Open letter to business owners around the world who need to recruit world class talent

Dear business owner,

You need to fill a role within your business in order to achieve your strategic goals, and you entrust the job to either an internal recruiter, an external recruiter or a department head to get it done. You want a specific type of person to help you fill a skills gap and deliver on your targets. And you need them now.

Well, I must tell you that unfortunately, the people you have tasked with completing the recruitment of these key roles may well be failing your business.

In an age where it is relatively easy to apply online for a role, there is becoming a trend for recruiters to not respond to applicants. Maybe it is because there are too many applications, maybe it is because the recruiters are too busy, but either way it is not right, and it doesn’t do you as a potential employer any favours.

It means that you are missing out on some amazing talent that could take your business to the next level. It means that you are getting a reputation as an employer that doesn’t care for its people. And the impact of this can be felt all the way down to your bottom line.

So I urge you to put some rules on your recruiters in order to protect your business.

Tell your recruiters to:

  • Acknowledge all applications within 2 days (with these days of automated replies it should be virtually instantaneous). Acknowledging applications lets the applicant know that you’ve got the information and that they are in a process somewhere.
  • Update the applicant on the status of the application within 5 days. It shouldn’t take any longer than that to get an initial review of any application that comes in and it means that for those that don’t make the grade they get told promptly so they can move on. For those who do make the grade, the quicker you review the application the better the chance you have of the applicant still being available. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are the only place that the applicants can work. There are thousands of potential employers out there.
  • Keep the application process to an appropriate level. You don’t need three interviews for a customer service representative. If the recruitment process takes longer than three weeks there’s a huge chance the applicant will find something else before your process finishes.
  • Always, and I mean always, give some level of feedback to someone you have interviewed (whether by phone or in person). It is just polite. And do it in a timely manner. Everyone knows that most of the time you are making up your mind whilst you are in the interview.

There is nothing earth shattering about any of this. It is common sense, and it is polite. It is how you would like to be treated if you were looking for a job, so it should be how you treat those looking for a job with you.

On the other side, the general rule for applicants should be:

  • If the recruiter doesn’t do the above then you probably don’t want to work for them anyway. If they can’t be bothered to communicate with you when they need your talent, what makes you think they will communicate with you when you are working for them? Move on to someone who cares.

Is your recruitment process something that you would like to go through as an applicant yourself?

Views: 139

Comment by Kevin Cure on October 27, 2017 at 10:30am

Thank you Robert for the thoughtful content.  I am sharing with my network.  It would seem common sense to at a minimum to be polite through out the candidate process.   It further seems that some of my clients and employers alike are sometimes resistant to the "work" it takes to build an empathetic candidate experience.  It has taken me, as an example, too many conversations to count to garner buy-in on what appears to me to be the simplest of tasks: following up in equal measure as the candidate invests in their interest in the company.   Those companies that get this right, invest at a minimum, as stated, the time equal to a candidate's to either say "thank you, but not at this time" or "the next step is the following.....".  The benefits on candidate experience, talent pool development, candidate quality, and even though paradoxical; the time invested to follow up, time to fill, all will measurably be improved.  

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