But let’s be honest. Sometimes, the experience isn’t going to be great.
As you all know, the recruitment process can be fraught with calamities, pitfalls and disaster. Everything that could go wrong probably has gone wrong at some point in your careers.
Here at CloudCall, we’ve all been through the process in one way or another. While we’ve helped countless recruiters provide a better candidate experience, there are some situations that we just can’t help you with. So, we thought we’d go around the office and give you some of our worst recruitment nightmares.
“Before working for CloudCall, I used to work as a legal recruitment consultant. I had a client who was returning to work after a period of absence, and I managed to find her an entry-level role as a receptionist.
She started on Monday and was late in, which wasn’t a great start. But I just put that down to finding the office, not knowing the quickest way in… the usual really.
On Wednesday I received an angry call from the manager, wanting her removed from the company as soon as possible. It turned out that she had posted a status on Facebook slating him, effing and blinding about how he was such a bad boss. She’d added him as a friend the day before, so he saw this rant front and centre on his newsfeed.”
Twitter and Facebook can be a pitfall for everyone, from the poor marketing executive who, when trying to promote Walkers Crisps’ partnership with the UEFA Champions League, decided to invite the famously-gentle Twitterverse to send in a photo which would then be clutched by Gary Lineker (with predictable results) to Shadow Chancellor-turned-celebrity dad dancer Ed Balls, who managed to tweet this…
— Ed Balls (@edballs) April 28, 2011
For recruiters, it’s no different. You think you’ve done all the hard work when your candidate starts, only to see them mess it up like that! But while that must be infuriating, it can be hard to know what the parameters are when returning to work after a long period of absence.
While no sensible person would add their boss and then slate them, it may be worth giving your candidates a few pointers before they start, just in case. After all, as a recruiter, you are considered an expert in the world of work. Because you’ve just secured them a job, they may see you as a friendly face who’s on their side.
“I explained that I was unable to remember the exact role…”
“Many moons ago, I was a Computer Operator, which was back in the days when mainframe computers existed, and we still had to load magnetic tapes onto enormous drives to take backups. I was desperate to move to a more senior role, so I applied for a position where I thought there was the potential for this to happen. Then I put the details to one side and waited for their call. And waited. And waited.
“In the weeks that passed, the details disappeared into the ether, and I pretty much forgot about the application. So, imagine my surprise when, out of the blue, I received a letter asking me to come for an interview for a Computer Operator position. The letter had no details of salary, hours, shifts or progression, but I knew the types of roles I was applying for at that time, so I decided to go along and ‘wing it’.
“The first 30 minutes of the interview went very well. I had a strong CV, had a fair bit of experience in the role, and I’d also heavily researched the company in advance. Unfortunately, it was at that point when I was asked the question I’d most feared …
“So, Mike, what was it about this role that specifically caught your attention?”
“My mind went blank. Unable to think on my feet, I explained that I was unable to remember the exact role, and just waffled on about something or other for what felt like an uncomfortably long period of time. Strangely enough, the interview didn’t last much longer, and I wasn’t offered the role. This was a shame as it was exactly what I was looking for; Computer Operator moving into development in 3-6 months!”
In today’s candidate-driven job market, providing a great experience is key to making sure you’re in pole position to retain business. Keeping your candidates waiting for weeks and weeks probably isn’t conducive to this. Of course, you shouldn’t neglect the quality of your recruiting, but speed does matter, especially when recruiting for high-level positions where your candidates hold all the cards.
“Can I use a false name?”
“Within 10 minutes of finishing university, my mum began to moan about when I was going to get a job. So, when a mass of call centre jobs came up at the big retailer near my house, I thought I’d spare her the moaning and apply. During the initial application, there was a very small screening test which was about 5 questions and pretty much a formality. Somehow, I got past that and eventually ended up at the group assessment day which, for some reason, I came into halfway through.
“Looking back, that was a great shame, because, during training, my colleague (who was in the same assessment) took great pleasure in telling me about the candidate who, when filling out the assessment sheet, put his hand up and asked the hiring manager whether he could use a false name. Apparently, his mate did that in a previous interview. He didn’t get the job.
“Fortunately, I didn’t miss the guy who got a bit too emotionally invested in the written assessment questions, which were about discounting a product due to delays. For an uncomfortably long period, he poured his heart out to us all about how he felt awful for the poor (entirely-fabricated) family who wouldn’t get their sofa, and how he wanted to give them more discount than the example allowed.
“For some reason, the hiring manager didn’t think he’d have the strength in character to relay this news to a real family 100 times a week without bankrupting the company, and he didn’t get the job either.”
There’s nothing wrong with casting the net out wide, particularly when you are mass-recruiting. You may not have the time to interview or assess every single candidate, and they may have similar qualifications across the board. This may be the case for graduate schemes, or entry-level positions with lower requirements such as the customer services one above. For these sorts of roles, assessment centres make a lot of sense.
But it can’t look great for a prospective employee to see themselves alongside candidates of the ilk of the ones above. When dealing with a lot of candidates, make sure that you have an effective screening process before bringing them on-site. For example, you could utilise telephone interviews, psychometric tests or some of the new gamified solutions out there on the market.