Just in case you missed it, a few months ago, I wrote an article about the things that recruiters want from job seekers. I received a comment saying that it would be interesting to look at the flip side: What do job seekers want from recruiters?
Great question! So, a few weeks ago, I set up a survey for you to tell me your thoughts. I received almost 100 responses. While we can’t declare it statistically scientific, I’m saying it’s significant. (It’s my blog so I can do that kind of stuff. ha.ha.) But your comments were no joking matter.
It took me some time to read through the responses and categorize them. I put them into eight categories from least mentioned to most mentioned:
- Technology: This wasn’t as much about organizations having expensive technology solutions as it was about getting the basics right. Like “if a recruiter is making their first contact via phone, they should make sure their phone number displays a business name versus ‘No Caller ID’ or ‘Unknown Caller’.” Many people just don’t answer those calls.
- Professionalism: I’m putting in this category the references to bias, ageism, and disrespect. One respondent said, “If I took a day off (which may have been a complicated maneuver) and a bunch of travel time to come and speak with you, do me the courtesy of feeding me a decent meal, thanking me for my time, and filling me in on the results.”
- Empathy: We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of the candidate experience because a poor one can impact the bottom-line. Recruiters need to remember what it was like to be a candidate. One respondent said, “Treat the job seeker as you would like to be treated.” ‘nuf said.
- Interviews: A few people mentioned the lack of dialogue during interviews (question → answer, question → answer) as well as the quality of questions (“Tell me about yourself.” is getting a little old.) They also mentioned recruiters and hiring managers being prepared by reviewing the resume or application prior to meeting with the candidate.
- Responsiveness: This ties into other areas like empathy and feedback. One person said, “If the job seeker is supposed to follow up in 24-48 hours, how about the recruiter does the same?” I continuously hear from recruiters that the best candidates are off the market in ten days. If that’s true, then responsiveness matters.
- Feedback: This is consistently one of candidates’ top peeves. If the position gets filled, let candidates know. One respondent said, “When I get a phone screen or interview, prompt notification that I’m not in the running is nice.” Today’s recruiting technology solutions allow you to do this so take advantage of it.
- Communication: This is probably no surprise. But job seekers said they expected recruiters to have clear verbal and written communication skills. They also said that they expected recruiters to be able to “translate experience into their open roles.”
- Honesty: Respondents mentioned honesty both in terms of the company and the job. One person said that they wanted to know “the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m a professional and know there’s both good and bad about any job and any organization.”
So those are the things that job seekers want to see from recruiters and here’s how the comments were distributed:
As you can see, the top four areas were honesty, communication, feedback, and responsiveness. If organizations are trying to improve their candidate experience, those areas might offer a starting point. Conduct a little self-audit. How would you rate yourself in these areas? Are there actions you can put in place to improve? It’s possible that the company could positively impact their candidate experience without spending any money – through transparent and authentic communication, feedback, and responsiveness.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while attending the WorkHuman Conference in Austin, TX16