How to create a positive Candidate Experience

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This month we are publishing responses to our open blogging invitation – Your thoughts, our blog. Today’s post is from Prashant Joglekar on how organizations can improve by starting  inhouse and focusing on various factors that build up a great candidate experience.

Candidate Experience

Today’s era is an era of experiences. BJ Pine in his book “The Experience Economy” has shown how organizations swell their top line and bottom line by furthering  their offerings from Commodity to Product to Service to Experience. Therefore it then becomes imperative that organizations should first extend this experience to their own employees, as they are the real transformation agents delivering organization’s value promise.

 The Employee ship cycle starts with candidate search, pre-screening, interview, selection and finally concludes by making a job offer.

 Understanding Workforce Through Generation Lens

 The workforce composition statistics shows that today’s workforce consists of an average 5 % of baby boomers, 30% of Generation X and 65 % of Generation Y. Each has its unique behavioral pattern, which needs to be carefully understood by the organization while dealing with them during the selection process. For e.g. Gen Y population lives in a virtual world,Just in Time (JIT) in everything is their way of life, they form opinions out of their first authentic impressions about the organization and does not off era second chance to correct an unauthentic one. So appropriate mediums of communication, response time, and authenticity are essential attributes recruiters should keep in mind while dealing with them.

 Gen X expects more respect,personal connection owing to their years of experience, so recruiter has to be both hi-touch and hi-tech while dealing with both these generations.

 Recruiter, the Brand Manager

A good brand manager articulates the value of the brand and puts his best effort to deliver its promise; similarly a recruiter is a brand manager of his organization and guardian of employer value proposition that it promises to provide.

 Although I don’t have direct recruiting experience, I can think of few basic things recruiter must do based on my own experience as a candidate

  1. Recruiter needs to know the business of the organization and the importance of prospective role in greater detail
  2. He has to be handy with all the information that candidate may require. During selection process any delay in communication can create a bad impression in candidate’s mind about the prospective organization and can result in losing a good candidate to the competitor
  3.  Recruiter should first be ready with all the business attributes that surround a prospective job before even he starts scouting fora talent.
  4.  Recruiters are like front end employees of a service organization, they create first impressions about the organization and with the advent of technology led social interactions, these experiences good or bad are widely shared in the job market. Exhibiting professionalism therefore is a must to create good image.

 Personal experiences: Some Sweet, Some Sour

Candidate selection and onboarding is analogues to an Indian arranged marriage phenomenon. At every stage of the process comfort through timely, honest & transparent communication helps in building camaraderie between bride and groom’s side.

I was fortunate to have outstanding experiences in the organizations I worked for. I joined as a management trainee in my first organization. Our first day first session was with the CEO & MD of the company wherein we had interesting discussions through a question answer session on economy, industry and our own businesses. We had lunch meeting with him and therefore got a chance to interact in person. Afterwards we had a very detailed orientation program through each of our manufacturing facility and planned interactions with senior leadership. This gave me an excellent macro view of the organization and its businesses. When I joined my own business unit post orientation, I was put on the shop floor to work with a special task force formed to expedite production at the year-end. This gave me an opportunity to work with my own hands and connect with my future colleagues. This has helped me increase my acceptance level before I formally started with my job. Since well begun is half done I had a fairly long successful stint of 9 years with the organization.

 In my next organization, I was invited for an informal lunch meeting one week prior to my joining. It eased out my joining anxiety as I got well acquainted with my future colleagues. After joining I had an orientation program with major corporate functions during which I met key executives, this was essential for my future role. As I began officially my direct manager gave me a short but a key assignment and I was teamed up with a newly joined junior colleague to test my team working skills. We came out with flying colors in our first assignment that attracted attention of one of our directors. This assignment was confidence booster and provided me with a good start in the organization. I again had a long & fruitful association with the organization.

 A planned onboarding, informal interactions with future colleagues’, relatively simple but important assignment to ensure quick win can lay a very good foundation for a new employees’ success in the organization.

 Learning from my friend’s story

 While all the above-mentioned experiences were positive, my friend had 180 degree opposite experience with his last organization. When he received a call from the recruiter about the possible job,it seemed that there was no clarity to recruiter about the role. The job description that was sent subsequently was totally misaligned with their initial conversations. During the interview my friend learnt that even hiring manager was also not clear about the role for which he was recruiting. My friend eventually got selected and had accepted the offer thinking that he will get clarity once he joins the organization. On the first day HR manager approached the hiring manager for the orientation which hiring manager refused to draw as he was not collaborative with his peers and had ego clashes with them. This has not helped my friend’s cause of a great career with the organization. Despite his best efforts he could not succeed in his assignment, as he would have liked because of poor role alignment and clarity. He also could not quickly build a team because of internal bureaucracy and struggled with his stint with the organization before finally leaving it in frustration.

 Summing It Up

Organizations compete on the basis of hearts & minds of their people.Although their real business is selling their products & services to the customer,they also have to be mindful of the fact that they are equally responsible for creating &selling their ‘employer value proposition’ to their future employees.An organization cannot expect it to be excellent if its selection & onboarding is not commensurate with its aspirations.

 In short a good takeoff will help candidate soar and a bad one will make him plummet. Organizations cannot isolate themselves with the success or failure of candidate’s first employeeship experience

PrashantAbout the author

Prashant Joglekar is postgraduate from IIT Mumbai and has 23 years of experience in various business functions in large Indian conglomerates. At present he works for a large sized multifaceted Indian business house and looks after L&D, Employee Engagement and HR technology implementations.

 

4 Comments

  1. Ams says:

    Very well written

  2. kiran says:

    Prashant – well written… Few points i noticed… Normally HR recruiters are having a very different background..their understanding on business/function requirement is very limited…there are few companies i know where HR Head is being recruited from plant on rotation basis…this gives better understanding of role requirement and at the same time easy to short list profile best suited for the job…The other point you wrote about x and y gen…yes absolutely correct…Y generation believes in google and u tube…they are much more confident…but sometimes they fail to react in emergency… They need to be tackled/trained differently…

  3. Thanks Kiran for your time reading my blog and replying your valuable views. Agree with what you said, there r 2 widely prevailing myths about HR

    1) it needs to non-technical
    2) HR is an event management function

    I have aired my views about ‘Next Gen HR’ in my recently published blog

    http://innovationnukkad.blogspot.com/2015/04/next-gen-hr-driving-innovation-across.html

    Let me have your views

    Regards

    Prashant

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