Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

How to ‘Wow’ Your Candidates

By creating a world class candidate experience

In a recent conversation with a leading healthcare recruitment team located in a highly competitive market (especially for RNs), we were discussing the challenges of responding appropriately to the thousands of applicants they receive. We agreed that not only does this recruitment team need to act quickly by responding to applicants immediately upon receipt of application so they don’t lose them, they also need to create a “Wow” candidate experience both during and after the application process, in order to set themselves apart from their competitors.

So in addition to beating the competition with quick response while sourcing high quality candidates, it is critical that applicants receive the best possible experience during the entire recruitment process!  A great experience before an employee even starts their new job, or better yet, a positive experience even if they are rejected, can make or break your brand. Applicants talk to their friends, especially in health care where there are large networks of employees (like RNs) who may work full time in one organization while maintaining a contingent role in another.  They know each other, they recommend organizations to each other, and, if the system has an employee referral program, they will hopefully refer members of their network to the organization to earn that bonus.

How a candidate feels about their experience with your organization from their first foray into the application process, all the way to either a rejection letter or orientation in their new role, is critical.  When we polled our recruitment community to see what type of best practices were in place for creating a strong candidate communication process, we found varied levels of engagement with candidates.  Here were the most common practices:

  1. Each candidate receives an online notification when the application is received.    
  2. Every candidate receives a decision notification either online or by telephone with the results of their interview.

Some organization’s ATS system allows them to send notifications to the applicants as soon as they are reviewed and either moved forward in the process or rejected.  That is ideal so the applicant doesn’t have to wonder if they are being considered and they understand where they’re at in the process in a timely manner. There are several ATS systems that enable the recruiter to send communications at each step in the process, or allow the applicant to view their progress within the online system. The more frequent the communication, the more opportunity you have to create a “best in class” experience that will place you well ahead of your competitors.

Lastly, how does a “best in class” organization respond to applicant inquiries as to why they did not receive the job? This leading healthcare organization has an email box established where applicants may send their questions. A human resource representative is dedicated to responding to these inquiries with pertinent information as is legally compliant.  Internal employees who inquire are given the “white glove” treatment. They are encouraged to attend a resume writing class through the system’s university, and schedule an appointment with a recruiter for one on one career coaching. 

Frequent and consistent communication with your applicants is critical to creating a ‘best in class’ experience that will allow you to attract top talent. Make it a priority, and you will see the benefits.

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