I firmly believe that hiring well is essential to the ongoing success of any business. Having worked at a leading global recruiter for 13 years, I have seen first-hand how the right candidate for a role will hit the ground running, add continuous value and, ultimately, improve an organisation’s bottom line.
On the other hand, hiring the wrong candidate for a role can have serious consequences. They may be unable to complete tasks to adequate standards, damage customer relationships or team cohesion, or compromise key projects. A hire is unlikely to stay in an ill-suited role for long, necessitating the hiring process to start from scratch, costing yet more time and money – expense which could have been avoided.
Having a well-developed process for screening and assessing those applying for roles makes sound commercial sense. Crucially, this process should ensure that every applicant – whether successful or not – has a positive experience of your organisation.
So, how can you hone your hiring methods to consistently achieve the best quality of hire, whilst ensuring that all applicants have a positive candidate journey?
1. Before trying to define your ideal candidate, define your brand values
What does your organisation stand for, and what values does it uphold? How would you describe your company ethos? How do you communicate the vision and goals of your business? The answers to these questions start to build a picture of the type of person you need in your organisation.
Skills, qualifications and technical requirements for a role need to be articulated, but it is also vital to clearly define and communicate your workplace culture, aims and ambitions, to ensure all those responsible for hiring can identify candidates who are aligned with these.
2. Your organisation’s culture and Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is central to your candidate journey
Your EVP is the unique set of benefits, characteristics and offerings you provided to employees, in return for the skills and capabilities they bring. An employer with a compelling EVP delivers an authentic and consistent identity into both the internal and external market, creating an attractive and distinct employer brand, which runs through every communication and touchpoint.
From job adverts and screening tools, through to your career site, induction and employee literature, your organisational culture and EVP should be central to every stage of the candidate journey, delivering a clear message of who you are as a company, which potential employees can identify with.
By managing expectations early, you help candidates recognise whether they are a good fit or not. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of assessing and interviewing unsuitable candidates, thus wasting hiring managers’ time, but it increases the likelihood of recruiting talent which is aligned with your goals and values; making your hiring more future-proof.
3. Creating a positive assessment experience
Whether you use one-to-one interviews or assessment centres to identify your preferred candidate, remember that you want to create an experience which both allows and encourages them to show themselves at their best. It will not help you to make a confident hiring decision if the skills, qualities and attitude to be a success in the role are not well defined or included in the assessment criteria. Regardless of the outcome, you want your candidates to feel they have been treated professionally, assessed fairly and accurately against the role, and that their time has been well-invested.
4. Have a positive process for dealing with unsuccessful applicants
In the well-connected, opinion-sharing world of today, poor feedback can extend far beyond a candidate’s direct personal network: such as social media and online forums. Employee review sites are fertile grounds for airing grievances, and are easily accessible to any future applicants researching their next career move. Furthermore, the unsuitable candidate for one role may be perfect for another. Your organisation can only benefit from ensuring the experience of every candidate was positive from beginning to end.
Effective recruitment is a two-way process, both parties seeking to show themselves at their very best. By understanding and defining what makes you a great company to work for, candidates buying into your brand have the opportunity to align their application and demonstrate the very talent you are seeking.
Benchmark your candidate experience today
To take your candidate experience to the next level, complete the Candidate Journey Diagnostic for your personalised report. Use our assessment tool to benchmark your current candidate experience against best practice, from how you attracting the best candidates to retaining your top talent.
About this author
Matthew joined Hays in the UK in 2002, initially working as a Consultant in Hays Taxation in London before moving to Hays Talent Solutions where he was responsible for designing, presenting and negotiating RPO and managed service solutions. Having structured solutions across multiple industry sectors with both onsite and offsite models, Matthew relocated to Australia in 2009 where he was responsible for Hays managed service business across APAC. Matthew subsequently moved back to London to take on the role of Global Managing Director for Talent Solutions.