Candidate-Centric Recruiting: Are You Putting Candidates First?

Man in a sweater chatting across a desk with a second person

In the past, people would get hired, do the same job for 40 or 50 years, get the gold watch and a fat pension, and retire. It was unusual for someone to have more than two or three jobs in an entire lifetime. These days, people have 10 jobs before they’re 35. People move jobs all the time. In this swirling eddy of candidates picking and choosing for whom they work, you have to do something eye-catching to attract them.

Sure, you could throw money at them and promise them quick upward mobility. You could brag about your company’s culture. These tools are only marginally effective, however, because modern talent isn’t only savvy but also extremely unwilling to waste time. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to stand out. All you have to do is make the candidate feel valued, which you can accomplish by putting the candidate first.

Begin with a personal touch. Don’t send form letters; instead, send a personal letter. Even that small amount of acknowledgment is enough to say, “You are not just a number.” Talk to them aside from email. In a world of FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and the like, it’s easy to connect. A candidate will love the fact that you took the time to say “hi.” Even if a candidate somehow doesn’t have access to a video chat program, you can text or write to him or her in real time. If the candidate doesn’t measure up, then you can usually figure that out during a real-time conversation in less than a minute.

Nearly a quarter of candidates will tell people not to apply to your company if they feel ignored, disrespected, or thrown by the wayside. In a world where you have to spend real time and capital acquiring top talent, you can’t afford that kind of bad press. It’s no longer possible just to cue up the applicant tracking system and let the algorithms do all of the work. Talent acquisition software should be a tool, not the entire process.

The best way to get noticed in the first place is to have an attention-grabbing career site. Make sure there’s plenty of interesting content in addition to flashy graphics and bright colors. 21st-century candidates are sophisticated and don’t appreciate empty promises and poorly designed web content.

Nearly nine out of ten job seekers will look up your company website to find out more about you first. Make it easy for them to do so. It’s a good idea to provide bullet lists of employee value propositions on your career website and to include real-life examples of those propositions and their effect on actual employees. With the right recruiting solutions in place, you’ll find your ideal candidates in no time.