Imagine this scenario. You’ve applied for a role with a company you’ve always wanted to work for and it’s your dream job. You rock up to the interview prepared. You walk away from the interview feeling great. You progress to the next round with more interviews and more preparation. It all appears to be going so well, and then…nothing!
No email. No phone call. Just nothing. You never hear anything else from the recruiter or hiring manager. You’ve been ghosted and are left wondering – ‘What did I do wrong?’, ‘What happened?’ and then likely a rant about how frustrated and annoyed you are.
This scenario recently played out for a friend. It left them bewildered, a little shattered, and once a fan of the company (and their products), they were now the opposite. All their advocacy was gone. So much so that when he was approached again (for a different role), he declined. For him, how he was treated said something about the organisation’s culture and their interest (or lack thereof) in their people.
We all have our disastrous recruitment stories that have left lasting impressions. For me, it was turning up to an interview expecting to be interviewed by one person, and someone different walked into the room (it turns out the original hiring manager was sacked overnight). Doing the rounds with colleagues and friends, the stories that topped the charts were:
- Flying to Sydney for a role only to be told when they landed that they needed to reschedule the meeting
- Turning up to a job interview thinking they were to be interviewed for a completely different role
- Their potential boss taking a phone call during the interview and then saying ‘I need to step outside for a minute’, and not coming back for 45 minutes
No doubt you have your stories too, as do others.
The potential for things to go off track during a recruitment process is vast. The top issues from candidates include:
- The process is too slow and opaque
- Finding out after the process that there was already a preferred candidate, so participating was a waste of time
- The people conducting the first-round interview didn’t understand the role or what it would involve
- Unsuccessful candidates receiving no acknowledgement once a decision was made or if they progressed to final rounds receiving no feedback as to why they weren’t successful
- Candidates receiving poor advice on role suitability
- The hiring manager not knowing what they were looking for, so treated the interview process as exploratory
Read More: The Dos and Don'ts of Recruiting Top Tier Talent
Recruiting is a critical part of leadership and a vital part of attracting and retaining talent. However, it’s also a process many leaders don’t overly enjoy. It can feel tedious and bureaucratic. You know you need to get the right people on board, but you don’t want to be involved with the detail. Mostly, this is a time factor because recruiting well is time-consuming.
But you can’t afford to get in wrong. When you get it wrong, you hire the wrong person for the role, and you can leave talent at the doorstep thinking the organisation’s culture is shoddy. Research shows that how your organisation’s culture is perceived ultimately impacts the attraction of talent.
Read More: Why Recruitment is Broken and How Trust Can Fix It
Also, don’t forget that a potential candidate is a current or potential future customer, and bad experiences travel far. As well, how you treat candidates says something about who you are as a leader. It demonstrates your level of care and consideration for others and is an indicator of how you use and wield the power you have from your leadership position.
You don’t need to be involved at every step of the process. Still, as a leader, you want to ensure that any aspect that’s outsourced or delegated to someone else represents your organisation’s culture and your leadership brand.
Here are some key points to consider.