When someone loses their job, they lose a part of their identity, and that can leave them lost and uncertain. And when it comes time to interview for another job, they may not be exhibiting their highest level of confidence. It is those lost and uncertain individuals with whom recruiters often find themselves working – and where recruiters can often find some of the best talent.
But whether the candidate has been focused on raising a young family and making mortgage payments, or simply has been out of work for too long without an alternative source of income, the pressure to find a new job often surpasses the pressure to find the right job. No matter how confident they are in their ability and experience, until they have signed on the dotted line for their next role, their desperation to get back on track can never be fully –masked – nor should its presence be denied.
How do you make sure you don’t lose an opportunity with a talented individual who is simply under pressure to replace lost income?
Recruiters must make sure that systems are in place to move these candidates through the process quickly and efficiently, because desperation can force the hand of an applicant, and they will eventually take the first job that becomes available rather than waiting for your offer.
Looking for a job is always challenging, but when someone is forced back into the job market as a consequence of downsizing, corporate shifts, or other unintended reasons, it can be challenging at a financial, emotional, and even spiritual level. While some may see this as an opportunity to take a deep breath and find focus, the majority of those unemployed feel that life is on hold until they are able to secure their next role. Unfortunately, recruiting often has a bad reputation among these job seekers, because every day, week, and month that passes without feedback adds to the frustration. The candidate experience for the unemployed tends to consistently receive a very low grade, but there are many people out there who would like to help those candidates find their next roles.
When someone loses a job (or even chooses to leave a job), it is often the recruiter who provides the hope and optimism needed to move forward.
That’s where recruiters can make an enormous difference. Beyond developing efficient recruitment processes, recruiters can be empathetic to the candidate’s situation. Communication is key. Communicate frequently about where the candidate is in the process, and let candidates know quickly if they are not going to be considered for the job. If they are a likely prospect, move swiftly to get them in front of the hiring manager and facilitate the hiring process.
Recruiters and hiring managers really do know how difficult it can be. They don’t underestimate the inner turmoil that a candidate might be experiencing, and whatever part they play in the industry, they have a responsibility to help people get through this.
When companies want to improve their internal recruitment processes, the candidate experience should be a primary consideration in every decision. How will the candidate feel if we don’t leverage our CRM and they miss out on an opportunity? How will they feel if they are inadequately briefed on a role? How will they feel if decisions are not made swiftly?
The situation for many of these candidates is difficult enough, but when the recruitment industry does not work as it should, things can get even worse. Losing a job can be devastating. Not being given the best possible chance of securing the next job simply adds another layer of stress and anguish.
Striving for recruiting excellence in your TA function should be part of your growth strategy.
This requires a recruiter to be unafraid of objectively looking under the hood of existing processes – beginning to end – to determine where there are risks and opportunities. The candidate experience starts well before a candidate interviews with your company, and even more important is how you treat those candidates who do not get the job with your organization.
Recruiters can make all the difference. Keep in mind that this is someone’s livelihood, the way they put food on the table for their family, take care of their children, and contribute to the world. In the blink of an eye, any of us – or our family members – could be sitting on the other side of unemployment. Have candidate-centric processes in place. Be strategic in how you share candidates across the organization. Above all else, be kind, thoughtful, and empathetic.