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I recently read a great article by Augusta Henning that talks about the scariest parts of the hiring process from a candidate’s point of view. It demonstrates great insight, and I appreciate Smart Recruiters for sharing this kind of valuable information with their readers on The Hiring Success Journal. This is the kind of information that recruiters, hiring managers, and CHROs can use to improve the recruitment process. The top five fears Henning identified, and her advice for overcoming these fears, are:

  1. Being rejected (Provide constructive feedback)
  2. Attending interviews (Make them feel comfortable and welcome)
  3. Completing an interview test or task (Ensure the task is not too esoteric)
  4. Speaking to recruiters on the phone (Provide an overview of the role; reschedule if they are too nervous)
  5. Video interviews (Ensure they know how to use the technology)

On a more fundamental level, recruiters can put applicants at ease by doing more to help ensure that they not only attract top talent but the right talent for the job, before the application and interview process even begins. We recommend the following:

Educate Potential Applicants

Before someone applies to work for you, they should have the ability to get to know your company, your company culture, and have information about your recruitment process. This is normally handled through a well-developed website or hiring portal.

One of the companies that does a spectacular job with educating potential applicants (which also attracts more and better talent) is Netflix.

Netflix has a job portal that gives potential applicants information about the company’s core values, the history of the company, and an entire overview of the company culture. By doing this work up front, the people who apply for jobs with Netflix already have a good idea of the company’s personality and culture, their goals and agenda, and some insight into what it’s like to work there.  Remember, prospects and candidates are often forming opinions about your company before they ever speak with a recruiter.  We all know the power and limitations of social media.  It’s important that as an organization, you do what you can to “own” the perception that prospective candidates have about working at your company.

Write Stellar Job Descriptions

Rob Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Ongig, says: “A good job description is an advertising vehicle.” His guide to stellar job descriptions is essential reading for companies that wish to stand apart in attracting top talent. When a job description is well-written, it boosts the confidence of those applying. Job descriptions can include information about the company and culture and can include “day in the life” information that makes it easier for potential applicants to recognize a great job match.

Develop a Standard, Stable Recruiting Process

Alleviating fear and anxiety for potential candidates can also occur when you have a comprehensive recruitment process. Standard, stable recruiting addresses several factors, from identifying talent needs to successfully onboarding new hires. It also is what enables you to optimize and innovate in a controlled –manner – avoiding automated chaos. Be sure to read our series on developing a standard, stable recruiting function here:

Part One: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function from the Inside Out
Part Two: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function: Step 2 – Post, Source, and Screen
Part Three: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function: Step 3 – Interview and Select
Part Four: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function: Step 4 – Create and Approve Offer
Part Five: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function: Step 5 – Preboarding
Part Six: Build a Standard, Stable Recruiting Function: Step 6 – Onboarding

When it comes to attracting the best talent, it helps to understand the barriers that prevent people from applying for jobs with you, and then removing those barriers. It is tough to apply for a job, whether you’re fresh out of college or are newly laid off and job searching again for the first time in years. It’s our responsibility as hiring managers, recruiters, HR leaders and CHROs to make both the application and interviewing process as welcoming and comfortable as possible.