Hiring Subprocesses Can Kill Candidate Experience

Managing hidden hiring subprocesses

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I often talk about the “hiring process.” But THE hiring process is really made up of many hiring subprocesses. And if you can’t name, measure and optimize all these hiring subprocesses, they can kill your candidate experience and your overall recruiting effectiveness.

A simple hiring process, for example, would be: Attract job seekers, source job seekers, convert them to applicants, screen them, interview them, evaluate them, extend an offer, and repeat. Each of these process steps can be broken down into subprocesses that may or may not seem obvious. Simple sourcing, for example, would include identifying search characteristics, acquiring data from various sources, drafting and sending invitations to apply, evaluating and forwarding candidates, etc. Interviewing would include drafting and sending invitations, scheduling, welcoming candidates, conducting meetings, evaluating interviews, communicating results, etc.

Managing hidden hiring subprocessesIn addition to these hiring subprocesses, there are also parallel processes. Internal hiring, for example, might have a similar but more streamlined process with its own unique subprocesses. There may be separate processes and subprocesses for hourly hiring or seasonal hiring as well.

Subprocesses Often Hidden

The machinations of these hiring subprocesses can be invisible to TA operations, recruiters, and TA leaders. For example, candidates may take online assessments as part of the initial screening process. These assessments are often administered online, and while the results are made available to the hiring team, the candidate’s experience of getting assigned access, logging in and taking the actual assessments is not. They just know that X number of candidates took the assessment and X number passed. In an early screening environment where a high volume of candidates are receiving assessments, poor candidate experience could be suppressing assessment completions or creating confusion and therefore reducing the quantity and quality of candidates advancing from this stage.

Similarly, much of the sourcing subprocess is not visible to those tasked with managing it. Whether outsourced to an agency or managed internally, candidates go through the sourcing process and receive experiences that will affect their perceptions of the organization and their decisions about going forward in the hiring process. When managing the sourcing process, the conversion rate or cost per candidate may be used as key metrics, but it’s difficult to understand what’s actually affecting those numbers positively or negatively without more information.

The best way to understand what’s happening in those often hidden subprocesses is to ask candidates. They will be happy to tell you what they appreciated and what was broken about your communication, about your assessments, about the scheduling process, about how they were welcomed for their interview, and a lot more. In the process, you’ll learn a bit about how satisfied your candidates are, but much more importantly, you’ll get a glimpse into how those hidden subprocesses are working and receive actionable insights to make them work better.

And I’m not talking about the candidates you’ve already hired. They are not in a position to tell you that your assessment vendor sucks or that the sourcer that got them an interview was terrible at communicating with them. And even if they did, you wouldn’t have statistically significant numbers to trust how widespread those problems might be.

You need to ask ALL your candidates. And you need to ask the internal candidates different questions than the external candidates. And the hourly candidates different questions than the exempt candidates. And don’t ask them after the requisition has closed, because they won’t remember and they will no longer have an incentive to respond to you. Ask them the right questions in real time as they finish each process and subprocess.

The answers you get will allow you to actively manage and optimize your TA efforts in ways never before possible. This approach is called managing data driven experiences at scale and it can unlock huge hidden potential in your hiring process (and subprocesses!). For more about how to measure and manage hiring subprocesses, download the free whitepaper “The Data Driven Candidate Experience Maturity Model.”

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