Many stakeholders are important in the recruitment journey, not least are your candidates. Many recruiters fail to set candidate expectations in a coordinated way, but by doing so, you will underpin your recruitment success and minimise the risk of losing out on top talent.
This becomes even more crucial in a climate where many industries face candidate scarcity issues or have hard to fill roles.
Many in-house recruiters utilise some variation of Applicant Tracking or Recruitment Software to manage the recruitment journey, even those who don’t could adopt the following tactics to find and recruit candidates who are the perfect fit for your roles and manage their expectations throughout the process.
Part of managing candidate expectations is about setting boundaries and being transparent throughout the process. Setting your stall out right from the start means you could reduce your time to hire with a greater success rate.
Attract - The start of the recruitment journey
Attracting the right candidates in the first instance requires an accurate job advertisement and role profile which need to reflect the role on offer precisely. It is vital to set the right expectations of exactly what you are looking for and what appeals to the candidate. It's horses for courses, but advertising the salary at the start of the process is usually positive when managing expectations.
Also, from an internal perspective raising jobs accurately, with the right approval BEFORE your campaign kicks off saves any unnecessary time wasting in the later stages. One final point is don’t overlook advertising internally first or in sync with an external campaign – internal candidates count too. In fact, Employee Referrals are a great option and are ranked number one for candidate quality in the UK Candidate Attraction Report.
Engage - Does your careers site communicate the right message to candidates?
Looking beyond traditional Applicant Tracking Systems, your corporate website/careers site is often the most effective attraction method for candidates finding out more about you; think of it as your shop window. Does it accurately represent your employer brand messaging, values and culture? If you clearly communicate what it’s like to work with you at the very early stages you are on the road to managing expectations. Think about the impression visitors will get; do images used represent your people? Are the stories you share engaging and relative? What are the benefits & rewards of working with you? How can candidates connect with you, whether that be socially or the ability to set preferences for intuitive job alerts?
Recruit – Your process should reflect the quality of your employer brand
Having the best hiring process is key to finding and placing the best people - nobody wants to be lost in the application process so make sure you have a multi-channel communication strategy built in to notify candidates as they move through the process. A transparent and consistent hiring process is key to evaluating on set criteria, rather than unconscious bias! Each candidate should experience the same process.
Check you have flexibility across your recruitment workflows that allow you to progress different vacancies through bespoke processes relevant to your business. All should be customisable and offer hiring managers the authority and reminders they need to move candidates through the process in a timely and coordinated way.
From a candidates perspective providing them with the ability to ‘self-serve’ so they can set preferences for email and SMS reminders, job alerts, interview scheduling and viewing the status of their application will set and manage candidate expectations easily.
Onboard – Keeping your new hires ‘warm’
So, you’ve found your next rock star candidate; your offer has been issued, so, now you can sit back and relax? Well no, not quite. If candidates are not fully engaged throughout the process all your efforts to date could be dashed with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
There are many reasons why candidates turn down job offers; the job wasn’t what they thought it was, you took too long to respond, salary expectations, cultural fit – all of which are addressable if you manage expectations throughout the process. Get that right then go one step further by keeping new hires warm before their first day. Ideas to do so include online documentation collection to avoid being bogged down on their first day, electronic contract pack or even an online welcome message from the CEO. Think Candidate Relationship Management.
Unsuccessful candidates – Could they feed your talent pool?
One final point, as part of the process in finding the right candidate for a role, it’s likely that there are candidates who narrowly missed out. Put in place a compliant way to target this talent with the right opportunities – they could be your next top ranking candidate.
Want to know more?
You can find out more about Eploy’s stages of the complete recruitment journey for in-house recruiters and how this supports managing candidates’ expectations in this e-recruitment guide.
Here are some additional free resources that look this topic in further detail