KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR THE CANDIDATE!
A. RECRUITMENT PROCESS
1. The entire process must be easy and quick for the job seeker.
2. Don’t discriminate against people who are not currently working. They are ready to work right now and unemployment should not be a factor.
3. Create a shortcut from the main website page to the career, employment, human resources, hiring, or personnel management page. Make it easy to find, don’t bury the link in a sub-category.
4. On the HR page either have a list of the positions or a direct link to job listings. Don’t make candidates click six times to get to the list of openings. Some job-posting HRIS-engines are better than others. (ie Taleo is profoundly cumbersome).
5. Don’t have a lot of bells and whistles on the site. Assume that all seekers are using slow dial-up for their Internet connection.
6. Let candidates conduct a search before logging in. They should not have to fill out an application if they don’t apply for any positions.
7. Only have a booth at a Career Fair if you intend to hire. Actually use the resumes collected to consider for current and future open positions.
8. Take job openings off the Internet immediately when they are filled. Otherwise, the posting will float around in cyberspace for infinity and you’ll keep receiving applications. Myriad job search engines have an annoying feature of listing filled jobs or relisting the same position repetitively.
9. Linked In postings are nifty when the candidate can submit an application from their Linked In profile. It is quick and easy! More jobs should be posted on Linked In. Plus, it would be helpful if LI would have an advanced search option to include full-time vs. part-time positions. Most candidates don’t have the funds to pay for extra options.
10. Unpaid work, internships and volunteering is work. Consider it to be the same as a regular paid position. Just prorate according to the hours per week or project.
B. ON-LINE APPLICATION
1. Only ask for a resume and up to ten supplemental questions for the first round. Weed out candidates and request more details in the next phase. Don’t rely on a computer system to check all the applications, you are losing out on some terrific candidates who may have a resume without the correct keywords.
2. If you really don’t care about a cover letter, state that none is needed.
3. Don’t assume that the job seeker has an hour to complete an entire application. Candidates don’t want to fill out a 5+ year job history for a position if they won’t even get an interview.
4. Don’t ask candidates to download an application, fill it out and then return it in an email. Too many steps. Any added complications will increase errors
5. It is shocking that some applications ask the year of high school or college graduation; it is on the verge of an illegal age question.
6. Never ask for a social security number or birth date until it is clear that the candidate will be offered the job.
7. Don’t ask what wage the candidate earned at a previous job. That is private information. It isn’t relevant to the open position if the candidate is okay with the range that you offer. Include the wage range in the recruitment materials/job description. Let the candidate negotiate.
C. SCHEDULING THE INTERVIEW
1. Please call the candidate. Don’t just send an email or text message. Pick up the phone and speak with the potential employee.
2. Plan the interview a week in advance. Candidates are busy. They probably would not be able to come in for an interview later today or even tomorrow. They need at least a couple days notice or a week to make certain that they can fit it into their schedule and prepare.
3. Please email an updated job description in advance of the meeting. Your website may have an abbreviated version so its helpful for the candidate to have more information.
4. Let the candidate know if they will be meeting with one or more people and their names and titles.
5. Please email the candidate directions to the office and a phone number of someone to contact if they are delayed. Provide free parking.
6. Phone interviews are fine but they should also be scheduled in advance. Candidates need a chance to prepare. Send an email of the people the candidate will be talking with so that the candidate can send a proper thank you note.
D. THE INTERVIEW
1. Most receptionists are nice and it is great when they offer water, coffee or tea. Make sure the receptionist knows that the candidate is coming.
2. Schedule a room for the meeting. The candidate may not be comfortable talking in a public space like a reception area. Meeting the candidate at a coffee shop is fine, but choose a quiet but not library-esq location.
3. Give the candidate the business card of everyone in the interview. Candidates want to send thank you notes and it’s easier if that information is procured immediately.
4. Please be mentally present at the meeting, the candidate are there to meet with you. It is rude if you are distracted and not really wanting to meet with the potential employee.
5. If the candidate is a finalist, please show the office workspace. It may help the potential employee decide to work there or not.
6. College transcripts are reasonable but wait until the interview. It is intrusive to share the classes the candidate took and a few bad grades received during their silly early 20s. It only matters that the candidate graduated.
7. Make certain that this job is really open. Don’t conduct interviews and then “cancel” the opening after meeting with candidates. Why, oh, Why?
8. If you already have a viable internal candidate, don’t bother to interview outsiders. It’s a waste of our time.
9. Two or three interviewing rounds are acceptable. More than three rounds is ridiculous.
10. Unless the job involves a lot of physical activity, the weight of the candidate should not be a factor. Technically, "size" is not a protected class but it ought to be since discrimination can occur during the hiring process. It is important to open to every type of diversity.
1. Background checks are a necessity for many positions. References are supposed to vouch for the candidate. However, when doing an Internet search, take the postings with the proverbial “grain of salt.” Inaccurate information may be posted on the web or very old information. Don’t just discount the candidate but talk with them about it. Perhaps the posting was something beyond their control or something that they regret.
2. Please send each candidate a real rejection letter. Emails are inappropriate if the candidate spent time and energy to come to your office for a meeting. Don’t make the potential candidate call you to learn their fate.
3. If the interviewee was truly a good candidate but not a match for this specific position, please keep their information in an active file. Let them know of other openings. They may not have time to keep monitoring your website.
E. PERSONAL NOTES
The statistics show that in a few years when the Baby Boomers start to retire en masse, there will be a lack of skilled workers. HR folks need to be aware that if they piss off candidates now, the job seeker will not return to explore the company in the future. People have a long memory and they talk to their friends, write blogs, post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, et al. Unfortunately, people tend to remember bad news more easily than good news. Hiring is related to marketing. A friend of mine was treated rudely and he turned down a job offer as a result. Our entire group has been boycotting that business for over five years. They have lost many customers over one bad encounter with an interviewee. HR folks shouldn’t burn bridges…
I am speaking from experience after conducting several job searches and interviewing hundreds of people. The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), International Personnel Management Association (IPMA), World Federation of Personnel Management Associations, and Human Resources Management International Digest have a lot of great contacts.
KISHR (Keep It Simple, Human Resources!)