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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