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Managing ‘Precruitment’

Tags: Candidate Experience

Social recruitingAt the #truStockholm event it was observed that most of the talk around social recruiting is really about talent attraction and sourcing. There’s little attention paid to what was termed as the ‘precruitment’ stage, which as best defined as all the interactions that go on between application and hiring or rejection. This is a key stage, particularly given what is happening in current day recruiting cycles.

What we have taken from the data we follow is 3 key things:

1: The interview-to-hire timescale has doubled in most industries. What used to take 4 weeks now takes 8 weeks.

2: The number of interviews and people involved has doubled. There’s now more interviews, tests, references etc. than ever before to try and get hires 100% right.

3: Offer declines are running at up to 50%. That means half the candidates who have gone through an arduous hiring process, are either deciding to stay where they are or are accepting another offer.

Since the track at Stockholm, I’ve been taking a close look at what extra steps recruiters are taking to respond to this, and I’m not seeing a lot. There’s evidence of increased engagement up to hire, and of efforts being made by some to create either talent communities or talent networks to engage with possible recruits. What I’m not seeing is any change to what is happening during this ‘precruitment’ stage, and I think this needs to change if the offer decline rates are going to decrease.

Communication, feedback and next stage planning is predominantly by e-mail. Once you are accepted as a candidate into the process, then the engagement switches from social to one way, and this is really the candidates that you should be talking to the most to build the relationship. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about what form this could take, and what additional content might help to reduce the number of declines.

With a bit of thought, it is possible to create more focused content around the specific job, and to create opportunities for conversations and questions between prospective employees, and their possible future colleagues, creating a buddy system during the application process. The further into the process, the more you get to know about the candidate, and the more you get to know about the candidate, and the more you know about what they really want, the more tailored you can be in the content that you send them.

When we talk candidate experience, this is the critical stage. By tailoring content and conversations between the interview stages, the closer you are going to make the relationship. It is arrogant to think that people will want to join you because they are in the interview process, or that they are not interviewing anywhere else. The more attention you pay to them in a tailored way, the more likely they are going to choose you if you choose them. We have the technology to achieve this easier than ever before, all we really need is the desire to improve the ‘precruitment’ candidate experience. Isn’t it worth the effort?


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