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    Re-Release: Greg Savage Explains How and Why Recruiters can Build their Personal Brand

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    Max Armbruster
    Max Armbruster
    CEO Talkpush

    Hacks from Max: Candidate Experience Extravaganza

    Episode 52 title cover

    Unusual episode this week! Recruitment Hackers Podcast host, Max, has a lot of thoughts when it comes to the candidate experience and how to make it better. Listen in to find out how to make an automated process more human, turn rejected candidates into brand promoters, get rid of resumes, and design career websites that actually engage and appeal to candidate needs. 


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    Welcome to the Recruitment Hackers Podcast. A show about innovations, technology and leaders in the recruitment industry. Brought to you by Talkpush, the leading recruitment automation platform. 

     

    Hi Hackers Talkpush Marketing, jumping in real quick to give you the lowdown on this week's episode. Max, we'll be diving into different elements of the candidate experience and how we can improve. First stop: making an automated process feel authentic and human.

     

    Hello, recruitment hackers. This is Max from Talkpush. And today I would like to speak about a nice warm and fuzzy topic, which is how do you keep a human touch in an automated recruitment process? I work a lot in high volume recruitment situations and, you know, we're talking about employers who receive thousands of applications every week, some of them every day.

     

    So obviously they can't really give that very human, one-on-one conversation that you would get in a much smaller company, but they try and I've seen some great things out there. 

    Some great examples of companies that have figured out how to keep things very personal and human while working at a large scale.

    I think one thing that really works well is when the hiring manager or the person who is going to be working with a future hire sends a personal voice note or video notes to the candidates at different stages in the recruitment process. So after the first interview, the candidate comes to site, and then they go home and get a little voice note that would say: “Thank you so much for coming today. It was great to meet you. And I really wish you the best of luck in the rest of your recruitment process.” 

     

    And then again, at the hiring stage, “congratulations.” Somebody gets an offer letter, why not record a little video between you and the teammates, a 30 second video that you send to the candidate on WhatsApp or on Messenger or on email, where you say, “Hey, we're also excited to welcome you on board. Here's the team you're going to be working with.”

    These are small touches that have outsized return on investment. And the technology is there to make it easy for anybody to produce. But you know, the imagination there, I can go in many different directions. 

     

    I'm curious to hear what other beautiful examples of human connection you can recommend that you've seen in your recruitment process that is differentiated and that makes people feel good about the recruitment process and remind them that it's a people business it's about establishing bonds. 

     

    Hope you got some ideas on where and how to establish those human touch points up next: it's all about rejecting candidates nicely. And at scale.

     

    It's not fun being a job seeker. Most of the time you have to deal with, unfortunately, most employers do not spend the time to figure out how to reject candidates properly. At Talkpush, we always look for ways to make that experience a little bit better.

    I brought it down to four things we can do to improve the candidate experience around being rejected. Number one. The last thing you want to do is ghost them. So no silence. If somebody is being rejected, it's always best to let them know so they can move on with their lives. Move on with their search. 

    Number two, you might want to give a little bit of delay from the moment you've spoken to them, to the moment you're sending the rejection. Ideally your software, as ours does, will allow for you to set up a delay in sending that notification so that the candidate feels that you've given them proper consideration and enough time to really evaluate their application.

     

    Number three, you might want to personalize and maybe even give them some feedback. What I mean, by personalizing, at the bare minimum, address them by name and referring back to the position they've applied for rather than send them a template message. “Dear candidates. Sorry, but you're not there.” And maybe personalize them with a reason for your rejection. That's always a little tricky because it can open a can of worms and a long discussion. So try to keep it, you know, as objective as possible. 

    And finally, number four, you can communicate to the candidates a time at which they can reapply for the position. Most software, as Talkpush does, will allow you to set a time for candidates to reapply within three months, six months or a year so that you do not close the door.

     

    Remember rejecting candidates is also an opportunity if you do it well, it can increase referrals. And it can build good karma for your brand. Remember that today's recheck may still be tomorrow's hire or maybe even tomorrow's customers. So treat everyone nice. Even those who you don't think will ever join you. 

     

    So there's definitely lots of things we can do to turn rejected candidates into brand promoters. Up next: why candidates hate resumes and what to ask for instead. 

     

    Do you still need a resume as part of your recruitment process, and I'm going to argue you do not argue that the reason you still use resumes today is because you're being lazy.

     

    Instead of asking yourself, what are the qualities that I need from a candidate? What is an assessment that I can ask them to do that could be done in a few minutes through an interaction, instead of asking yourself those hard questions. You're defaulting to your old habits, which is I'm just going to ask for a resume and, you know, that'll be one way to screen candidates.

     

    Maybe I'll pick the ones who go to the best schools or the ones who know how to format their resume the best way. But I mean, unless you're hiring for a job that requires resume editing as a core skill. You're not going to really be able to draw much information from that resume. So many tools out there today that allow you to assess if somebody has got good communication skills, empathy, or analytical skills, math skills, and even if you don't use those tools, just with a couple of smartly phrase screening questions, you can get so much more value out of it.

     

    I know, I often ask people, if you have the choice between looking at, you know, if you're having a 20 something year old salesperson, you got the choice between looking at the resume or talking to them for one minute, which one is going to help you make the right decision in 2020?

    You don't have to go back to resume.You don't have to use them anymore. And I challenge you to start looking at your process and seeing all the jobs where you can flush them out. Now, for some jobs I may be wrong. 

     

    Yep. We're not fans of resume sifting here, especially with so much tech available to make the process better for our candidates. Up next: how to make your career website actually convert.

    The Question I have is how do you imagine the best career websites to be? What would the best career website do in your dream world? That's a question I asked myself and I've been asking our engineering team for years, and I think there’s a good way to answer this question.

     

    That is to say, well, if money was not a problem, if you had an infinite amount of resources, how would you as an employer, like to engage with a candidate who is coming to you? I guess what you would want to do is open the door and you would say hello, and ask them how they're doing and ask them a couple of questions about what they're interested in, what they want to do.

     

    And based on that you would immediately be able to direct them to the right place and say, well, okay, that's cool. So, based on what you're saying, I think you should go talk to this department. You should tell them about your story. 

    Bizarrely, even though that's very obvious and intuitive most career websites aren’t designed that way at all, they're designed in a way where you come in and instead of asking a question in a sort of engaging and welcoming way, immediately the candidate is asked to search through a long list of jobs to figure out what those keywords mean, all those job titles, they need to navigate through all this.

     

    And hopefully at the end, to develop a sense of comfort that, oh, maybe this is the right job for me. Or maybe it's this one. And just to be safe, I'm going to apply to all six of them, you know, to maximize my chances of being hired. And that creates a world of problems for recruiters, as you know.

     

    So I think that the best career website is actually very much like the pulsating red dots from Al from 2001 space Odyssey. Simply a robot or an AI that you can talk to that you can say, hello, this is what I want. What do you have or, maybe it's to put it in a more traditional way to simply have that Google search button in the middle that says,

     

    Hello, you know, tell me what you're looking for or a robot in the middle of a page that engages you. So giving you a little bit of an insight into the kind of R and D that we're focused on and where I see the future, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What is the dream career website?

     

    What does it look like? What does it do? So thanks for sharing in advance, and I'm looking forward to building the best career website with some of you.

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