What’s a Recruiter To Do?

 When all attempts have been made to influence a marketable and enticing job posting- what more can a recruiter do? When all efforts have been put forth to amplify the reach of said posting to garner the best and brightest candidates- what is left? If recruiters have sourced and prescreened their hearts out to find the diamonds in the rough, what more could you want?

I ask some basic but nevertheless important questions that most recruiters have asked themselves every day. It tells a story that not many people understand but recruiters do. How much more can one human being do to ensure a hire comes of a vacancy when all follow-up with the hiring manager has been attempted, all viable candidates have been evaluated, screened and sent for further consideration?

What more can a recruiter do when in return for their diligence there is silence or worse yet a plan “b” that doesn’t involve giving a chance to any of those candidates you fought so hard to woo in an effort to fill a position?

Herein lies the gap between a good recruiter’s intentions and efforts and the importance the company places on candidate experience. There are more shenanigans, politics and red-tape than any jobseeker can comprehend when it comes to hiring in some companies. It isn’t as cut and dry as you post a job, you receive candidates, all qualified candidates receive an interview, and the best candidate is chosen. This is an ideal situation that is rarely reality and also substantiated by the bevy of candidate stories and complaints about the consistently misguided hiring processes experienced in trying to become gainfully employed in our current economy.

I think people more or less understand how embarrassing and stressful it can be for a recruiter when you want to do right by your candidates, but you have no updates so you dodge a phone call. Even worse, is when the update isn’t one that is easy to convey like the company already knows who they want but the recruiter has been directed to keep their otherwise viable applicant pool on life support until the company figures out what they want to do.

The moral of the story is- through navigating politics, doing your job and perhaps leaving your candidates with an inkling that you took their candidacy seriously- recruiters have many moving targets to contend with. In my experience, recruitment has never been merely about placing someone in a job.  However, more than ever you need to be able to understand the needs of the business, as well as business motivations; all while keeping in the balance your candidate relationships and if applicable compliance obligations.

Circumstances in business are always subject to change, but it is nonetheless difficult for those who are charged with being the face and/or ambassador of the company brand- when your hiring process is marred by disingenuous practices.

If all of what I just described is a clean succession of processes in your organization, congratulations!  You probably work for the minority of companies that genuinely takes all of this seriously and have found ways to mitigate these circumstances. As for the rest of you that are nodding your heads as you read this, keep up the good fight. I salute you!

What are some of those sticky situations you have had to deal with as a recruiter?

Janine Truitt
The Aristocracy of HR

The Candidate Experience: Your Service Level Agreement

 If you have ever handled contracts- particularly HRIS contracts you are familiar with what a service level agreement entails. This is where the vendor lets you know what level of service you can expect from them for the duration of your contract.

It will outline things like how they will maintain your system, when they will be available for customer assistance- in essence, it is an agreement that lets you know how and when they will assist you, the customer.

Sometimes you like what is in the fine print and other times you feel like you neglected to properly read the fine print. There is so much variation in the way you will be treated as a customer- it can be daunting to set a threshold or standard as to what constitutes an adequate “service level”.

So what about candidates?

What about candidates? They are only the people that could be your next hire and in the long-term become an asset to your organization.

What if you decided to create a service level agreement for candidates? What would be your value proposition? How could candidates hold you accountable when you fall short of the agreement?

I personally think it is both fair and equitable for candidates to understand what they can expect from you during the application process. If they know what to expect, they can act accordingly. When there is no semblance of responsibility or obligation on the end of the employer- it just seems like a raw deal.

The candidate experience is a real thing. Employers need to assess what they have that is of value to the candidate and then you need to deliver. It’s not just about a message of grandeur- you actually have to practice what you preach.

That means if you say you value your candidates- you don’t post positions that don’t exist to hoard candidates and then throw them aside.

You make your website intuitve, mobile-optimized, searchable and easy to navigate. Your application process shouldn’t take people fifteen minutes to fill out. If you’re not the FBI or some government entity- it isn’t that serious. Know that you are losing candidates.

Value your candidates time. Don’t call them in for interviews only to have different people ask them about their resume. Make it worth their while- what sets your company apart from the competition? Discuss some issues you have that need to be resolved. In effect, stop wasting people’s time.

It’s being reported that record numbers of workers are either underemployed or leaving the workforce altogether. The reason why this is happening is because businesses aren’t upholding their end of the bargain. The jobs are fake, the intentions to employ you are misguided and rarely will you find someone on the other end of that job posting that wants to ensure you have the best candidate experience ever.

There is no standard and since it doesn’t exist many employers are a long way from delivering what progressive minds regard as a respectful and reasonable candidate experience.

I leave this post open to you the public to answer two questions:

1) Who is delivering stellar candidate experience?

2) What are your candidate horror stories?

Janine Truitt
The Aristocracy of HR

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