Top Five Ways To Improve Your Company’s Candidate Care Program
By Robert D. Hennessy
From announcing a job opening to onboarding a new employee, every step is critical in your company’s candidate care program. By making it a positive experience for every candidate – even those you don’t hire – you can enhance your corporate reputation.
Consider these top five ways to improve your company’s candidate care program:
1. Make candidate care a reflection of your brand
Products and services play a critical role in a company’s overall brand or image. But that’s just the beginning. The company itself – and its reputation – also helps to define the brand. By providing candidates with a positive experience, you enable them to become brand ambassadors who can speak favorably about your organization.
2. Address your pain points
Whether your hiring process is long and drawn out or your candidate communication is sporadic, most companies have room to improve their candidate care programs. For example, one top-five global pharmaceutical company learned some critical findings when it conducted a three-year survey of its interview process:
“It generally took two weeks to build an itinerary and schedule the first interview,” reports a company representative. “It took up to a month between interview rounds. It generally took up to one month from the last interview to make an offer. Almost half of all interview schedules were revised twice, and the majority of schedule changes were requested by the company.”
Needless to say, most candidates felt the hiring process took too long. Fortunately, this company can advance its candidate care program by improving efficiency and communication.
3. Make candidate care a leadership priority
It is management’s job to ask the following questions:
- Where is the future talent base, and is the supply sufficient?
- What is our strategy for securing tomorrow’s leaders?
These may seem like simple questions, but they have difficult answers that must be addressed. A myopic school of thought suggests that candidate care is the sole responsibility of human resources. However, it should also be a priority for the executive leadership team.
4. Put the right people on the job
Company leaders should continually evaluate the talent involved in candidate care, from interviewers and search firms to trainers and human resources specialists. Companies seeking to increase profits and enhance shareholder value should remember that world-class talent seeks its own level. It behooves them to ensure that employees representing them in the interview process are strong leaders in their own rights. Otherwise, prospective leaders might be turned off, which no company can afford.
5. Get everyone on board
Once the strategic value of candidate care is recognized, it takes strong leadership to explain it to employees and to make it an effort ingrained in the corporate culture. Overcoming resistance to the idea that the company must make efforts to attract and retain top executives may require aligning candidate care with profits in the minds of employees.
If they understand that executive leadership has a direct influence on profits, and that profits, in turn, are key to enhancing shareholder value, then most employees will understand the importance of candidate care. In fact, companies should challenge management to educate all employees on candidate care and the impact it can have on shareholder value and the company’s reputation.
Candidate care is not a one-and-done exercise. It is ongoing because the talent pool is always changing, becoming more mobile, and developing new skills. When done right, candidate care programs have a positive impact on both your company’s brand and its profits.
Companies that fail to embrace candidate care may not only lose the opportunity to hire the best leaders, they will have to compete against those leaders when they are hired by the competition. It’s just one more case where doing right by people is simply good business.