Instead of waiting until your organization meets prospective candidates in person to create a connection, why not use the interconnectedness of the web to build those relationships earlier in the recruiting cycle? By communicating your company value proposition, allowing candidates to connect with employees, and having a quality application process; your organization can create a strong foundation for consistently attracting best-in-class talent.
Phase 1: Employer A vs. B, C & D
When prospective candidates are seeking an employment opportunity, they are trying to understand how well your organization meets their pre-defined criteria when compared to other organizations of interest. Candidates will use a variety of tools to check on your digital footprint (Yes, candidates check on you just like you check on them.); from Google searches to visiting your company website or looking for you on the Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn). Given this diligence process, it is in your best interest to make relevant information available that will help candidates make a better decision. Not only does this information need to be available, but it should also clearly communicate how your organization is different from other employers. It could be industry leadership, great training programs, rapid advancement, social responsibility, or awesome work-life balance. Whatever the reason, your digital footprint should be able to clearly establish at least 3 reasons why prospective candidates should want to work at your company versus other organizations they are considering.
Phase 2: What are the employees like?
Once candidates have been able to establish initial interest, your organization can then allow interaction with various employees. Through online chat (text/video), email, or a phone call; prospective candidates can begin to establish a real connection and affinity to employees at your company. This process can allow them to compare your digital footprint to reality. Do employees at your company really work on cool projects? Is there actually great work-life balance? In addition, enabling candidates to communicate with employees humanizes your company. Despite all the technological advances, in most cases, candidates will still have to work in a physical space with other people. By providing an opportunity to interact with real employees, there will be an increased ability to create the connection and communicate the information necessary to ultimately recruit top candidates.
Phase 3: Employment Application, Any Good?
Up to this point, your organization has effectively communicated your baseline value proposition and then enabled qualified candidates to connect with employees. All of this has happened prior to a prospective candidate submitting an application. Based on the information shared and relationship established to this point, your organization can really shine if you have a great employment application process in place. Is the employment application easy to fill out? Does the application capture relevant information? Does the application communicate that your organization is most interested in seeking top talent? Once the candidate applies, he/she should be quickly notified that their application has been received and is currently being reviewed. Following the review process, candidates should be informed of their status (selected / not selected). For those candidates selected for an interview, not only can the recruiting team reach out to them for interview scheduling and next steps but also those employees they connected with in Phase 2. This creates additional touch points and opportunities for candidates to develop additional affinity for your organization.
By utilizing the Internet to facilitate a connection and communicate key information, your organization has done an excellent job at building relationships with prospective candidates. Once the employee meets members of your organization in person during the interview; you have already done an excellent job of convincing them that your company is an employer of choice. During the process, there was also an opportunity to learn a great deal about the prospective candidate. This mutual sharing and communication creates a much better dynamic which will inevitably lead to an increase in quality of hire, yield, and retention.
–Omowale Casselle (@mysensay)
About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the co-founder and CEO of mySenSay, a social recruiting community focused on connecting talented college students with amazing entry-level employment opportunities. Our solution integrates social media, real-time web-based communication, and intelligent analytics to enable employers and students to discover, interact, and connect with each other.
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