The Pre-Employment Process Shouldn’t be an Afterthought


Rob Sable, Founder of EmployStream

Believe it or not, employees aren’t desperate to work for you. We’re in the midst of a candidate-driven market – one where employers must find ways to move smoothly and quickly through the hiring process.

Even though most companies still believe they hold the power in the hiring process, the 2015 Recruiter Sentiment Study from MRINetwork found that 9 in 10 recruiters feel today’s professional market is candidate-driven.

That’s a big misalignment and an even bigger missed opportunity.

The majority of companies don’t believe they need to make changes to reflect candidate choice, so they continue miss out on the best talent. However, those companies who understand and act on the candidate-driven market will thrive even though they’re not in the driver’s seat of the hiring process.

How did we get here?

During the recession, the best candidates were willing to take lower salaries to keep themselves employed. Companies learned that they could get by paying top-performers low wages. Now that the market has flipped and the economy has improved, employees are looking for better opportunities to improve their earning capacities.

At the same time, today’s employees have limitless online resources, such as Glassdoor and CareerBuilder, where they can instantly see wage data and know what salaries they should be targeting. They also have access to millions of career boards and can search for jobs anywhere.

And even if your company is willing to pay for top talent, your hiring process is probably way too long. On average, it takes almost a month for a company to find a candidate and make an offer – plenty of time for your top choice to apply for another job, complete an interview, and potentially receive and accept an offer.

What can be done?

Once you’ve come to accept that employees, not organizations, are in control of the modern hiring process, it’s easier to see what needs improvement.

Aside from offering more competitive wages, employers must find ways to engage talent quickly and efficiently. Simply put: the pre-employment process shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Here are a few tips we’ve found to give potential employees more of what they want and help employers thrive in a candidate-driven market:

  1. Find a mobile job board. Your candidates are on the go. With a mobile job board, you can reach them wherever they are. Research shows more than 3 in 4 job seekers want to apply via mobile.
  2. Try paperless applications and employment docs. There’s no need to have your candidates fill out cumbersome documents. They’re a waste of time, and potentially even direct candidates away from your company. Research has shown that 80% of job applicants would abandon an application that they feel is too time consuming. With a good online application system, your candidates should be able to pull data from their LinkedIn profile or resume to submit a paperless application. Similarly, when it’s time to fill out employment docs, there are services that can auto-fill data and breeze through stacks of paperwork with single-click signatures making for easier (and more accurate) pre-employment paperwork that your candidates won’t dread.
  3. Implement an employee portal. From music and movie streaming to online banking and shopping, today’s candidates are used to on-demand everything. Implementing an employee portal will make things easier on everyone. For one, the portal will give them a place to access paystubs and W2s. But it can also provide a way for them to update banking and tax info, which is one less thing for your company to manage.
  4. Find ways to streamline your process. Outside of things you can implement for your candidates, look at your process and identify ways you can streamline your process to provide a more efficient hiring experience. There is pre-employment software available that can provide real-time alerts and reminders to keep the hiring process moving along. Software can also help you bridge the gaps between your HR systems to eliminate mind-numbing data entry.

When it comes to hiring, the stakes are high and the business is fast-paced. For those companies who are willing to prioritize candidate experience and place value on the pre-employment process, the investment will pay off. But if you can’t keep up with demand and deliver a quality experience, your business will miss out on the best candidates and suffer as a result.

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