In the last year or so candidates have enjoyed better job opportunities, but now that choices are available, the process of recruiting may start to influence the perception (and final decision) of the candidates in question. What do candidates think of your recruiting process, and how does their experience affect your hiring?
I have seen and been involved in a complete spectrum of recruiting: from a first lunch that ends in a “you’re hired”, to a multi-week process of interviews, background checks, assessments and application forms. It’s obvious that the informal “offer lunch” yields very little about an individual other than gut feel, but also that some (especially larger) companies have found themselves with an overgrown process “gauntlet” – in many cases with parts outsourced to third parties.
I think we forget that the first impressions that Candidates form about their prospective employer comes from your recruiting process. It sets a kind of tone for what might be to follow. If it’s “slap-happy” and doesn’t seem to dig into the candidate background and experience that much, then the candidate may perceive you don’t really know or care whether they are a good fit. If the process drags on for weeks with endless requests for background from multiple third parties, the candidate may perceive some inherent dysfunction with the company that they might encounter again internally as part of their role. Overall time can be a problem also: too quick and the candidate might use it as a sign to negotiate their value; too slow and you may end up losing a candidate to a competitor that is more “buttoned-up” in their approach.
The answer, as always, in somewhere in the middle: enough diligence to ensure a good fit to the organization, but not dragging on so long that candidates opt out, or become skeptics before their first day.
Since Shadowmatch obviously advocates assessments, I should throw my nickel in on those also briefly. All the process in the world can’t tell you if the candidate will be a good fit to your culture. 90% of process is strictly focused on skills, experience, drug and criminal screening. Because 90% of candidates eventually quit due to cultural mismatch, its seems to me like the effort is biased in the wrong direction; I hope you would agree with me!