The recruiting process has a reputation of being stressful for job seekers, and for good reason. When you’re not working, there is the financial stress of being out of a paycheck or just being antsy to get back into professional life. And when you are working plus job searching, there is stress related to scheduling meetings while maintaining your current position. Unfortunately, there is also stress related to how hiring managers handle the recruiting process, and how they treat job seekers going through it.
But when hiring companies take the time to ease the common stressors of a job search, they are more likely to win the best candidates and even improve their reputations. Here are some common mistakes hiring companies make and ways to correct them.
The moments in-between communication with the hiring company can be incredibly stressful for job seekers:
The lack of response and the waiting time can ignite anxiety in even the most seasoned professionals. These periods of quiet are when the candidate starts filling in the blanks with their own narrative on what may have happened and why the hiring manager vanished. Oftentimes, the hiring manager is very interested and has every intention of continuing the process, but they don’t take the time to keep the candidate informed.
The solution is easy – communicate! Reply after the receipt of a resume, acknowledge a thank you email, follow up with where you are in the hiring process, tell the candidate about next steps, include a timeline and if you get delayed, let the candidate know! Keeping the flow of information and communication going will alleviate a chunk of the job seeker’s stress, and it will showcase the hiring manager and the company in a positive light – regardless if the candidate ends up working for your organization, or not.
What’s also stressful for candidates? Trying to schedule interviews and phone calls while working at their current jobs. This is especially difficult when asked to come in multiple times to meet with different people. When the interview process becomes cumbersome, hiring managers will start to see great talent dropping out.
If they are a star candidate, they are likely conscientious about their current responsibilities, so be candidate-focused when trying to schedule meetings. Suggest times before and after traditional working hours or during lunch. If the person is a particularly exciting prospect, offer a weekend meeting. When scheduling in-person interviews, note everyone who will be interviewing and make sure you really need them to be involved. Try to group meetings so the candidate can make fewer trips to your office. Consider offering virtual interviews, too. These tips are especially important in a candidate-starved hiring market, so everything you can do to improve their experience will reflect favorably on your company and the opportunity.
Being mindful of the small details can do wonders for candidates’ stress levels. If there is construction around your office, tell them and share alternate routes. If they need two forms of ID at the security desk, make sure they know. Provide as much information and detail in advance of your meetings as possible – whom they will be meeting with, for around how long, in what rooms, etc. The more a candidate knows walking into a meeting, the more prepared and less stressed out they will be. And don’t forget to offer beverages and breaks to use the bathroom or make a phone call! Think about what you would want and need if you were in their position.
At Planet Interactive, we encourage our hiring companies to consider the experience the candidate is having throughout the entire interview process. This starts with the very first phone interview and goes all the way to the offer. Treating job seekers with respect, having open communication, being honest about their candidacy, being quick to respond, not dragging out the process, being organized – all those details will not only make things less stressful for the candidate, it will help your company win more top talent.
When candidates are treated well, they leave the hiring process feeling good about the company. Even if a candidate is not offered the position, they will likely have great things to say about your organization and hopefully recommend it to others. They may even share their positive experience working with your company on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor!