How Transparent Recruiting Affects Your Company Brand
“We used to treat people with respect and follow up, even if the answer was ‘no’. Then we began hiding behind emails, behind websites.” – Jeremy Langhans, Global Recruitment Expert
“In true [company] fashion, you all have clearly continued to be so extremely self-absorbed and obsessed with your own reflections in the mirror to give a toss about the world around you and the other people in it.” – A Disgruntled Candidate, in an open letter to a company which made recent headlines.
The customer is always right, but since when was the candidate always wrong?
There is no trend more disheartening than watching human interaction wane among corporate recruiters. A couple of friends of mine who work in HR at Fortune 500s tell me it’s a trend coming from the top down, and what used to be a business of relationships is now a business of execution and efficiency. Filling the role, then getting the butt in the seat and moving onto the next position.
Of course, no one is really shocked by this trend. The larger a company grows, and the more technologically robust it becomes, human interaction is bound to be a sad little afterthought – like your adolescent son waiting for you in the rain to pick him up from school. Blame it on the speed of e-commerce. As more of the workforce is able to work from “the cloud,” it’s possible that your B2B could never actually lay eyes on another “B.”
While some companies have made a valiant effort to fight the good fight (last year, Atos, one of the world’s largest IT firms decided to ban internal emails altogether), I fundamentally don’t buy the top down argument.
A corporate recruiter’s job is to find the best candidate for the role while also representing his employer’s brand. In fact, in almost every scenario a recruiter will be a company’s only brand ambassador to the outside world, save a celebrity spokesperson or an electrifying CEO. A recruiter therefore has more opportunity for guerrilla PR than anyone else in the marketing department.
So then corporate recruitment can no longer be a process of throwing pasta against a wall and seeing what sticks, because candidates are the human capital that drive the public favor of your brand. And really, folks, all it takes is a little love. Even if it’s just a Tweet to say, “Hey. We’re still considering your application. Thanks for being patient. #wevalueyou ”
Indeed, employing social media is about the easiest way to give some dignity back to the candidate. Jeremy Langhans realized this so successfully by implementing social media initiatives at Starbucks. He was sensitive of the special relationship that Starbucks shared with its candidates, because they were also its customers. Langhans used social media to keep open lines of communication between company and candidate, and that translated into a positive opinion of the Starbucks brand.
“If you provide a positive experience [candidates] can become even more of a fan of the brand, even if they don’t get the job,” said Langhans.
Thankfully, some recent data supports this idea of transparency among recruiters. A StartWire survey of 2000+ job seekers found that:
– 77% said they think less of companies that don’t respond to job applicants.
– 72% would be deterred from recommending or speaking positively online about the company
– 58% said they’d think twice about buying a company’s products or services if they didn’t ever hear back after submitting an application.
What’s the takeaway?
If corporate recruitment is going to continue on the trend of less face-to-face, voice-to-voice interaction, than companies must seek out as many avenues (i.e. social media) to connect with candidates so as not to hurt their company brand. Transparency is the key.
Of course, here at Webrecruit we have built a profoundly transparent process, in that we connect the client with the candidate upon delivering the shortlist. That way the candidate’s humanity is always in our best interests, and so is the employer’s time. We’ve found that when both parties have as much information about what we’re doing, everybody wins.