One Small Step…..

By Kathleen Smith
It’s the New Year, and lots of resolutions have been already broken.  It’s the second full work week of the New Year, and you want to do more with less, update your recruiting style, or just be a bit more effective. There are lots of silver bullets being touted and buzzword bingo clouding up the recruiting blogsphere  to the point that it is easier to fall back into old habits. 

To me old school is best: Golden rule. No matter the technology you use, how you treat the candidate is going to reflect in your effectiveness.  My advice? Reexamine your resolutions, and just add one small thing that you can do to change your candidate relationship.

Big changes come from small steps; one small thing to do every day.  Big changes tend to lead to monumental disappointments, so start small.  What is the one thing you can do each day to treat those “people” in your pipeline just a bit better?   You’re not trying to launch a missile, just one new step like flossing your teeth. (My dentist dad would be proud).

Last year at one of the recruitDC networking events, Social Media in the Defense Contracting Space, Mike Bruni, Jay Perreault and Derek Zeller shared some key tips on social media in my community which were really about treating candidate conversations with respect and integrity.

Some tips were:

  1. Out of Office messages: I loved Jay’s tip to have an out of office every time he was out of the office, like at the end of the business day or the weekends,  with a link to hot jobs, or helpful job seeker articles.
  2.  Derek and Mike pounded the audience with “answer &*(*)(^ your emails! “ which happens to be a #1 complaint of job seekers. Yes we all get emails, in fact we all like complaining on how many thousands we get. Get organized, set up file folders for your emails. You know all those LinkedIn messages you get, set up an Outlook folder, create a rule and get them out of your inbox.
  3. Don’t hide behind your email and voicemail: this is a people business, talk to “people”!
  4. Don’t be lazy – sorry, but this is true – too many of us hide behind social media rather than get out in front of it and do true social media – actually talking to someone.

What more?

Create your brand which clearly outlines how candidates get in touch with you, and what you are recruiting for.  If you have a candidate who doesn’t meet your needs, give feedback, or a referral.  And if you are one of those recruiters who would like to hire more veterans, especially now that the tax credit has expired, definitely give feedback to your military candidates as to why they didn’t get the job or the interview.  Giving feedback to veterans is one small step that will have a big impact for our country and your pipeline. Why? In the military community, if someone doesn’t reach a goal, they are supported and trained again until they do.

But why in the world go to all of this trouble?  Well it pays off in leveraging your talent pipeline.

The statistics on treating candidates better show you how you can leverage that small step to have an impact on your overall recruiting. In an upcoming whitepaper from CareerXroads which will be found on the Candes website, shares responses from 46,000+ candidates about their experience when applying to one of 90 firms.

Of those candidates with a positive experience…
62.0% would be ‘extremely likely’ to re-apply in the future
61.5% would ‘actively encourage’ others to apply
82.3% would share their positive experience with their ‘inner circle”.
50.4% would share their positive experience publicly [online, blogs, etc.]

Of those candidates with a negative experience…
24.7% would ‘definitely not’ re-apply in the future.
27.0% would ‘actively discourage someone else from applying’.
65.0% would share their negative experience with their ‘inner circle’.
32.0% would share their negative experience publicly.

Or you can wait until Matt Charney’s petition to the Department of Labor to create and enforce candidate experience compliance guidelines.


Kathleen Smith is the Chief Marketing officer for You can connect with her on Twitter at @YesItsKathleen. Follow at @ClearedJobsNet