Reengineering the Candidate Experience to Provide Best Talent
Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to visit one of our local recruiting offices to film our recently released Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) Program. While I was there, I got to check out the new Staff Management | SMX candidate experience first-hand and our recently upgraded workforce management system which includes enhanced applicant tracking and candidate management functionality. I’ve included pictures throughout this post from my visit to give you an inside look our recruiting offices.
We recently conducted a Lean Assessment Process, enabling us to enhance our candidates’ experience while moving through the steps of our hiring process. We analyzed every part of our recruitment and selection process flow, from the first candidate contact through when they are ready to start a new position, and examined our applicant tracking and candidate management functionality for ease of use and efficiency. We also surveyed our candidates and associates to find out what was important to them.
The result is a more engaging and streamlined recruitment and selection process, with an enhanced emphasis on communication, one-on-one interviewing and quality time between our recruiters and each candidate, as well as a better use of our physical recruitment space and our recruiters’ time. This improved candidate experience allows us to provide our clients with best talent more efficiently, hiring more qualified candidates and ensuring better motivational fit.
Enhancing Your Employer Brand
The article Brand Beware, in the November 2011 issue of HRO Today Magazine, explores the importance of brand and candidate experience during the hiring process. In the article, HRO Today highlights the importance of ensuring a positive brand experience through all points in the employee lifecycle with an emphasis on the recruitment and selection process. “One of the most direct and meaningful contact points between any individual and brand (beyond employment itself) is, of course, the recruitment and selection process.”
As a staffing provider, our recruiters and service teams are brand ambassadors for our clients. As we have re-engineered our candidate recruitment and selection process, we have been very conscious of how these candidate experiences impact our clients’ brands. We strive to uphold and enhance those brands in all interactions with prospective employees.
From the very first recruitment ad a prospective associate sees, to the efficiency of our recruitment and selection process and the effectiveness of our onboarding, orientation and training process, we have the opportunity to create a positive impression. Each touch point with a candidate provides an important interaction for our clients’ brands as well as the Staff Management | SMX brand. This begins with their employment and extends from the way we manage our associates while on assignment at our clients’ facilities, to the online community we create for our associates on Facebook and other social media, ending with the way we manage their off-boarding, these touch points matter.
Engineering in Optimism
As part of our new recruitment and selection process, we are rebranding our offices to create a more engaging experience for our candidates. Our goal is to create an energetic, warm environment complete with friendly and professional staff, welcoming and informative signage, multimedia and music. When candidates walk through our doors, we want them to feel optimistic about their job search and pleased with the level of personal feedback they receive throughout the hiring process.
We have enhanced our recruiting and selection system to buoy this sense of optimism. The new functionality is user-friendly, intuitive and provides the option to start the process from home or our offices. It allows candidates to understand and track their progress through our online application portal so they always know what’s next. In turn, this allows our recruiters more time for one-on-one interactions with candidates to discuss the available positions. These personal candidate interactions help our recruiters effectively identify the qualities that each candidate can bring to a position, creating a better motivational fit.
By treating our candidates professionally, making the recruitment process engaging and communicating clearly, we set the tone for employment with us. We want to ensure that our candidates have a positive experience and show that we take their employment seriously. Something as simple as the way you are greeted when you call to inquire about a position or the appearance of the recruitment office can make a big difference in a candidate’s perception of our employment opportunities, our brand and our clients’ brands.
A Part of Something
The first thing I noticed on my recent visit to one of our recruiting offices was that the environment was not only welcoming and warm but informative and engaging. I was immediately immersed in Staff Management | SMX’s inviting culture. There were informative posters and banners that explained the types of positions I could apply for, showed me the types of environments I might work in and the types of safety gear I might need to wear. Benefits and associate appreciation programs were highlighted and many questions a new candidate might have were answered visually. As I explored the office, I also learned about how to join our Facebook community, how to follow us on Twitter and how to recommend a friend to work for Staff Management | SMX.
While at the office, I was able to sit through part of a new hire orientation. The orientation was professionally produced and well organized and the presenters were dynamic and enthusiastic. Participants were provided with a New Associate Welcome Guide which covered important topics such as: what to wear, job expectations, attendance, benefits and safety. The interactive, multimedia orientation presentation provided a clear understanding of the remaining steps in the hiring process including what will happen on your first day and week and what the next touch point would be. The orientation process was not only informative but also created a sense of excitement to be part of the Staff Management | SMX team.
I concluded my visit to our local recruiting office with a sense of pride in our team and confidence in our ability to provide our clients with the best talent available for their needs. These are tough times for people seeking work and I could see that the way our team interacted with the candidates in our office went a long way in building their confidence and optimism. I was pleased that as an organization we have been able to improve our process and create greater efficiency that both enhances the candidate experience and also enables our teams to better connect job seekers with the jobs that best suit them. I could see the thoughtful consideration that was given to each step in the process and the clear focus on creating a good job match and a successful associate. The new hire orientation process was a great example of this. It was carefully designed to bridge the critical stage in the hiring process between being hired and starting a position, reinforcing for the new associate that they have made a good choice and ensuring they knew exactly would happen next.
Finally, my visit reminded me that our recruiters and services team members are really sales people for our clients’ job opportunities and consequently, their brands, and that we have a great opportunity to enhance their brands while doing what we do best – providing best talent.