Companies are generally quick to confirm their intentions to attract top talent but actions speak louder than words. Hiring managers need to be aware that a company’s recruitment process is generally the first introduction to its culture. To attract superior candidates, ensure that your hiring process is fit for purpose but also professional. Given the current competitive market, candidates will be choosing carefully who they want their employer to be.
The following checklist outlines some areas to be mindful of when evaluating your recruitment process:
- Allocate Sufficient Time For the Process. It is easy to underestimate the time required to hire personnel. You may be surprised when you list the steps and allocate time for each. The steps may include, reviewing and updating a position description, writing and posting an advert, reviewing applications, answering enquiries about the role, conducting interviews, reference checking, arranging pre-employment medical examinations, offer/negotiation of conditions…the list goes on. It will take at least three months from commencement of a recruitment process to the new person starting. If the hiring manager has insufficient time to undertake these steps, the process will suffer. Larger organisations can often draw on the support of HR Managers, smaller organisations should consider outsourcing the process to recruitment specialists.
- Ensure Position Descriptions are Up to Date. Candidates will judge the professionalism of an employer on the detail and accuracy of a Position Description and/or their willingness to share it with candidates. Be prepared to take enquiries and afford the time to engage with the interested parties. First impressions play a big role in recruitment.
- Communicate with all Candidates. If candidates take the time and effort to submit an application, it is not unreasonable to acknowledge receipt of their application and to inform them of the outcome, even if you only had time to do it by email. Candidates, who receive no such notification, may be discouraged from applying for future job advertisements that closely match their skill set.
- Maintain Momentum of the Hiring Process. Ideally, a candidate should be kept informed of the nature of the selection process after they have been interviewed. Be mindful that good candidates will most likely have alternative job offers, which they may unfortunately take if they encounter a painfully long and drawn-out hiring process.
- Meet Promised Timelines. When a promise is made to a candidate, such as when they will be notified of an outcome, it is important to adhere to it. If delays occur, do notify the candidate of the delay and the reason for it so as not to cause unnecessary anxiety.
The hiring process is a very real reflection of your culture and of your brand. Candidates will draw conclusions from their experiences. Make sure that the face your company presents to prospective candidates is both professional and respectful.