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A few years ago at one of Bill Boorman’s legendary TruEvents, a smart gentleman used the term “we’re not in the recruiting business but the rejecting business”. I loved the idea and having been a passionate advocate of the Candidate Experience since the 90’s (when I first met Gerry Crispin), of the concept of the Candidate Experience, it was a concept I could understand.
‘Rejection’ is a key element of the Candidate Experience and handled badly it can do real damage to your Employer Brand and your wider reputation. Simply put, the Candidate is a Consumer and potential Customer – and a Customer can be a potential Candidate.
And yet ‘Rejection’ is the one area that so many companies do badly – and put the least amount of effort into, even though it is a natural and inevitable part of the recruitment process and experience. The team here at Resource Central sees a real need for “education” on both sides – Employer and Candidate – and we thought we’d share some of our experiences on what can be done.
As a recruiting business with offices across Europe and a sourcing hub in Sarajevo, we work on Campaign RPO projects where we “are the client” – but we also work on candidate ID or ‘ID+ Source/Engage’ as well as more traditional search projects. Each of our services has its own “experience” requirements – but in every case we run an NPS Candidate Experience audit at the close of every project.
And here are our insights:
- An ‘experience’ is usually thought as a ‘subjective’ feeling of the individual; but we believe it can be “objective” – and that ‘objective’ can be defined by the employer: i.e. you can define the experience you want to be delivered, in line with your recruiting strategy, e.g.
- Volume based and using attraction techniques.
- A sourcing led strategy where we are sourcing and engaging with a candidate.
- A multi-country campaign where candidate expectations differ by country or function.
Why does this matter?
- Expectations – because so much of the experience delivery is about managing expectations on both sides; and therefore delivering with an agreed parameter.
- Process – despite the sterility of the word, recruitment is a ‘process’ and agreeing the communication elements upfront (including how we reject) has to be a clearly defined and agreed process; with measurable performance based KPI’s attached.
- Buy-In – we all know that recruitment has multiple touch points. Recruiters, HR, Line-Managers all all other stakeholders need to not just agree with the process BUT buy-in – and own it.
- Communication – On every project, we start with the following questions: ‘how do we communicate the process’ including time-lines on channel response to an application (e.g. email or phone). For all candidates, we manage the expectation and adhere to a Candidate Charter.
These things all sound simple BUT getting them right is a challenge. So why do we do it? Quite simply, we want our/your candidates to give feedback like this:
“I have worked with many recruitment consultants, but cooperating with Adem was one of the best experiences I have ever had. His professionalism and the way he manages a hiring process provides an experience like no other.
Pleasant and professional at all times, Adem was very easy to work with. With a strong international business expertise, exceptional communications skills and ability to build trust quickly, Adem very soon proved to be a reliable and knowledgeable recruitment expert, who was always able to provide relevant information, guide skilfully and advise with authority.
If I had to highlight just one of Adem’s many qualities that really made a difference – that would be his confidence. Being able to rely on someone who can give an honest opinion and professional advice in an uncertain or ambiguous situation in my opinion provides a more meaningful experience and transforms the traditional recruiter/candidate relationship”.
Candidates may be potential customers. They are certainly potential advocates/ambassadors. So if you “reject with grace”, you can certainly still be referred by a rejected candidate to great people within their network.
So ‘The Rejection Experience’ can actually work for you. And you can hear more about this topic – and many others – at Resource Central’s “Building Recruiting Success in Europe” on the 25th April, in London, 1-5pm – it’s FREE to ATTEND.
Resource Central is a unique people engagement and resourcing solutions service firm. Created from the focus and desire of its founders. We are all experts from the Job Board, HR Communications and Recruiting industry, bringing a wealth of expertise and knowledge of specialist and large corporate campaign hiring projects across the recruiting markets of Europe.
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