Candidate filtering, training & appraisals.

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Repel The missing ingredient to building an effective shortlist of candidates

Fri 9th May, 2014
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Do you actively dissuade or repel candidates from completing their initial job application to your vacancy? Your immediate response may be to demonstrate your openness to all, and that everyone is welcome to apply. I am not suggesting in a blinked or negative selection process that filters candidates harshly. I do however believe and suggest that the net should be cast wide and that all candidates should be encouraged and given an opportunity to apply and that all candidate attraction methods are positive and are within best practice of recruitment practices and legislation. Contradiction?

Increasing pressures for employers and recruiters to reduce and streamline the time to fill metric (on average 23 business days to fill) without compromising on the quality of the hire. The whole process of handling initial ad response where at times can lead to endless interruptive telephone calls and reading CVs adds to the strain of the hiring process. During this time quick sifting and broad candidate filtering selection process results in a tick box exercise ensuring that all candidates satisfy the essential and desirable experience and personality traits.

At this stage, how confident that your shortlist of candidates contains a real desire to work for you, that matches your cultural core values but critically have a complete understanding of the working conditions of the work area they are applying for? How much focus do you place on the candidate experience and how do you educate them on the key aspects of the job and culture?

Responses vary but confident in hearing job advert, job description, person specification, job role mentioned on the website, description by recruiters. But how much do the candidate really know you? Research via Google (or any other research methods engaged) or how the job was explained via the telephone interview may not provide the complete picture the candidate needs in order to establish and categorise whether the vacancy is a stop gap position or a role in which they decide is a fertile ground to set root and develop within your organisation.

It can be damaging to the candidates experience when reviewing sterile job description, person specification or experiencing an uninspiring telephone interview (where recruiter needs to quickly go through the checklist questions) as well as reviewing a photo or two on your website.

I wonder how many times you have witnessed experiences where the candidate fits all the tick box criteria and during the latter stages accept another job or reject your job offer. The frustration of time invested and for some going back to the first stage of shortlisting again can have serious operational cost ramifications. How many accept candidates that they know could do the job but uncertain of their longevity commitment level but time pressure is increasing to fill the post.

Continuous demands to review and streamline the recruitment process that improves a greater approachability for candidates to apply, provide a method to practically handle the increased flow of applicants, providing a positive and encouraging candidate experience that ensures determination and drive in all candidates to secure the vacancy but also identify the right candidate that will flourish within your core values of your business.

A simple solution to improve greater enthusiasm but equally repel just as effectively at the same time.

Engage in providing a memorable vision video demonstrating your business and the daily challenges the vacancy will pose to the successful applicant, at the very beginning of the recruitment process before they engage in any CV or application form submission stage.

The aim is to educate and enlighten individuals straight away as to your expectations but always encouraging individuals to provide evidence of how they have the right qualities to excel within the role. Nothing beats a welcoming and engaging smile on a video containing video shots and picture stills of the working environment, the culture, the longevity and career opportunity that awaits as well as daily challenges and obstacles they would need to face in every day life. This video is not a PR exercise with strong marketing strap lines everywhere. This video tells you warts and all but always encouraging.

This approach will not only provide a more personalised introduction to your business but also empowers the candidate to make the decision to continue with their pursuit or to reject it. We all know that the employee who sticks out like a sore thumb in one company may well compliment well in another. Success can now be measured by candidates self selecting or discounting their intentions to proceed.

The initial video is just the first stage of the solution. Once you have willing participants after the initial video you transfer them into an on-line virtual interview platform where you delve deeper into their suitability and core competencies but also invite them to expand on answers you normally ask at first stage interviews. Once again, engage in video and photos to present situational scenarios that are faced within your business now, avoiding historical evidence based questions of another employer in another time frame.

All the way through the process you are educating the applicant as to what the conditions and expectations are, and if candidates de-select themselves out during the assessment period it is a result. Success is the time investment you have saved by avoiding unsuitable candidates who are not fully committed or do not posses the right attributes for the job. Equally success can also be measured that every candidate fully accepts the opportunity and that you have quelled any hidden doubts they may have about the longevity and stability of the job, salary and benefits, lack of opportunity and development which are common fears amongst applicants.

The on-line solution will also empower you to become distinctive amongst your competitors. Efficient feedback to unsuccessful candidates clearly demonstrating the key responses you were seeking and thus indicating to the unsuccessful candidate areas why you felt why you did not select them.

Providing valuable assessment results to candidates is extremely useful in their development and to their career aspirations.

Nuts and Bolts It is a simple, user friendly on-line solution that believes strongly on the candidate experience that will ultimately reduce recruitment time investment costs as well as supporting and improving the chances of an improved shortlist of candidates.