We talk about candidate care at The Hennessy Group a lot. The conversations typically center around keeping top candidates engaged while getting the client to connect with them. Candidates must pass a lengthy assessment process with us to get to the point of speaking with the client. Usually after that process, candidate interest hits its first peak.
Not often, but sometimes, a client doesn’t get to the candidate before they disengage and take another offer or decide they aren’t interested. Top candidates sometimes do that because as much as we do to keep them on the line, there is no substitute for connecting with a possible future employer. Additionally, one shouldn’t underestimate what time and a lack of a sense of urgency can have on the human psyche.
Candidate care is brand care
No matter the reasons, the way job candidates are treated impacts the company’s brand. Hundreds of candidates may walk through your doors, while only a few are hired. But every single person who interviews with your company is a potential brand ambassador regardless of whether they are hired.
Stories of poor candidate care circulate in our business. One of the most egregious stories told in my office is of the COO candidate from Big Pharma who bit on a relocation opportunity at a pre-commercial biotech. The candidate called a ride-share service that took him to the airport after waiting over five hours without meeting or speaking with anyone, being offered food or water, or even shown where the restroom was. Imagine what he says about the hiring company. Not only would this candidate not be interested in any opportunity there, but what if he was a decision-maker in doing business with this upstart company?
Companies can avoid having to fix their images if they would take better care of candidates in the first place. That’s why having a holistic candidate care program is so critical.
What is candidate care?
Candidate care is the process by which a company staffs a position. It encompasses everything from the announcement of the job opening to the onboarding process. Think about the effort that it takes to find, retain, train, and maintain a single new hire. Multiply that by several hundred – or even several thousand over time – and the impact of candidate care becomes clear.
Too often, candidate care is overlooked. But, securing the flow of intellectual capital should be one of your company’s highest priorities. There’s an unprecedented thirst for intellectual capital, and the demand will only become more intense in the future.
If a company is slow to recognize the strategic value of candidate care, its competition will do the job for them. Considering that the supply of intellectual capital is finite at any given time and in any geographic area, inattentiveness to candidate care will place your company at a distinct disadvantage.
Creating a positive candidate experience
With a strong candidate care program, you can enhance and optimize the experience of every person who interviews at your company. By smoothly escorting potential employees through the interview process, you leave them with a positive impression.
Job candidates can become important spokespeople because they gain specific and intimate knowledge of the organization and its employees during the interview process. This is particularly true at the executive level since the candidates are often well known and their opinions are respected.
Whether they get the job with your company or not, they can still speak favorably about it when given the opportunity. Hiring companies should also consider that they may want to re-engage some candidates in the future. By taking the time to ensure all candidates have a positive experience interviewing with your company, you can not only attract and retain top talent, but also augment your corporate image, branding, and marketing efforts.