With the U.S. unemployment rate at 4.3 percent as of August, job seekers at your company today won’t be as desperate as they might have been in, say 2010, when the jobless rate hovered around 10 percent. You’ll want to create an amazing experience for those who apply so that the best candidate wants the job.
Remember, even if the candidate isn’t a perfect fit for this opening, he or she could be well-suited for the next vacancy. Start with avoiding the immediate turnoffs, says Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage.
Ignoring job seekers
Many job seekers complain that prospective employers don’t even acknowledge receipt of their resume and/or cover letter, Morgan says. Remember, this person likely went to significant trouble to tailor their resume and cover letter to your company. By advertising the job, you asked for applications. Don’t make them feel like their hopes and dreams have been swallowed up in a black hole.
Inflating the work environment
Some businesses make themselves sound wonderful to work for when sites such as Glassdoor clearly indicate they are not anyone’s dream company, Morgan says. “One of the biggest challenges I see in the talent space is what I call the ‘online dating syndrome,’ Morgan says. “Anyone that has tried online dating knows that the person you see online is not the same person that you end up meeting. Everyone paints themselves in the best possible light online and companies do the same thing.”
Then, the first days and weeks of work reveal the real picture. “A candidate accepts a job and finds out that the story they were told is not the reality of what it's like to work there,” Morgan says. “The company said they have great managers, workplace flexibility, perks, and growth opportunities. Meanwhile the new employee sees their manager taking credit for their work, has to commute to the office and work 9-5, and has been doing the same thing since day one without any sign of learning something new. It's the classic online dating syndrome in action and it’s why so many employees around the world are disengaged at work.”
Remember: lying is both morally and ethically wrong. Lying is also stupid when it’s so easy to get caught.
Playing Mind Games
Skip the weird questions like ‘How many golf balls can you fit into a 747 jet,’ Morgan says. “Usually the people asking the questions don't even know the answers to this,” he says. “It's far more effective to test how prospective candidates would fair in a real world work scenario.”
Imposing Rigid Rules
“Lack of workplace flexibility is a big one,” Morgan says. “Job seekers are absolutely looking for more flexible work environments.” Not every company offers a flexible schedule and/or the opportunity to occasionally work from home. But if it’s possible, try to make it happen.
Not Leveling With Candidates
If the job and the applicant are already starting to seem like a mismatch, let the applicant know. “Oftentimes interviewers make people go through a long and tedious process even though they already know it's not going to work out,” Morgan says. Don’t you have better things to do too?
Never-Ending Application Process
The application process shouldn’t be a long and winding road. “The craziest story I hear was something like three years,” Morgan says. “The person who applied for the job forgot she even sent the application by that point.”
Setting Clear Expectations
Instead of tricks, offer your honesty as a treat. Don’t hide the reality about what it's like to work at the organization.
“If it's tough, then say it's tough,” Morgan says. “Some companies like Netflix have been rather honest and transparent about what it's like to work there, saying that it's hard work and long hours but you will be treated and paid well. It's important to have these clear expectations at the start. Another crucial thing to remember is that candidates are just like customers (or prospective customers), so treat them as such. These things will help set clear expectations and truly determine if the candidate is a good fit.”
Do it right and the disenchanted, disengaged employees leaving their unfulfilling jobs will be happy to accept a job at your amazing company.