The Candidate Experience

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I hate the way we treat job seekers in America. It’s embarrassing. But can we please kill all of this talk about the candidate experience?

It ranks up there with employment branding.

It occupies a space on my 2010 List of Things To Punch in the Face list.

There are armies of consultants who want HR professionals to spend money on employment branding campaigns and HR technologies to improve the overall recruiting/hiring/employment lifecycle. And, for the most part, it’s a waste of money.

I have a better idea. Two ideas, actually.

  • Spend money and hire talented & accomplished HR/recruiting practitioners. These HR professionals are the front-line guardians of your brand — so make sure they have a history of performance. Ensure that your recruiters are competent, decent, and know how to recruit & hire candidates with precision and professionalism.  And you don’t need a consultant to help you find these HR professionals, either. (Many of them read this blog.) Do your homework, develop your own pipeline of HR talent, and check secondary references. And one more thing. Please empower your awesome HR peeps/recruiters to close a requisition if a manager can’t make a hiring decision or drags his feet. Trust me, that works.
  • Don’t spend a dime on implementing an employment branding campaign. Save your money. Speak with integrity, do as you say, and implement a zero-tolerance policy for awful & illegal behavior in your company. And when your leadership team flubs up, hold them accountable. It’s not bad for business when you demand accountability from CEOs and CFOs. It’s the right thing to do, and far too often, HR peeps are afraid that they’ll look too soft if they speak up against corporate incompetence.

If you’re an HR leader and you can’t do those two things, get yourself a new job. You are no HR leader.

And for the rest of you? I just saved you Corporate HR department about $100,000. You’re welcome.

Now go improve the candidate experience — and remember that ’employer branding’ and ‘the candidate experience’ are the issues your HR department focuses on when it doesn’t want to do real HR.

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