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Reminder to Recruiters – You are in the people business!

Based on what I see and hear from people involved with the job search process, I would describe their experience(s) as nothing short of dehumanizing. Yes, I realize that is quite a generalization and strong statement; however, out of all the candidates, colleagues, friends, family members, etc. that I have spoken with in the past couple of years (who have been job searching and/or approached about jobs) about their experience(s) with recruiters, I would peg the satisfaction level around 5%. (Note – that is based on a completely unscientific survey that was not validated by anyone.) You get my drift though; they haven’t had many positive experiences.

Recruitment wordAdditionally, based on other blog posts and articles I have read on this subject (candidate job search) this seems to be a widespread problem. Bottom line – candidates seem to have a real distaste in their dealings with recruiters. The reasons for their distaste vary; however, it is typically one or more things/experiences from the following list: (keep in mind, I mostly referring to experiences here once a candidate has engaged with a recruiter in some capacity).

  • The recruiter won’t return their calls (like, ever).
  • The recruiter can’t/won’t give them an update on the status of where they are in the process (primarily post-1st interview).
  • No feedback on why they didn’t proceed forward (post-1st interview); or worse yet, someone else is hired and the recruiter didn’t bother to tell the candidate the competition was over.
  • No consideration for the candidate’s ability to interview (i.e. must be done during regular business hours).
  • Lack of discretion when discussing the candidate with other people outside the organization (major pet peeve of mine!)
  • Everything is done piece meal with no respect for the candidate’s time – i.e. interview one day, come back to complete testing another, etc.
  • Overall, no expectations set re. what the candidate can expect as it pertains to the overall hiring process, how the interviews work, anticipated timelines, etc.
  • The recruiter seemed intent on “tricking” them with the type of interview questions asked or the recruiter spent too much time talking about themselves and not interviewing/finding out more about the candidate.

There are many more, but these are some of the real “hot” buttons with candidates. I find that as a profession, we as recruiters often lose sight of our role and what line of business we are in. Let’s be honest with ourselves – we are in the people business. People are our lifeblood and the relationships we have and the experiences we provide these candidates are the currency of our profession. So, as recruiters, the next time we think we are in the requisition filling business, we need to pause for thought and remember what we need in order to fill those reqs. – oh yeah, people! Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to cultivate that resource properly? I mean if we were farmers, we wouldn’t neglect our crops for 2 months and then expect to reap a great harvest would we?

Here is the other thing, by NOT doing those things listed above, you will automatically enhance your professional brand and the employment brand of your company. What easier way could there be to separate yourself from your competition? Simple – start humanizing the recruiting process and the candidate experience and most importantly, treat your candidates like people…the rest is gravy. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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