The Golden Rule of Recruiting

stressed out man

Applicants go through a lot in their job search. When you start interviewing, remember the golden rule of recruiting: recruit as you would like to be recruited.

The next time you’re at a networking event, neighborhood gathering, or any social event and you’re trying to spark up a conversation, let me suggest two potential topics guaranteed to get people talking. First, the current state of the healthcare industry. Regardless of your thoughts on current health care politics, within minutes you’ll all be trading war stories. Everyone has a story about how miserable their last emergency visit was.

The second topic that is sure to liven things up is the current state of recruiting. Some people have been at their jobs for a long time and won’t be able to relate. There is a large group of people with a fairly recent experience as a job seeker. By far, the majority of the ensuing discussion will NOT be positive.

The Doctor Is In

There’s a movie that came out back in 1991 called The Doctor, starring William Hurt. In case you don’t remember or aren’t familiar, the movie is about a highly desensitized surgeon. While he is a great doctor, he has no empathy for the frustration, vulnerability, and helplessness that his patients experience. In the movie, the doctor is diagnosed with a life-threatening tumor that forces him into the role of the scared, frustrated, and vulnerable patient. As the story unfolds, the doctor is exposed to the experiences of a typical patient. He ultimately wakes up to the sad realities of the healthcare industry that many healthcare professionals (especially the healthy ones) don’t seem to relate to or care about.

"The Recruiter"

This movie could have just as easily been about the hiring process and titled ‘The Recruiter’. This version of the story would follow a successful but highly desensitized corporate recruiter. Just like The Doctor, The Recruiter has no empathy for the frustration, vulnerability, and helplessness that applicants experience.

This recruiter loses their job, forcing them into the role of a scared, frustrated, and vulnerable job seeker. No doubt, it wouldn’t take long for that recruiter or hiring manager to wake up to some of the sad realities of the recruiting industry that many recruiting professionals (especially the secure ones) don’t seem to relate to or don’t seem to care about.

The Frustration of Seeking

While most recruiters and hiring managers are good people with good intentions, many of them just don’t understand how frustrating it is for job seekers. Many seekers apply to jobs and never hear any feedback. This, by far, is the number one frustration of the job seeker community at large. Most job seekers understand that competition is fierce for good jobs. But, after diligently searching for jobs that are a seemingly great fit, getting their resume just right, and even customizing a cover letter in some instances, they just want to know a few basic pieces of feedback.

  • Am I in consideration for the role?
  • If not, why?  Is there something I need to work on to improve my chances?

By taking a few minutes to provide applicants with a basic, yet respectful response, it will significantly help ease their frustration and give them a much-needed shot of hope and encouragement, both of which are extremely valuable to someone who is out of work and eager to find a new career.

Respect Your Applicants

1. Be thoughtful and specific with your JOB REQUIREMENTS

If something is a ‘nice to have’, call it a ‘nice to have’, but if something is truly required and is going to effectively act as a ‘knockout question’, make it clear that it is a requirement and only candidates with those requirements will be considered. If applicants apply to the job that doesn't have those clearly communicated requirements, that’s on them. Don’t give it a second thought. If they can’t take the time to read your job description, they don’t necessarily deserve a response.

2. Utilize screening questions during the initial application

If you are looking for a certain level of experience, ask that up front. Do you require a certain license? Make sure that question is asked during the application process. Make sure the candidate falls into your compensation range by asking what their verifiable income is for each of the past two years. If the gap is insurmountable, it’s likely a no go. If you aren’t willing to relocate someone, ask if they are local or willing to relocate on their own dime.  The questions depend on the role, but in most cases, you can quickly identify applicants that don’t pass the muster by asking a handful of questions up front.

3. Create situational email response templates 

Email templates should be reflective of your screening questions.  Create responses for the most common reasons for dismissing an applicant from consideration. Do some light customization prior to sending these out. Having pre-built templates allows you to efficiently treat your job seekers with respect.  

Give Feedback

For those of fortunate enough to be in roles sitting on the preferred side of the table, in recruiting roles versus job seeker roles, we are blessed and should be very grateful as the tides could turn for any of us at any time. While tailored feedback for each applicant isn’t usually possible due to the volume of applies and competing priorities, there are a few simple steps we can take to treat job seekers with respect and give them the feedback they so desperately crave. 

If you are a small or midsized business and don’t have the proper tools at your disposal for following the 3 steps outlined above, you should take a look at Glidepath. Glidepath is simple, effective, and affordable and provides a strong set of easy to use (and easy to setup) tools, including screening questions and applicant response email templates. Visit today to sign up for a free, 1 week, no obligation trial and see for yourself!

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