Connecting Company Culture To Recruitment
The hiring process sets the tone for what a candidate can expect for the duration of their employment with a company.
A great experience will excite and motivate a candidate, and make the employer stand out in a positive light. A bad experience will leave a corresponding bad taste in a potential employee’s mouth, and likely deter talent from wanting to continue through the process.
At some point in your career, you’ve likely had a negative interview experience with a potential employer. Take a moment to think back to that day - can you still remember what was said and how you felt? Odds are you can. If you haven’t had a terrible hiring experience, consider yourself lucky.
In a on Lifehacker.com, people were asked to recount their worst job interview experiences. (You can read the whole post here: Tell Us Your Worst Job Interview Experiences.) And while each story is terrible in its own way, a thread common through almost every story is that the company/experience didn’t match up to the candidate’s expectations: The recruiter was wonderful on the phone, but the CEO was rude; there was a disconnect between the job description and the questions asked during the interview; the receptionist was surly and unwelcoming; etc.
This disconnect between a candidate’s expectations and the reality of their experience not only deters great talent, but can ultimately tarnish a company’s brand and reputation. Often, employers are not even aware that this disconnect exists, maybe not even until they find a negative review online. In order to avoid this kind of brand-damaging press, employers need to ensure that the image they think they’re projecting and want to project (i.e. their company persona or culture) matches up with the actual candidate experience.
Here are 3 key questions employers should keep in mind when seeking to align the candidate experience with their corporate culture:
- Do your decision makers understand and appreciate their role in bringing in talent?
The final stages of the interview process typically consist of brief meetings or interviews with members of the leadership team. This is a great opportunity not only to get executive buy in to the recruitment process, but also for candidates to see the person who is often considered the “face” of the company and get a real feel for the relationship between leadership and the general employee population.
If great candidates are continuously dropping out of the process after a meeting with an executive, it may be an indicator that this person is not doing a good job of putting applicants at ease or asking the right (appropriate) questions. Alternately, if a candidate has to repeatedly reschedule a meeting due to the executive’s busy schedule, it may be time to change the interview lineup. It’s critical that candidates feel that their time is valued by their prospective employer, and driving two hours in traffic to meet with someone who doesn’t show up for a meeting, for instance, is definitely not going to leave a candidate with the greatest impression of an employer.
- Are the people on the “front lines” of the candidate experience strong representatives of your brand?
It takes years to build up a great brand as an “employer of choice,” but just minutes to destroy that hard-earned reputation. If, for instance, any time a candidate comes in they’re greeted by an unwelcoming receptionist or don’t have their phone calls returned by a recruiter, they’re going to pick up on that immediately and assume that that kind of behavior is what they can expect as an employee.
Every person a candidate might come into contact with during the hiring process makes an impression that they’ll take into account when making the decision to accept or decline an offer. As an employer, it’s imperative to understand the journey applicants take, and ensure everyone that has a part in that journey is properly trained on what is expected from them.
Does what’s on the walls (corporate values, mission, etc.) reflect what a candidate sees, hears or experiences?
When it comes to the candidate experience, the clock starts ticking from the very first phone call or email and doesn’t stop until a selected candidate shows up for his or her first day of employment. Depending on a company’s standard recruiting process, the time between those two points can be days, weeks or even months. It’s vital that, at every step, candidates see that the standards or principles a company says they value are actually practiced.
For instance, if a company’s website says that their employees “work hard and play hard,” a candidate might reasonably expect a jovial atmosphere. If, instead, the office is silent when they come for an interview, they would understandably be confused.
Final thoughts on connecting recruitment and company culture
When it comes to the candidate experience, the most important thing an employer can do is set expectations and then follow through on them. This will ensure that candidates aren’t surprised by what they experience, or feel like they’ve been duped.
Implementing a comprehensive and effective recruitment process is key for employers of all sizes, from mom and pop shops to Fortune 500 companies. Not every employer, however, has the internal resources or support needed to develop and implement such a strategy on their own. That's where we come in. As one of the nation’s leading human resources outsourcing providers for more than 20 years, G&A Partners offers a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solution that delivers high-quality job candidates and measurable results while reducing hiring costs and ensuring that your organization remains in full compliance with federal, state and local regulations at every stage of the hiring process.