Businesses and recruiters who are able to empathise and act with (professional) personability will always do best – now more than ever when all brands are under scrutiny about how they are reacting to the COVID – 19 situation.
From a recruiters’ point of view, you are likely to get a larger than normal candidate pool of interest in any roles you are currently looking to fill. This will of course add pressure to your Resourcing / HR team – but the candidate experience is still an important ‘touch-point’ with the wider world for you as a brand, and the process must still be handled with respect and integrity.
We’re hearing more often about companies ‘ghosting’ candidates with no feedback or replies at all, and hearing too about how unpleasant and even degrading this feels when someone has taken the time and care to apply for your role. Doing the courtesy of sending a short reply is an easy win in terms of retaining credibility as a brand prepared to care for its’ employees going forwards.
Being open about the interview process and timeframe is another easy win – if you can manage candidate expectations from the outset it is much more likely that they will stay engaged (don’t forget, strong candidates will be applying to other jobs too!). Especially as traditional processes of face to face interviews in physical offices are being discarded, it’s vital to set out your expectations in terms of interview rounds, assessments and virtual working frameworks. It’s such a shame to lose candidates to other organisations because they were quicker in their processes than you! By keeping candidates engaged in the process – even if you are not as quick as others, you are less likely to lose them.
For candidates – bear in mind that businesses are dealing with higher levels of applicants and be prepared to be patient. Be extra careful to tailor your CV to each and every application to make sure that your skills and experience align as well as possible with the job description to get through that first stage – the ATS system.
Also remember – skills and experience are vital of course, but approach and attitude count too! Try and build in some ‘WHO YOU ARE’ as well as ‘WHAT YOU DO’ into your CV – think about why you want this role and why you are interested in this particular company. Mention both these things clearly in your covering letter. And, walk the walk. Think about what really drives you and then be proactive (and professional) on social media platforms. Put together a list of all the things you’ve done in your career to date that you are particularly proud of. In our world of Customer Experience that would include VoC programmes that have worked well, examples of where you have personally improved the Customer Experience, examples of where you have shown excellent stakeholder engagement and influencing skills. Listing all of these examples down will mean you don’t forget them in interview.
The recruitment process can and should be a great start to a long relationship with a new employee and a fabulous chance to show the human face of a brand – it can provide a useful and insightful window into the business for a wider market. In fact, don’t let it be anything else! There is a lot of pressure out there at the moment and it’s more important than ever for everyone in the process to be kind and empathetic. It will pay dividends.
Some further advice – for recruiters think now more than ever what an independent specialist recruiter can do for you in terms of understanding your needs and acting as your front line in finding the perfect candidate, and for candidates – stay positive and proactive! We have more help at www.cxtalent.co.uk/the-magic-hour/