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Disruptive Recruiting and Pre-Employment Assessments

by Joseph Murphy

Kevin Wheeler in his June 17 ERE article discusses Disruptive Recruiting and asks us to rethink recruiting.  Specifically he suggests automation and process simplification, among others.  I had an opportunity to ask Kevin about improving the candidate experience at ERE, where he suggested we make it easy to apply.  We may have made it too easy to apply. While valued from the candidate perspective, making it too easy to apply creates severe unintended consequences for the company and the recruiters.

A few years ago I did a survey, asking if the candidate experience was measured or evaluated.  The vast majority of companies (86%) DO NOT ask candidates for feedback about their on-line employment experience.  In spite of a lack of candidate feedback, a surprisingly large group, (29%) believe their candidate experience is so positive that it creates referrals and viral marketing.  During my presentation at the 2010 Staffing Management Conference, only 3% of participants stated they were evaluating the candidate experience.  The trend is down, and the quality of the experience is vastly unknown.  Disruption is needed indeed.

Candidate use “Spray and Pray” resume distribution.  Companies use social media, job preview videos that are more hype than help and create viral attraction that can clog the ATS or CRM pipeline with numbers of candidates that make the personal touch un-scalable.

There is a maddening belief that more is better.  And to a degree, there is truth to that.  However, without decision science, some form of pre-employment assessment, more is just a recruiting nightmare and it creates a challenge to workload management not to mention a greater number of candidates that may be disappointed by lack of personal touch.

When an individual is in the job market, each employer touch point - human, digital or otherwise is part of your brand experience.  With some companies experiencing a 50:1, or even 500;1 applicant to hire ratios, coupled with high requisition loads, the brand positive nature of the digital experience must be considered.  Rest assured, if they applied with you, they applied with your competitor.  The digital experience matters even more, largely due to the fact that this might be their only touch point. The candidates will see the difference, if there is a difference to see.

Kevin also suggests recruiting build talent communities.  Candidates are decision makers. The on-line experience should keep that in mind.

Based upon your on-line experience, candidates decide if they: Like your company, Have learned enough to want to apply Feel better about your brand as a result of applying Are inclined to speak favorably about your company Will refer others, based upon their initial experience Will join your talent community

Read some of these candidate testimonials and see what an engaging and informative pre-employment assessment can do to contribute to a positive candidate experience, even when your team is faced with large applicant to hire ratios and high requisition work loads.  Then think about just how disruptive you need to be.