3 Reasons the Candidate Experience Matters

Jul 22, 2014 Posted by

Making the business case for candidate experience is pretty easy. After all, there’s not only a ton of statistical documentation proving that it positively impacts both brand perception and bottom line results, but it’s also kind of the right thing to do morally — a common courtesy to let people know where their job application stands.

Of course, metrics and morals are two concepts that unfortunately hold little sway in the recruiting and staffing industry. Those of us who have hired for a while start looking at candidates as widgets on the human capital supply chain. It’s about filling requirements, and the candidates who fill those reqs, as a rule, have great experiences. The minute a candidate is out of consideration, however, for many recruiters and employers, that candidate becomes disposable and dispensable.

Recruiters know, in theory, that improving the candidate experience is a good thing. We get the black hole is a black mark on our clients and our profession. In practice, though, solving this challenge is just more trouble than it’s worth, right?

Wrong. Here are 3 reasons that a better candidate experience is worth investing in:

  1. More Referrals: Referrals have been the number one external source of hire for years. Referred candidates are 14 times more likely to end up with an offer than other applicants. Just because a candidate isn’t the right fit doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who is. Closing the loop can open a door to their network.
  2. Less Compensation: Data from the Candidate Experience Awards suggests that companies outperforming their sector in terms of candidate experience end up paying their new hires between 5 to 15 percent less in starting salary. That means less losing out on offers because of comp, and faster time to fill, too.
  3. Better Recruiting Karma: Every recruiter, at some point or another, has had a candidate go over his or her head and straight to the hiring manager or client. You never know who knows who, particularly in a small market or niche industry. Treat a candidate poorly and it’s going to come back to bite you. Given most recruiters’ job stability, building karma credits never hurts, because sooner or later, we’re all going to be candidates again, too.

Plus, we all know what it’s like to find that perfect profile or resume and never get a call back, no matter what we do or how hard we try. Now, imagine how your candidates feel. How easy is it to say thanks but no thanks? Not hard.

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Seeking Rockstars & Gurus: The Pros and Cons of Creative Job Titles

Jul 21, 2014 Posted by

There are all kinds of creative and sassy job titles out there, from social media guru to customer service rockstar to Google’s somewhat well-known Jolly Good Fellow. As fun as these job titles are, they’re not for everyone. “Job titles are the first thing a job seeker sees,” writes Stéphane Le Viet, CEO and co-founder of Work4, a recruiting technology company. “They can either grab a candidate’s attention and push them to apply, or confuse them and prevent them from applying to a job they may be a great fit for.” 

For employers deciding whether or not they want to spice up their job descriptions with some alternative job titles, Le Viet offers a few pros and cons for them to consider: 

Pros: 

  • Attract the right candidates: Employers with a fun company culture, maybe one that’s a little on the zany side, can showcase this with their job titles. Le Viet says, “This approach helps attract candidates, and also allows candidates to self-select companies that seem like a good cultural fit.”
  • Stand out from the crowd: Active seekers have tons of job descriptions to scroll through, and a unique approach can help your company stand out. “The majority of people take less than 15 seconds to scroll through a web page,” Le Viet says. “This is also true for job seekers, who often find themselves scrolling through seemingly endless lists of job postings.”

Cons: 

  • Candidate confusion: Cool sounding titles like “New Media Guru” or “Happiness Advocate” are fun, but they may leave job seekers wondering what they mean and whether they are a fit. “Unconventional titles can easily be construed as too junior or senior,” Le Viet says. “Or cause confusion about the role’s expectations and lead job seekers to think they’re not a good fit.”
  • Negative impact on search: Many candidates find roles that fit their skill sets through searches on Google, LinkedIn and other job sites. Explains Le Viet, “Unconventional job titles [can] confuse algorithms. This means a high-quality candidate may be excluded in the automated screening process, or won’t show up in a recruiter’s LinkedIn search.”

There are many ways that a company can showcase its culture and stand out to job seekers, and fun and unique job titles are just one way to do it. Le Viet says, “Companies and job seekers touting unconventional job titles may consider crafting creative job descriptions for more traditional titles, or highlighting their personality via their social channels or career portals instead.”

