Let recruiters recruit! Enabling talent acquisition to win the candidate experience
- 4 Min Read
HR thought leader and talent acquisition expert, Wendy Dailey explores how HR can enable recruiters to improve the candidate experience.
In talent acquisition we talk a lot about the candidate experience. We want to create a great experience for candidates so they will want to join our team, so they will choose us over other organizations. We talk about making the process faster, smoother, better for candidates. What we typically fail to take into consideration is how all those improvements affect those behind the applicant tracking system (ATS), the recruiters. Every time we look to make things easier on the candidate, we typically add something to the recruiter’s plate. But what if we looked at it from the angle that in taking care of our employees, they will take care of our customers, or in this case, our candidates. If we spent a little more time improving the recruiter experience, we would infinitely improve the experience of our candidates.
Setting up an applicant tracking systems
Most organizations have some sort of applicant tracking system, or the dreaded ‘ATS’. However, it has been my experience that we do not utilize all the “bells and whistles” that these systems could do. We try to save money and implement the minimum while assuming we will be able to add on later. It doesn’t matter which tracking system you use, what matters is how you use it and how your recruiters use it. You must include your recruiters in the discussion around how to set up the system. Ask for their tracking sheets – every single one of your recruiters has a tracking sheet outside of your “official” tracking. By setting up your applicant tracking system around what your recruiters need, you will not only create an experience that is meaningful to your candidates, but you’ll be able to get the data your leaders want.
Forge strong relationships with hiring leaders
In addition to encouraging your recruiters to create relationships with your hiring leaders, you should also ensure that the hiring process is part of your hiring leaders’ accountability. Hiring is not solely the responsibility of the recruiter. There are so many moving pieces, so many different areas of responsibility to ensure a smooth candidate process that hiring leaders must be held accountable to their part of the process. Encourage your recruiters to meet regularly with their hiring managers, even when there aren’t openings (if possible) to help the recruiters understand the work of the people they support, which in turn will make them better recruiters!
Hiring leaders will be more willing to hold up their end of the process if they understand the overall process and how they fit into it. Invite these leaders into providing input and feedback into the process, while helping them understand how the decisions they make affect others in the process. Process improvements should make the process better for everyone, not simply shift the work, but put the work where it belongs.
You want to encourage your hiring leaders to see the recruitment process as similar to a customer relationship. Your potential customers are potential employees, and the reverse is also true. Your customer brand is the start of your onboarding process!
Ensure a robust support system is in place
Angela Champ, named one of Canada’s top 20 HR leaders said: “Use technology to automate the low-value work, like scheduling interviews. I asked my talent acquisition (TA) team to use Calendly and suddenly they had more time for good conversations with candidates rather than emailing back and forth for times to meet.”
There is a lot of tactical work that needs to be done in a selection and hiring process. Selection involves a lot of interviewing, which means a lot of scheduling, which means a lot of back and forth between the recruiter and the candidate. There are many tools now to help with this necessary, but tedious (for all involved) part. If your applicant tracking system doesn’t already have this feature, find one that will work for your staff.
It is also a great idea to have a strong team supporting the recruiters to do the tactical work that happens after an offer, including any background checks, drug screens and all the paperwork that goes along with a new hire. Your recruiters have a lot of work to do (see above!)
Let recruiters recruit!
Finally, the most important part is to let your recruiters be recruiters! HR recruitment specialist Eric Kalet said it best: “Allow recruiters to be…recruiters! Recruiters need to be finding talent, driving talent to apply, overturning rocks for passive candidates, boots on the ground and representing the organisation at job fairs, colleges, community events, etc., not HR administrators and paper pushers.”