In this post, based on my experience of applying to booking.com, I will describe a few features that are very easy to implement into normal behaviour and procedure, and at the same time can make the candidate feel like a partner in the recruitment process in which they participate.
1. If you really need a CV of the candidate, specify your expectations
Do you know people who like to prepare their CV? I don’t. On the market there are plenty of wizards and guides, but still, they don’t save us from that difficult moment when we don’t know which of our responsibilities to describe and in what aspects. It is much easier to prepare a CV if the recruiter provides specific tips and hints. For example, such as:
“When recruiting for this position we will pay special attention to the qualities of the candidate, such as:… “
“If you have already worked at this position, please give the examples of solutions implemented by you in the area of…”
When should you give the candidate this information? In a job offer announcement in case of actively applying candidates or in a message to a candidate, if it is a recruiter who begins communication. Whether we are recruiting as an agency or as a freelancer for an end customer, such guidance to the candidate will be valuable for both parties. The candidate will prepare a better CV and we will increase the chance that the customer will accept the candidate.
Above all, of course, I encourage you to thoroughly analyse candidate profiles posted on LinkedIn and to check whether you are able to do without CV in case of passive candidates.
2. Keeping deadlines
A simple and seemingly obvious principle. If you promise to contact a candidate within 1 or 2 weeks, do it. How to impress the candidate even more? Respond even quicker. If booking.com can inform about passing to the next stage (or not) within 3 days, so can you. Good candidates, especially those in the IT industry, will get a number of other offers within 2 weeks. Make it easy for them to choose and give them your decisions within a few days.
3. A brief sum-up after each stage
After each stage of the recruitment, booking.com provides the candidate with a short sum-up:
“We really liked how you did this and that.” “We highly appreciate your expertise in the field of…”
And here follows a short explanation about what to expect at the next stage.
“We would also like to check if you can…”.
A really tiny information, but changes a lot in the attitude of the candidate. The candidate knows which area of their qualifications or experience will be yet evaluated, and what are they already done with.
4. Give as much detail about the course of the next stage as possible
You can use the email with the sum-up of the stage for much more than just passing the organisational details regarding the next meeting (when, with whom, in what form, how much time will it take – all this information affects the attitude of the candidate). You should also use this opportunity to tell the candidate how to prepare for this interview.
5. Encouraging the candidate to learn more about the company
Usually recruiters evaluate the motivation of the candidate based on whether they have tried to look for some information about the company. Whereas you can easily increase candidate’s interest by encouraging them to check the (hopefully attractive;)) materials about the company for which you are recruiting:
“We encourage you to have a look at a blog about the work in the department of Product Development, which is written by our employees”
“On our profile on Instagram you can see the interiors of our office”
“On YouTube you can listen to our employees talk about how they decided to move to Amsterdam”
It is far better to encourage the candidate to read about the company than just “expect” them to do it.
6. Feedback (also) after the end of the process
The key moment for the candidate. An information on what you considered as their strong sides and what they can still work on. I dream about the time when everyone would get it, or at least, the candidates participating in the interviews. You should also add information on the possibility of re-applying in the future. If throughout the process you have treated the candidate well, this situation is very likely, if the process was somehow uncomfortable for a candidate – somewhat less. In Poland, at this stage many companies send a laconic message “let us save your CV in our database”. This is a moment when an employer can do something to significantly stand out.
7. Final study of candidate’s impression
Yes, of course! Now it’s time for a feedback from the candidate, checking whether you have done everything to ensure that the candidate finished the process with the best possible opinion, considered it a valuable experience and will be likely to recommend their friends to apply to your company.
Soon on our blog instructions how to conduct a study of candidates applying for your company.