Create a Better “Candidate Planet” for Earth Day

Apr 20, 2012

HR professionals have designed, built, torn down, and rebuilt many things to enhance talent acquisition: processes, procedures, metrics, sourcing channels, more metrics, and even more sourcing channels.

Looking back over our careers, we can see that great things have been created across the recruiting landscape. On Earth Day, however, we are thinking about how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle to contribute to a healthier “candidate planet.” With all the “stuff’ which has been created, we believe we need to replenish and restore our overall candidate experience. Here are a few of the ideas we’re pursuing now:

  1. Reduce waste: how many of us have long, complex hiring processes? We may not think so, but our candidates might feel otherwise. Applying LEAN principles to transaction-based recruitment processes will help identify areas for improvement, and we should also think about our ability to reduce the time commitment we require of candidates. Deploying video-interviewing (versus travel) or offering virtual career days, events, or forums that align with candidate time constraints and geographies are just a few ways to do this.
  2. Recycle talent: what happens to the silver and bronze candidates? What about the talent you wanted to “keep in mind” for the future — where are they? Reconnect with your targeted talent, review their professional situations, and re-engage. For recruiters who support multi-business-unit organizations, have you considered talent-sharing programs, whereby talent is “recycled” for opportunities outside of one business unit, for an opportunity within another?
  3. Replenish talent pools: Hiring is starting to ramp upfor certain organizations. Candidates, however, are not widgets; they don’t simply get produced en masse and on demand. Talent takes time to engage; candidates want to get to know an organization, learn more, and determine their own fit. Thinking ahead of the requisition, are we able to engage deeper with our businesses and our HR colleagues to better forecast our talent needs.
  4. Restore your candidate experience. Many of us “think” we have superior candidate experiences, but do not be surprised by the gap between what we believe, and what our talent actually experiences (see our recent ERE article). Take a moment to walk in the shoes of a candidate and answer these questions:
  • How easy is your applicant tracking tool?
  • What about hiring manager interviews, or screening calls? Are they easy to dial into?
  • How visible are your opportunities to your target audience?
  • What do your new hires think about their experiences after six months or a year on the job?
  • What about the talent you rejected?  What did they retain from their candidate experience?

As talent acquisition specialists, we believe we have a responsibility to help preserve and grow our “candidate planet” in a sustainable way. To do this, we must be more consistent with the way we care for our candidates, as well as how we work with and for our talent. This requires the commitment of our business leaders, and the only way we can get this is by demonstrating the importance of the candidate planet to our organization.

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