The Modern Recruitment Process Explained

When I meet recruiters I often see one thing that most recruiters need to change, and it's their mental picture of the recruitment process.

It is time to phase out the dotted straight line and think of the recruitment process as a dotted circle where candidates can circle back to you when there’s a new opportunity they’re better suited for or talks about your brand to friends and family.

Why is this important?

In order to attract talent and keep the number of candidates applying high, you want every candidate to feel that they would start all over again, and apply for other interesting jobs at your company. Even if they are not selected at the end of the process.

This small change in mindset will bring a big change in your organization and employer brand.

The Old Way of Thinking When Recruiting

I’ve been working 10+ years in recruiting and HR, mainly at recruitment agencies, and now with the HR analytics tool Trustcruit.

The most central part of recruiting is the recruitment process. It is always displayed as a dotted straight line, with several steps (the number of steps varies from company to company) but it is always displayed as a dotted straight line. The steps can be everything from creating the right profile for your new hire, writing the job ad, doing the interviews, contacting references, tests to signing the contract. You know the drill.

This old way of looking at the recruitment process has major drawbacks compared to what I am going to suggest as a new way of thinking about the recruitment process. But first, I will run through the downsides.

The major drawback with the old view of the recruitment process

The one major drawback is perhaps the most obvious one. You must communicate a rejection when the candidate is not moved forward in the recruitment process! No excuses accepted! When a candidate is not selected to move on in the process or if they choose to decline a job offer.

Always leave the candidate thinking:

This is a company where I want to apply for another job.

Why is this so important?

If you have read my previous post you know that I have aligned my definition of the employer brand with the most common statement of what an employer brand is; “how potential, current, and previous employees perceive you as an employer”.

It’s most important to focus on potential employees because they do not see or experience the things that are impacting how the current employees feel about their company. Candidates do not get rewards, bonuses, flexible hours, free insurance, ping pong tables, and so on. All they hopefully get is great communication throughout the recruitment process.

Previous employees are dependent on so many factors that you do not control. Employees quit for many reasons and they are happy or not happy about it for so many different reasons. Many of which you do not control such as cutting staff, personal matters, structural changes, and so on.

With the potential employees, you have control over how you are perceived. Your way of handling candidates in the recruitment process will fully impact your ability to convert them into promoters. Now let us start to focus on them and my model for a modern recruitment process.

The Modern Way of Thinking When Recruiting

This is the modern way of thinking about recruiting. The straight dotted line is changed to a round dotted circle. At first glance, it might look simple, but I will tell you how this is a small step for a recruiter, but one giant leap for recruiting (yes, I borrowed and improved Neil Armstrong’s famous quote).

When working with the task to find new colleagues you are faced with so many different challenges.

Maybe your brand is not attractive, maybe you don’t have the resources to compete with salary or maybe you are struggling with candidates not applying. There can be thousands of challenges and they differ from organization to organization, department to department, recruiter to recruiter, and so on. The best thing you can do to avoid these challenges is to build the employer brand so strong that it will be a magnet to your candidates.

It all starts with making sure that you see the person behind every application and respect the time and effort they have put into applying.

Strive to end every recruitment process with every candidate thinking: I want to apply for another job here!

I guess you are starting to see the point with the dotted circle instead of the dotted line. You have to think about the recruitment process as a circle that candidates are supposed to be attracted to going through many times.

A Modern Mindset Will Affect Your Employer Brand

When I talk to recruiters, HR business partners, CEO:s and other people in HR, and recruiting, and tell them about this small shift in mindset, we always join hands and agree that this modern mindset will affect your employer brand and ability to attract talent not only once, but many times. If you want to know how you are perceived by candidates in your current recruitment processes, the CNPS (Candidate Net Promoter Score) is a great key metric.

“The best thing you can bring to the table when you have challenges in recruiting is a strong brand. This little shift in mindset gives you the best tool.”

So let's all agree that it doesn’t matter if the candidate is right for your company at this moment. They are still thinking, feeling, and talking about their experience when applying. They are communicating with friends and family in a way that is having an impact on your brand. This little shift in mindset will make your employer brand stronger and help you create more possibilities.

Just to give you an understanding of the current statistics from 90+ companies that systematically have been collecting feedback about their candidate experiences of 171,502 candidates during 2017, we found the following:

1 in 4 (23%) of all candidates that have been through a recruitment process answers “no” to the question: Would you apply for a job here again?

1 in 20 (4,9%) of all candidates experience technical issues when submitting their application.

1 in 3 (33,23%) of all candidates that do not pass selections have not received any feedback.

As always I am more than happy to discuss recruiting and the challenges further so feel free to comment, add me on Linkedin here, or send me an email: 👋.

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Simon Werner-Zankl

Passionate about data driven HR, startups and true believer that passion never fails.