Create Candidate Engagement with Transparency

Anne Nimke Corporate Recruiting, Staffing

Transparency: easy to understand or notice, honest and open, not secretive (Merriam-Webster).

Why is it important to recruiting and retention? For too long, transparency has been a one-way street in organizations. Employers expect full transparency from job seekers, with many having application processes that take 45 minutes and have fields asking candidates to reveal everything the employer wants to know. But turn the tables on employers and transparency isn't so welcome. I've even heard recruiters tell candidates not to ask hiring managers questions during interviews because the interviewer will feel the interviewee has an "entitlement attitude." No doubt you may have even used this phrase in a broad generalization about "those millennials!"

What Transparency Is – and Is Not
Today's transparency is not a weapon or a tool to force job seekers and employers to "appear" more desirable than the competition. It is a chance for candidates and companies to understand what really makes the other tick, what it is that really ignites that "fit" spark. Transparency is a window to what is, not what could be or what should be.

Transparency equalizes. It gives immediate access to reliable information about a company's culture, management practices and salaries, as well as its investment in and treatment of employees. Job seekers now leverage this transparency as a way to dive deep into a company's culture before committing (or even applying) to a job.

Transparency as Opportunity
The hiring process can be burdensome for employers and candidates, so it is critical that information about the job and company is available to candidates during the decision-making process. Today's transparency is an opportunity to:

  • Create awareness and differentiation in a challenging talent market
  • Share the reality about working there and the company's employment brand, culture, mission and values
  • Allow candidates and employees to determine "What's in it for me?" and to engage with companies that align with their personal work and lifestyle needs
  • Enhance your employee referral program
  • Offer wonderful communication for retention
  • Discover what gaps the company may have both in communication and culture

So what does this mean for employers? Companies need to quantify their culture and actively promote a genuine employment brand to engage candidates in the hiring funnel. If you haven't embraced it yet, recruiting is a marketing activity.

A recent study conducted by The Good Jobs reveals that job seekers are looking for information. Sites like Glassdoor, Yelp, LinkedIn and Twitter make it easy for job seekers to look into what a company is like behind closed doors before even stepping foot inside. The availability of information is leveling the playing field. Candidates now have a voice – and a very public one at that. 

An applicant tracking system with CRM functionality allows recruiters to integrate employment branding assets into online job boards, email templates and other job seeker sites to feed that need for information. In addition, a contact-centric framework as oppose to resume-centric empowers recruiters to consume more than just a resume.

Finding the Missing Link Between 'Fit' and Hire
The hiring funnel results with a job offer and hire. The last candidate standing survived the application process and interviews. He or she has the right skills and experience to get the job. Usually there is a discussion of "fit" toward the end of the decision-making process – probably no sooner than the "recruiter interview." What about the hundreds of leads that never get to speak to a recruiter? What about the talented individuals who never apply because they don't know who you are? Information about "fit" should be available to job seekers before they apply. Transparency is the missing link.

Transparency is key to starting the conversation about great cultural fit between employee and employer. A transparent hiring process makes it easy for a candidate to know what he or she likes about the company and its culture. Sharing your culture and employment brand in a transparent way is the start of candidate engagement and will improve employee engagement.

Today's discerning, talented job seekers are looking for data to make informed decisions about their careers and their lives. The right candidates become the right employees, decreasing costly and timely employee turnover and improving personal and business success.

Jobscience | Creators of CRM-based Recruiting | The Science of Recruiting