People are often told that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Taken another way, people who aren’t quite ready to leave their current position might be passively window shopping for opportunities to be prepared for when the time comes to find something new.
These passive window job shoppers might come across your company’s name and information from time to time as they’re browsing. What will they read about you from clients, customers, previous employees — or, importantly, people who have interviewed with your company previously?
The job candidate experience is an important one for companies, and hiring and HR managers should consider hiring and HR managers. In many ways, the impression prospective candidates get of your company before they’re looking to change jobs could heavily influence whether they apply to join your team. A bad reputation can turn off candidates and applicants before a position even opens.
Here are some factors to consider when pondering whether your job candidate experience can help, or hurt, your ability to find great new hires.
How long is the wait between submitting an application and the first point of contact?
Not everyone who submits an application will get a phone call, or email, or any kind of outreach from a company. To some extent, this is understandable: people actively searching for jobs can send dozens of resumes out in a day, and companies looking for new employees are often sorting through a mountain of applications. But if those candidates never hear from your company, not even so much as “thanks for your interest,” it can leave a bad impression. Further down the road, if someone has come in for an interview but hasn’t heard anything from your HR department in a week or more? That’s not going to foster any kind of warm feelings. The length of time between points of contact should be as short as possible to help foster the idea that you’re a considerate and responsive employer, which can go a long way.
Just about anything can be reviewed online these days, from coffee shops and restaurants to professors and managers. Job candidates can, and do, leave reviews and commentary online for the companies they interview, too. If someone feels strongly that your company is great, even if they didn’t get the job, they can sing your praises online, helping to boost your reputation through word-of-mouth and helping to build that good first impression before a possible candidate even submits an application. But that goes the other way as well: If a candidate were mistreated, made to wait, or feels in any way slighted by your hiring or interview process, that would get blasted online too. Not only do people leave reviews for everything online, but people also read reviews for everything before making decisions. It’s possible to counteract any negative commentary online with some testimonials and positive reviews from current employees, whether on sites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn or by occasionally posting videos or employee profiles on your website and social media, touting why they like working there. Don’t try to use a person’s stock image with some made-up quote; however, that will get noticed quickly and will surely backfire.
Think long term.
Your company might not have many if any, openings right now. That’s wonderful! But there will come a time that you need to hire for one, or two, or 10 open jobs. What skills will you want those new hires to have? What kind of background will best add to your team? Where in your community will people with those traits, abilities, backgrounds, and interests come from? This isn’t just about making relationships with schools, unions, educational programs, etc. Start from the job and work backward to think about how someone might become interested in a position like that and envision all the possible contact points in which a new hire might see your company’s name. Make a positive impression early on, and your company’s name will become something to aspire to down the road — just like kids grow up dreaming about driving the coolest car or having the most popular sneakers, working for your company can be an attainable dream. Also, make sure that your website and social media are engaging and interesting, pleasing to the eye, and updated regularly to stay current. This might not have been a priority before, but it will be the primary way in which future candidates find you now and in the future.
While reading reviews, job seekers might want to find out more information about the position to which they’re applying. Can they find a good description of your company and each job within it online? Can they find a phone number or email address of the people they’d be working for, or at least a hiring manager? How often is a general voicemail checked for new inquiries? Or a general email inbox reviewed for questions? If a possible job candidate can’t reach you, they’re not going to think well of you. Companies that are more transparent, easy to get in touch and communicate with, and, as mentioned earlier, have positive reviews or respond openly and calmly to negative ones will be much more attractive to prospective hires.
The candidates and applicants of tomorrow might not be looking for a job with your company today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your company engaging, welcoming and friendly now to attract them later. Your online presence is key to building your brand and your reputation for new hires, and it’s worth making sure there’s a sincere and genuine attempt to create the most positive first impression possible now.
If you’re looking for new employees, Debbie’s Staffing can help! We’ve worked with some of the top companies in the country and can help you find just the candidates you’re looking for, with the skills and work experience needed to fit quickly into your team. Contact us today, and let’s get started!