Streamlining the recruitment experience

In a recent article, we discussed the tough business of attracting talent in 2022. One of the key points was streamlining the recruiting process. This is such an important topic that it bears further exploration.

You can start by identifying what your qualified prospects look like. You can consider:

  • Are they actively or passively seeking a new job?
  • What is their skill set?
  • What are their desires and demands going to be?

Then, you have to think about what your Value Proposition is as an employer. You’ve defined who you are offering to – so what are you going to offer them?

The next step will be to figure out the best way to communicate that. Luckily, this is not a new science, and you won’t have to make it up as you go along. Simply view the recruitment process as a sales conversation, and break it down as follows below.

What information does the prospect need to sustain interest in your company?

Like you would do with any sale, put yourself in their shoes. What would you want/need to know before you put an employer on your short list? A few things you’d likely be interested in are:

  • Compensation
  • Opportunities to move up
  • Resources for personal/professional development

But knowing what needs to be said and saying it effectively are two different things. To get the attention of recruits, you typically have to use advertising methods that offer limited space and/or time. You also have to stand out from a sea of competing advertisers, and intrigue them quickly.

Try to give as much of the important info as you can as quickly as possible. Give them only what they need to know that it’s worth their time to do further research on your company.

If you try to seal the deal at first contact, you’re going to lose them altogether. There is a simple reason for this: they need more info. If you try to convince them with a billboard or 15-second commercial, you’re going to be too vague.

Your goal with first contact should not be to secure talent – it should be to get them to take the next step down your funnel. Every stage of your funnel needs to come with a very specific call-to-action. You call-to-action can be a small thing; in fact, a call-to-action that is convenient and easy to follow is ideal. This is the very essence of streamlining the recruiting process.

Vagueness kills interest

Vagueness either sounds like withholding info, or poor communication. Neither one of these reflects positively on you as an employer, because it won’t instill faith that you’re responsive.

Vagueness also creates feelings of uncertainty for the recruit. Their time is valuable to them, and if all they’re left with is a vague and indifferent-sounding invitation to follow up, such as “apply @ our website”, they have no idea what they’re getting into if they do go there.

Are they going to quickly and easily find answers to their questions? Or are they going to find a needlessly difficult application process and a confusing user experience?

Again, you have to think of the recruit like a sales prospect. When somebody has decided that they want to give you their money, or need more info about your product, do you believe in making it hard for them to do business with you?

If your message has reached the ideal prospect, they’re interested. They’re not looking to sign the dotted line. They’re wondering what they have to do to find the answer to their questions. If you can predict what those questions are, and answer them directly, you’ll do two important things:

  1. You’ll provide them with a way to quickly and conveniently learn what they need to know
  2. You’ll show that you understand them

Here’s an important thing to realize: they’re not only asking what you are like as an employer. They’re asking what it’s going to be like for them to find out what you’re like as an employer.

Common problems in the recruitment process

If any of the problems below are present in your recruiting funnel, they are things you can easily fix for a strong return:

  • an obscure link or portal to your online application process
  • outdated or clunky forms
  • Pages/portals that are not user friendly, or are broken, or take too long to load. The attitude that “people who want to work will find a way to contact us” will lose you prospects. Assume that at least some valuable workers are taking you off the short list if your website doesn’t make it easy for them.
  • forms that ask for too much info, or ask for irrelevant info, or ask for too much info too early in the process. You don’t need their SSN or last 7 years of work history (no gaps!) just to reveal basic details about the position, and they don’t want to give it to you just find out if it’s worth their time to apply.
  • A vague call-to-action at any step of the process.

Gone are the days when employers had the luxury of screening out less valuable workers by making the process difficult or tedious to navigate. In 2022, the most valuable workers are looking for great opportunities, and they understand that the market has changed.

Regardless of whether this is convenient or not, you need to be in touch with reality to navigate the unforgiving landscape that is business in 2022. You’ll never get around to any other aspect of business if you can’t attract and retain key talent, and streamlining the courting process will help you do that.

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