Today’s hot, tech-heavy job market demands that employers step up their recruiting game. If an economy favoring a buyer is a buyer’s market, then in an employer-candidate world, we’re in a candidate’s market.

Unemployment rates have been steadily decreasing to the point that there are now more job openings than there are people to fill them.

Additionally, the rise of millennials in the workplace combined with the varying job styles like gig workers and freelancers has led to candidates searching for workplaces that genuinely meet their needs.

Where does this job market leave your candidate search? We offer a new way to think about hiring and recruiting. Perhaps consider recruiting more aligned to the dating process that calls for an intended significant other to decide between you and other suitors.

It’s a new world, and it’s driven by candidate-centric hiring.

Candidate-Centric Hiring Defined

Candidate-centric hiring focuses on a candidate’s needs first and what they seek in a company and working environment.

The Case for Candidate-Centric Hiring

Remember this: every candidate you meet takes one of two journeys. They will either be your new employee or they could be your company’s free brand representative.

A hiring process that leaves a positive impression may either be the final step in convincing a top candidate to join your company, or it will leave all other candidates pining for a chance to work with you. It’s a win-win.

The Quiet Power of Candidate-Centric Hiring

Forging ahead in a candidate-first manner serves the future of a company and particularly helps to cultivate an organization’s brand. Instead of hiring someone that meets one-dimensional qualifications on a list, with candidate-centric practices, you form long-term relationships. This further improves levels of employee retention and satisfaction and forms a pool of warm, quality candidates when you are seeking a new hire.

Candidate-centric hiring offers a free service to the candidate by giving them real-time feedback, using personality-based metrics, that helps them learn about the kind of company that would be best for them.

Even if they don’t end up with your company, it will strengthen your brand’s reputation for all that come into contact with it.

It Pays to Impress Candidates

It costs your company if they aren’t impressed with you. 72% of candidates that have a negative interview experience will share it online or with someone directly. Recall the candidate journeys we discussed earlier: this experience will either give poor or positive marketing for your company.

Steps to the Five-Star Hiring Experience

  1. Communication is key. Don’t leave your candidates in the dark – whether you are highly considering them or not. Once someone sends in an application, have an automated applicant tracking system send them back an instant “Thank you for applying” email. This email should also indicate a time frame (ideally no longer than 1-2 weeks) that a candidate can expect to be contacted should your company choose to interview them.
  2. Stay with them. Once interviews have started, keep your candidate engaged. Figure out what method of communication works best to reach them and employ different ways to reach them, if necessary. Texting can be a convenient way to confirm their availability or send a status update.
  3. Customized email templates are huge time-savers. When moving a candidate through the interview process, you don’t want to waste time – your company likely needed the help long before they started advertising for the position! Don’t lose the human aspect of the communication, so use language that makes them feel welcomed and valued to (potentially) be a part of your team. However, you can likely craft a few templates that you can reuse and customize to the candidate.
  4. Speed of response was one of the most important things a candidate looks for during the interviewing process. It is so important that, even if rejected, a candidate would likely re-apply to the company if there was prompt and timely communication.

The New Look Of Your Ideal Candidate

Gallup reports that high-quality candidates are seeking to learn the following when interviewing with a company:

  • Values that align with who they are and what they believe in. When interviewing/touring the candidate around your facilities, give them a mini-introduction into your company culture, the values that the company is based on, and how those values are demonstrated in the company’s day-to-day activities.
  • Opportunities to make a difference to others and in the community. Articulate to your candidates what your company’s big “Why” is. Ask your candidate questions about their long-term goals and what they hope to achieve at the next company they join. When you hear common ground that aligns with your company values, call it out and establish the connection.
  • Professional development and growth opportunities. Share any educational opportunities, conferences, in-house lectures, etc. that current employees participate in and enjoy at your company. Emphasize the reasons behind why this is important to your company to offer these opportunities.

With the constant evolution of today’s job market, it is crucial to ensure that your company is keeping pace with what candidates need. Designing a candidate-centric hiring process will boost your company’s brand reputation and build long-term relationships with quality candidates.

Want More?

A big part of having an interview process that is centered around the candidate is making sure your interview process is on point. Having a structure surrounding the process ensures each candidate has the same experience and provides your company to continually improve on its interview process. Check out our free Structured Interview Guide and start hiring faster and prevent missteps today.

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