Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters.
The 2019 theme for September’s National Preparedness Month doesn’t apply solely to preparing your workforce for natural disasters. Hiring pros must also consider the unexpected ‘what ifs.’ Issues such as scheduling conflicts, candidate ghosting, technology glitches, and disruptive weather conditions all result in hiring process turmoil if you’re not prepared. Major challenges like these can be handled effectively with the appropriate proactive steps.
It is not always possible to prevent adversity in the hiring process no matter how well you prepare your team. However, with these four steps you can proactively handle any hiring process challenge and keep your team on track:
1. Identify challenges that have impacted your hiring team previously
Talent acquisition is already a challenge for the majority of companies, according to Mercer Mettl’s 2019 State of Talent Acquisition report. This makes it easier for unexpected complications to completely derail your hiring process.
Devising a strategic plan begins with acknowledging your team’s current hiring challenges. You must understand what techniques your hiring team employs when facing struggles and the impact of overcoming past obstacles. Their direct input and experience are invaluable to creating a strategy to keep your hiring process moving along smoothly.
Brainstorm with your team to create a list of plausible obstacles that could impact your hiring process. This list should include challenges great and small. Also, dig into what they’re afraid might happen based on issues such as the market’s current financial state.
Compare these roadblocks and fears with concrete analytics. Where their concerns align with poor hiring metric outcomes reveals the best place to start planning proactive strategies for prevention and recovery should something go amiss.
2. Survey employees to understand their experiences in your hiring process
A recent CareerBuilder survey found nearly 10 percent of employees have left a company because of a poor new hire experience. Additionally, many candidates accept an offer but didn’t make it to the new hire phase. And just over 50 percent reported looking for other jobs after an offer was extended and the background check was in process.
Your current employees accepted your job offer — and for good cause — but that doesn’t mean their entire candidate experience was positive. Send short, to-the-point surveys to employees to discover any hang-ups that negatively impacted their experience as candidates with your company. Try to be specific about the insight you wish to gain but leave questions open-ended.
- Was there any part of the application process that made you consider exiting? Please explain.
- If you wouldn’t have accepted the job offer, why might that have been?
- What was your least favorite part of our company’s hiring process?
- Please share one thing you’d do to enhance the candidate experience.
If your data reveals an employee had a poor candidate experience, zero in on the cause to determine if they had a unique or unusual experience due to an unexpected hiring process hangup. For example, was their offer delayed because a hiring manager quit during the hiring process? Did flooding or a blizzard prevent them from making it to the interview and it was challenging to reschedule? Maybe their interviewer was clearly sick and it was a major distraction?
Use survey and follow-up answers to identify specifically where your team needs help preparing for the unexpected. For example, if internal data shows employees considered dropping out of the hiring process while struggling to complete the mobile application process and it coincides with your system crashing, you know your team needs a plan to support applicants when technology suddenly fails them.
3. Make a step-by-step plan for various obstacles your hiring team could face
Preventing panic when something doesn’t go as planned is a tough job. The best place to start is establishing clear communication with your team. When initial plans fail, your team knows they have a next step ready and waiting.
After analyzing where your team is most susceptible to error, create a step-by-step guide for each potential hiring process obstacle. For example, when unexpected bad weather hits, candidates and hiring pros could miss scheduled interviews. Moving hiring timelines back is intimidating for many hiring pros, especially in the current state of the job market.
Offer live video interviews as the next guided step to keep the process streamlined and moving. Be sure to use an interview scheduling tool to allow candidates to effortlessly reschedule based on your calendar availability.
4. Teach your team best practices for preventing adversity in the hiring process
Complications in the hiring process are most easily preventable when teams understand your company’s best practices. Aligning their everyday processes with your standards ensures your team is working as efficiently as possible.
Above all, following best practices gives your team confidence in your hiring process. Occasionally — and, unfortunately, inevitably — adversity will arise. However, if everyone follows through with proactive measures and subsequent backup plans, the effects won’t be nearly as harmful to your brand’s image and growth.