4 Ways HR Drops the Ball on What Matters Most to Job Candidates

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Job candidates have always had their own set of pain points about the hiring process. In a full employment economy, wise is the HR department that listens; sorry is the team that doesn’t. Fortunately, for every way that human resources can drop the ball, there are remedies to prevent it or help you recover quickly.

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Here are 4 issues that turn off job candidates and ways that you can improve.

#1: Communication That Dips or Never Takes Off

Recruiting Daily says job candidates get hot under the collar when communication is poor or it starts off great and takes a nosedive. If you say “feel free to contact me,” mean it. And if you say that you’ll call, follow through on that promise.

Poor HR communication is the No. 1 job candidate complaint and it takes more than one form. Maybe you call candidates at inconvenient times, don’t return calls or emails, or never call back if their resume doesn’t make the cut. All of those leave a bad taste in a candidate’s mouth, and they’re likely to share the experience with others.

What can you do? It’s easier said than done, but polite communication really does make a difference.

Politeness isn’t just about your tone of voice. It’s also about returning calls, answering questions and remembering that candidates who already have a job are probably busy from 9 to 5. What about candidates who aren’t a good fit for the job? Communication can keep them engaged until the right job does open up.

Job candidates

When a candidate shares your career site, make sure it’s for the right reasons.

#2: Outdated Career Sites With No Signs of Improvement

Have you ever used your career site as if you were a candidate? Or do you rely on IT to handle appearance and functionality? If you want to understand candidates, check it out and look for frustrating issues. If they bother you, imagine how candidates feel. After working to reel them in, don’t risk losing them to an outdated technology.

Mobile is a big issue. If your hiring site doesn’t have a mobile first design, that’s a turnoff. And you can’t afford to turn off people you’re trying to court. According to the 2015 Job Seeker Nation Survey by Jobvite, people increasingly use mobile and the numbers go up every year.

What can you do? Recruitee has these suggestions for a better career site:

  • Look professional and modern. Check out other hiring sites for ideas.
  • Use great images
  • Aim for transparency by posting all open jobs
  • Delete jobs that are no longer vacant
  • Integrate your career site with your ATS
  • Think mobile first (your candidates already do)
  • Show off company culture with videos and employee testimonials
  • Use calls-to-action on every landing page

#3: Sluggish Benefits or Perks

Some benefits can make the grass on the other side of the fence so green that it’s hard to resist. And in some cases, employees will jump ship and take a pay cut just to get them.

What can you do? Offer benefits that resonate with your employees. Fractl surveyed 2,000 people, asking which benefits made a difference.

These are the most influential:

  • Medical, dental and vision insurance
  • Flexible work hours
  • Additional vacation time
  • Telecommuting/working from home
  • Unlimited vacation

What about other more creative perks that aren’t so costly? Survey responders showed interest in these, as well:

  • Free snacks and coffee
  • Company retreats
  • Free employee outings
  • Team bonding events

#4: Little or No Engagement After Hiring

Once a candidate is hired on, a new job begins for HR: retention. Your employees are another company’s passive candidates.  And employee engagement isn’t a one-sided affair. They might show up for work every day, but they need a reason to stay loyal.

You’ve probably seen the statistics. Most employees, even happy ones, are open to a new job with a different company. In fact, Jobvite says 37 to 48 percent of people aren’t the least bit shy about using a mobile device on the job to look for a new one, while 13 percent have job shopped during a meeting.

What can you do? According to eSkill, HR has plenty of engagement avenues for the taking. Some of them include:

  • Develop a clear employee engagement strategy
  • Communicate to learn what they need
  • Make engagement a company-wide goal
  • Practice kindness in giving both positive and negative feedback
  • Offer coaching and mentoring to build skills and help employees feel valued
  • Home in on employees with leadership potential

More and more, job candidates are customers and HR is like sales. A good lead is invaluable, especially with so few people unemployed. Once you find a great candidate, the idea of losing them should be unacceptable. That requires a shift in perception.

When you think of candidates as customers, every engagement takes on a new level of importance. Poor communication can turn them off quicker than anything else. An outdated hiring site that glitches on mobile makes the employer brand look tired. Poor benefits won’t capture anyone’s attention. And once you have them on board, a lack of engagement can put you in the same position as their last employer. Fortunately, all of these issues are correctable.

If you’re looking for more ways to engage with candidates and employees and make your employer brand shine, subscribe to Recruitment ADvisor and get fresh, relevant content delivered to your inbox.

Carole Oldroyd

Carole Oldroyd is a writer and graphic artist living in East Tennessee. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LegalZoom, and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found restoring her historic Victorian home piece by piece.

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About Carole Oldroyd

Carole Oldroyd is a writer and graphic artist living in East Tennessee. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LegalZoom, and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found restoring her historic Victorian home piece by piece.

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