Gone are the days when candidate care didn’t matter.
Candidates are in the driving seat as the talent shortage continues. Candidates have more choice than they have ever had in my 25 or so years in this business.
TRY THIS QUICK QUIZ
● How many of you have exclusivity with your candidates?
● How many of you have placed the same permanent candidate more than once? – not in guarantee?
● How many have converted a candidate you didn’t place (yes didn’t place) into a client
● How many of you successfully get names of others you can approach?
I believe that your level of candidate care (or lack of) is measured by those quiz questions.
Why is candidate care such an important part of what we do?
Simply because candidates are your best and cheapest advertisement.
So ask yourself......why should candidates work with you rather than your competitors? Don’t fool yourselves it’s because you have the best jobs. Lot’s of big billers I work with don’t work client jobs, they work candidates.
Let’s break down the components of the candidate experience and look for better ways.
The start of the process whether the candidate has approached you or have you approached them.
How is the pre-screen?
Are you focussed on ticking the boxes or are you focussed on developing a relationship?
What do you do to ensure that your candidate has a value added experience?
How quickly after the pre-screen do you face to face or telephone interview?
How do you measure an effective pre-screen? By how many no-shows you get for interview. If you get a high number of no shows for internal interview, it’s because you didn’t have an impact in the pre-screen.
The interview is where you want to ensure that you really understand the person sitting in front of you and what they are looking for.
Relationships start during the interview stages so remember that first impressions count.
What is the process when a candidate approaches your reception area to register?
How long are candidates typically waiting in your reception area? Are they offered refreshments of any kind? Are they sitting in a general reception area or are they moved into an interview room?
By the time the candidate finally meets YOU, he/she has already made decisions about you based on what has happened so far.
If I am a candidate and your typical process is to hand me a registration form and shuffle me into a general reception area and then keep me waiting, how do you think I will feel upon meeting that consultant?
How could you improve the process for the candidate?
Do you ask for feedback from your candidate about the process they have just been through with you?
Do you ask how your process compares with your competitors?
You always want to know:
● What would their current employer have to offer them to get them to stay?
● How will they handle conflicting offers
● How active are they in the job market (this will give you an indication of likelihood of conflicting offers
Once rapport is built, ask for some commitment from them that they will work with you. For example either exclusively or at a very minimum they will let you know if their circumstances change.
CLIENT INTERVIEW PREPARATION
Ensure the candidate is adequately prepared for the client interview. Have you briefed and resold the opportunity or have you just told the candidate where to go and whom to see? Your candidates need to feel that you are working “for them” not the client. This is all about taking the extra time to prep and debrief properly.
Never fall into the trap of assuming that just because a candidate has accepted an offer that they are going to start with your client. It is essential that you are in control during the notice period, especially if the candidate was counter offered. You must stay connected to your candidate to ensure a smooth transition into the client company. If you have ever had a candidate no show on their first day it will be because you lost control over this part of the process.
AFTER SALES SERVICE
Don’t be fooled into thinking the process is over just because the candidate started with your client. Like any new relationship, there will humps and bumps and your job is stay in control of the communication between the parties and ensure that everyone is happy with the outcome.
For contractors – how often are you connecting with your “workers” to maintain the relationship? What do you have in place to monitor progress?
POINTS TO REMEMBER
In summary, treat your candidates well and remember that they are, in the current talent short market, your fee. Without strong candidate relationships you risk working very hard for very little result.