A guest post by Joby Read, Business Operation & Strategy Lead at Brand Recruitment
When you consider that companies are built on people, and recruiting the best talent is essential to future growth and survival in any industry sector; you would have thought more companies would appreciate how important it is to be known as not only a great brand to work for, but also a company that respects people in the same way they want to be respected themselves.
The reality is, we all know people talk. And people that have been annoyed or feel mistreated often talk a whole lot more. So as an employer, would you not prefer people to say, “I interviewed there and was unsuccessful, but I’d still love to work there as they were great people and gave me useful feedback!” when talking about your business to friends and colleagues. Rather than “It was a horrible experience, they didn’t respect me as a candidate and I never heard anything back after my interview.”?
Just because somebody wasn’t right for one job, doesn’t mean they might not be right in the future. Or if they work in your industry sector, the chances are they’re friends with other people that you might want to hire. And today with websites such as Glassdoor and company reviews on the likes of Indeed; why don’t enough companies appreciate the benefits of having a good reputation when it comes to recruitment?
In the PR industry this is even more essential. A company that is careless with its own reputation will not be seen as trustworthy for potential clients.
Here are my 9 tips for getting good PR from your recruitment process:
Choose the right agency
If using recruitment agencies to assist with the hiring process, make sure you choose the right agencies to represent your brand, and then ensure that you give them the right tools to recruit for you effectively. You should also not be afraid to lay down the law when it comes to how they treat candidates when recruiting on your behalf. Don’t do anything that encourages agencies to ‘farm’ CVs for people that haven’t been properly briefed about the role.
Write a good job specification
Write a good job specification and make it attractive. Don’t just list skills, tell people about your company and why you are such a great place to work! If you make sure the job specification is right for the role, people will be able to use this to prepare effectively for the interview.
When looking at your CV shortlist, try spending a little bit of time to feedback to the candidates that you don’t take to interview. If there’s a specific reason you don’t want to see them let them or the recruitment agency you’re using know. Often, if you give the candidate a chance to qualify that concern, it may be unfounded. I’ve seen examples of times where candidates who a client initially pushed back on end up getting the job and being great employees.
In terms of interview feedback, if a candidate ends up not being quite right, give them honest feedback to help them improve for the future. And if they get to the second stage, point out anything they need to improve on to have a better chance of getting the job. There is no excuse for not feeding back; and for us at Brand, it is one of the most common things hiring managers don’t do that is so important in fuelling how a candidate feels about a company.
Be flexible with interviews
Don’t make people jump through hoops if they don’t have to! If you can give them a convenient interview slot, why not do so? For example, 12pm might be convenient for you, but it’s not always great for candidates as they may have to take a full day off work. Remember…that might be a day of their holiday they could be spending with loved ones, but are using it to see if they can work for you.
Make the interview process a pleasant experience by getting basic things right, for example offering them some water or a cup of tea. And if it goes on for an hour and a half, checking to see if they need a short bathroom break.
Sell your company to them
A job interview is a two-way process, and the onus should be on it being right for both parties. It is not just a chance for an employer to ‘grill’ somebody. Make the candidate feel that’s the case as well; and if it’s the person you want, this should give you a better chance of hiring them. In today’s candidate-led job market (particularly in PR and marketing agency recruitment) a candidate will often be interviewing with your competitor at the same time, so why should they choose you over them?
Don’t drag things out unnecessarily
Don’t drag the process out unnecessarily, especially if candidates have other things going on. If they are not right, just let them know so they can cross it off their list and focus on other opportunities. If they have a second interview or you want to make an offer, deal with it as soon as you can, and if it will be delayed just remember to communicate.
Offer the candidate what they are worth
When it comes to making an offer, don’t go in lower with the hope to get somebody ‘on the cheap’. If it is a fair offer based on internal employees’ experience, then great, there’s nothing wrong with some negotiation on both parts, yet don’t be silly as it can look very bad if you get it wrong. Tools, such as Brand’s annual Marketing Salary Survey, can assist employers when benchmarking salaries for their teams and new hires to know whether what they are offering is a fair and competitive rate.
If you find the person you want, send them all the paperwork straight away
If you take three weeks to send the candidate a contract, don’t be surprised if they get cold feet and accept another offer!
About the Author
Joby Read of Brand Recruitment has worked in the recruitment industry for over 10 years. Yet, it still astonishes him how companies will spend millions of pounds each year on the likes of PR, social media, crisis communications, and brand management to keep their image and reputation intact, but will pay such little attention to the bad image that can be generated by their own recruitment processes.