H/T Mashable

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Tap Into Your Company’s Power of Digital Positivity

Jul 18, 2014 Posted by

While I don’t support the use of covert methods to conduct employee or consumer research, I think the mass flip-out over Facebook’s recent experiment to dive deeper into the heads of its users overlooks some valuable takeaways for companies interested in promoting positive, supportive cultures.

Quick recap: Facebook manipulated the News Feeds of nearly 700,000 unsuspecting users. The goal was to see how users were affected by negative or positive messages and if an overload of one or the other would alter their moods. The research, published in the June issue of “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” came to an obvious conclusion: a constant stream of negativity makes people communicate in similarly negative terms. Conversely, a steady flow of positive messages triggered bursts of positivity in their communication. “For people who had positive content reduced in their News Feed,” the study reads, “a larger percentage of words in people’s status updates were negative and a smaller percentage were positive. When negativity was reduced, the opposite pattern occurred.”

What does any of this mean for decision makers in HR land? Plenty, I think. Stop for a moment and consider the myriad communication channels, apps and tools that today’s workers can use to express themselves and connect with colleagues: Yammer and Tibbr for workplace chatter; Asana and Basecamp for project management and collaboration; dozens of social media management tools; document-sharing apps; group-messaging platforms like Google Hangout; and of course, mainstays like company Intranets and email.

That’s a ton of communication to stay on top of (let alone manage as a user), so it stands to reason (if we’re to believe the Facebook research) that the more a company can channel and manage that communication in positive ways, the more that positivity will rub off on employees and their attitudes.

Most companies still fixate on issues such as ownership of communication and usage protocols and controls. But managers would be better served by thinking of ways to lead by example and set a positive tone in any of the company’s primary social tools and platforms. As Dr. Thomas Socha, professor of communication at Old Dominion University explained recently, “Positive messages are investments in relationships, groups, and organizations. Positive communication has much to offer as a means to help improve organizational climate and productivity, as well as relationships.”

Positively-oriented communication has other benefits as well. Socha’s research about the way people interact has found a number of medical benefits outside of the doctor’s office or the gym. Being positive, his studies have found, is actually better for your health. Not only will the employee thrive, but so too will the company. 

When it comes to online communication today, people tend to interact more briefly, but more often — your crammed email inbox is a case in point. This intense frequency, however, invites impulsiveness. Employees may not think of the negative impact of, for example, sending a critical message in a group chat. And the Facebook research suggests that the consequences are real. Suddenly, a tool that was seemingly supposed to help colleagues work better together can easily start pushing them apart.

Take measures to avoid these scenarios and keep your company’s social channels streaming with collaborative, authentic, and positive messages. Make sure your managers lead by example and are “sharing” in positive ways (and often). Draft up some simple guidelines to explain to employees the clear and positive purpose of each social tool you’ve given them to use.

“Encouraging a supportive communication climate, one where, for example, participants can make mistakes and learn from them, is also an organizational asset,” Socha says. “We of course want to invite employees to display honesty — as a positive character strength — but also to temper honesty with appropriateness.”

The turn toward positivity starts higher up in an organization and can trickle down just as other best practices in the workplace tend to do. With so many avenues to express ideas and emotions online, it’s important to know which messages are constructive and useful for the technology and which remain best communicated face-to-face.

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Changing the Conversation: Why Leadership Work Isn’t HR Work

Jul 16, 2014 Posted by

I was sitting in a hotel lobby last evening waiting to meet folks for dinner. My mind was focused on the presentation I had to make this morning to the Greater Orlando SHRM chapter on “Changing the Way We Think in HR.” A chatty lady sitting next to me asked if I was on business […]

How to Empower Your Employees to Transform Results

Jul 15, 2014 Posted by

We are in a thinking economy — a service economy; our employees’ roles require them to think their way through the day to determine how to best connect with customers and inspire their loyalty. Actively thinking employees have the power to transform any organization. There is power in ideas created from a thinking workplace. Though […]