Hundreds of Companies Unite to Help Recruiters Find Jobs — But There’s a Catch

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May 1, 2020
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

A new job-aggregation platform launched this week — As the name implies, its mission is “to support our colleagues and peers in talent acquisition.” Helping recruiters find jobs is great, of course, but it’s not newsworthy. 

Well, not exactly.

As the pandemic continues to rip livelihoods away from people — more than 30 million by recent counts — numerous websites and efforts have mushroomed to connect furloughed and unemployed people with jobs. CVS’ partnership with companies like Hilton is but one of many examples. Similarly, Glassdoor and Indeed have added new features to help individuals find employment opportunities, the latter offering job-seekers the ability to mark themselves immediately ready for work. Meanwhile, industry-specific forums, websites, and initiatives have also sprung up, while others, like ERE’s, already existed.

What makes RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters interesting is not that it scrapes participating employers’ career sites for TA-specific openings. It’s not even that it’s a partnership between a slew of major players — from TA-oriented companies including CareerXroads, Consider, Lever, SmartRecruiters, Talent Board, and Red Branch Media to employers like Nike, EY, Hilton, United Airlines, and Uber.

Rather, what makes the site noteworthy is its proclamation: “It is our hope that is a place where recruiters can be treated fairly and humanely and we can all learn to grow a community where candidate experience is paramount and helping others is the ONLY order of the day. Our belief in the community prompted this, but our Code of Conduct ensures it.”

What does all of that actually mean?

It means that if you’re wondering if candidate experience still matters today as much as it did pre-pandemic, RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters has an answer: Yes.

Candidate experience is the platform’s key differentiator. Both candidates and employers must commit to a code of conduct around treating people like, well, people. 

Of course, you’ve heard all this before. Who among us hasn’t read countless articles and seen myriad presentations extolling the importance of providing an elevated candidate experience? And sure enough, RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters is now one of those voices, with a code of conduct demanding that employers:

  1. Set standards and describe expectations at each step of the candidate’s journey
  2. Have stated timelines with candidates, and stick to them (“Do not vaguely state you will be in touch if there is further interest.”)
  3. Always tell candidates if they’re no longer being considered for a role (“No black holes.”)

(Concurrently, on the other side of the equation, candidates are required to respond to the platform’s surveys to gauge how companies are treating people.)

While Gerry Crispin, principal and co-founder of CareerXroads, concedes that these rules present “the lowest acceptable bar,” still, at least there’s a bar. And that’s the point. RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters isn’t just proselytizing about the candidate experience. It’s taking action. The standards may be basic, but they have teeth. “The code is not optional. It’s required,” Crispin notes. The platform only permits employers that sign the code of conduct and—

And, OK, you might be thinking: What company wouldn’t sign the covenant? It’s hard to imagine any organization not agreeing to, let alone opposing, the most fundamental of standards. However, RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters makes it clear that it’s no longer enough merely to support a better candidate experience with words. Employers who fail to comply will be contacted with suggestions to improve, and those that don’t will be kicked off the platform. (None have been booted yet.)

In the meantime, RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters has gotten numerous offers from various sources to post those sources’ TA jobs. Doing so would certainly make the site more robust. But this is not primarily about quantity of jobs, explains Maren Hogan, CEO of Red Branch Media. It’s about quality of experience. “We are populating the community based on a commitment to the idea of treating people like humans and everyone holding themselves to a certain standard,” Hogan says. “It’s not a clearinghouse but more of a curated space where everyone is committed to providing a better candidate experience.”

Still, it’s perhaps…shall we say…curious that a platform whose candidates are recruiters needs a stated code with which recruiters should already have been complying because they are…recruiters. After all, no one is more familiar with how to provide the right candidate experience than TA professionals, right? 

Sure, but as we all know, sometimes — OK, fine, many times — corporate systems and processes don’t make it…shall we say…easy to provide a great candidate experience. “As a recruiter, you might already know the right things to do,” Hogan says, “so what we’re doing here is helping companies move in that direction too.” In other words, RecruitersRecruitingRecruiters aims to codify standards and hold employers accountable. 

Crispin makes another point: “Keep in mind that many people looking for jobs were furloughed, which implicitly means that employers aren’t totally cutting off relationships. They are hoping that people will eventually return. So companies that join the platform have an incentive to treat people right and show themselves in a good light.” Nonetheless, he admits that the accountability piece is critical.

As more companies sign on (there are currently about 250), and as more recruiters — both on the candidate and on the employer side — adhere to the code of conduct, the longer-term hope is to advance the field of talent acquisition by nudging it to finally fulfill promises of better candidate experiences. Not just during the pandemic but afterward, too.

It will take more time to gauge impact. It will also take time to see if other jobs sites might implement similar standards — and actually enforce them: Imagine Indeed or Monster penalizing employers for ghosting candidates by removing their job postings.

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.
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