Unfortunately, it seems it’s time for… the talk.
We have noticed something over the past month - a bad behavior that, for some, is sneaking back into the hiring process. Time to Hire is creeping up, Candidate Cycle Time (from the moment they submit to the decision to hire or not to hire) is increasing, and the candidate question “has anyone looked at my application?” is growing more numerous. In other words, hiring timelines are slowing down.
We’ve heard many excuses:
“With COVID, I’m so busy, I just don’t have time for candidates.”
“I’m working with a skeleton crew – the candidates will understand we just can’t move quickly.”
“There are so many candidates, it won’t matter if we lose a few.”
“With unemployment so high, there may be even better candidates out there if I just wait.”
These excuses are not without consequences. Yes, things are crazy and many are overworked and scrambling to do multiple jobs (for which the new hire will help). Yes, with unemployment there are a lot of candidates so a few lost ones won’t necessarily impact the ability to hire well. Yes, candidates are more likely to wait as options can be slim.
But… falling back to bad practices will come at a cost.
Here are three reasons why it’s a bad idea to adopt drawn-out hiring practices.
1. It’s bad for you
Even with high unemployment, not every job, region, industry, or individual is impacted equally. Strong candidates are still in high demand – especially now as organizations are forced to do so much more with so few people. So, if you find that fantastic candidate, there is a good chance another employer will see the value of that candidate as well.
Not only will the delay of an elongated hiring process increase the chance of the candidate you want finding something else, it also leaves a bitter taste for them, making them less likely to seek future opportunities with you.
Which brings us to reason 2:
2. It’s bad for your candidates
With fear and uncertainty still dominating the news cycles, unemployment at staggeringly high rates, and how work is done shifting faster than a toddler’s attention, candidates are most likely on edge. For them, a job could represent security, normalcy, and an ability to contribute value again.
Making candidates wait or depriving them of updates or insights as to where they stand will add to their anxiety and uncertainty.
And if candidates are ignored long enough, it leads to reason 3.
3. It’s bad for your brand
Before COVID trapped us all in isolation, unhappy candidates sometimes shared their frustrating experience of the hiring process with others. In isolation with enhanced anxiety, too much time, nowhere to go, and many more paying attention to the job market, the risk of negative press seems greater than ever. Too many shared bad experiences and people begin to question if they want to work for your organization at all. While this may not seem much of a risk now with such high unemployment – we will recover, and when we do and the market shifts back to the employee, they will remember.
Bringing it all together
With so much pressure on so few employees, high unemployment, and every day seeming to bring a new crisis we have never seen before, it is so easy to deprioritize hiring and the candidate experience. But, by deprioritizing candidates, it will end up negatively impacting you, your candidates, and ultimately your brand.
In this case, live by the golden rule – treat your candidates as you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed and you were the one seeking a job. Acknowledge their application, review and respond in a timely manner, and if it is not possible (as crisis do come up), give them a status update and let them know when the hiring process will resume.
Keep the hiring process moving and communicate continuously and clearly to your candidates. You can do it, we can help. Career.Place, an anonymous candidate screening tool that removes bias and streamlines hiring while automatically keeping candidates and hiring teams informed, is supporting our customers through COVID and beyond. We are supporting organizations through the crisis by ensuring any organization who can benefit from career.place can afford it independent of current financial situation or budget cycle. Every organization needs the ability to screen candidates remotely while keeping their candidates engaged for the safety of their team and the health of their business. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.