skill, determination, availability…and a bit of luck. We don’t like that...
“The patience of a saint.” That’s the sentiment I have heard from candidates who are in the pipeline for an open role. The delays in initial acknowledgment, screening, feedback, even in disposition are rampant. Yes, even in our world of automation. The systems are broken.
At Humareso, we recently had the privilege of working with a client to assess the effectiveness in their recruitment process. Every emoji of SMH should come to your mind if you would like to know their response to the assessment. They had no idea that communication was as slow as it is. They did not know that initial responsiveness was lagging if it happened at all. They assumed their applicant tracking system (ATS) was firing as it should. “But we paid for people, for software, for stuff…how can this be?” Heard and understood, but a common reality.
Starting simply, SaaS products update (If software updating is a revelation to you, please schedule a time to speak with me 😊). Often enough, those updates can alter the flow of built communication. Some new button to check was added and no one on the team knew to do it. As such, those pre-built lines of communication sit inactivated. There have also been times when auto-email communication is sent, but it is the wrong one. It’s so awkward to call a candidate to do a phone screen and hear them respond with, “Oh, I didn’t think I was moving forward. I got an email basically saying thanks but no thanks.” YIKES!
We need not to assume systems are working well if they are working at all. Check them on a regular cadence.
Connecting with applicants is expected. If you’ve made the decision to post a role, then that comes with a commitment to respond to those applying. When recruiters don’t respond to someone who has applied, it should be of no surprise that those same applicants will take to the interwebs to share their experience. They will directly call out the employer branding being espoused by marketing. They may take to social media to name the names of the people who never follow up with them. They may be extraordinarily qualified for the open role, but because their experience was so poor, they self-select out of the process despite your late efforts to reach out to them.
Think about this. If you called a new connection, maybe someone you met at a networking event or someone you met at a bar after a long day at work (it happens), and that person took a week to get back to you, what would you think? Would that be off-putting? Likely, it would be. Maybe they aren’t as interested in connecting with you as you were with them. That would be a reasonable thought. And if that’s the thought of a candidate, that’s not a good look.
So, peek at your process. Do you even have one? Don’t laugh. Plenty of places do not. Or what about your communication? Has anyone read the emails that go out? Are they grammatically correct? Is the cadence of distribution good? And then, what about the phone calls or video chats? Is there a consistent approach to them? Are there qualifying questions asked of all? What’s the structure like?
Perhaps you think a week is more than reasonable to first address a candidate. Perhaps you are right. But what if you’re wrong? Is it worth the risk? The job market says it’s not.