Honesty in the Hiring Process: What Are You Really Advertising?

When you hear the phrase ‘Honesty in the Hiring Process’ your mind automatically calls to mind candidates, right? In many cases, you’re correct to lean that way, but the phrase also directly correlates to employers.

How? Honesty = Transparency.

An honest hiring process is a transparent hiring process. One where job applicants experience:

  • precise job descriptions
  • easy to read and navigate applications (whether online or not)
  • steady communication
  • informative hiring process
  • equal treatment
  • information about corporate culture
  • regular updates
  • timely efforts

Do these goals sound too lofty? For the sake of your companies talent roster, they shouldn’t. Survey after survey shows that candidates feel the hiring experience is tragic and they’re not afraid to tell others about it.

If you’re hiring process isn’t transparent you’re losing top tier talent. Your hiring process is like a first impression at a crowded party. If you can’t come across clearly, consistently and confidently, you’re going to get swallowed in a sea of beautiful, talented people and no one will talk to you. It’ll get lonely really fast.

We’re here to help. Here’s five Dos and Don’ts to ameliorate your transparency and be the one everyone at the party wants to talk with.

Do get Specific

Generic job descriptions won’t do. Unfortunately, that’s still common practice in virtually every industry, Fortune 500 or not. This is the place, however, to say EXACTLY what the job requirements are. You should be as detailed as possible without using insider-specific jargon. For example, Monster.com writes:

If your CFO will only hire CPAs, state that requirement clearly. Don’t say you need a human resources assistant who “knows benefits” if you actually need an expert in workers’ comp. And if you need an executive assistant who has experience organizing huge corporate conventions, don’t write “plans company events,” which could mean arranging the annual company picnic.”

The idea isn’t intended to be off-putting to job seekers, it’s designed to make efficient use of their, and your, time. Why should they spend their valuable job hunting hours filling out your application only to be rejected behind the scenes because they hold a Bachelor’s degree and you specifically want someone with a Master’s level education? And why should you waste your time combing through applications that fail to meet your standards? The more specific the better.

Don’t be a Black Hole

When a job posting goes out you can become quickly overloaded with resumes, applications, query letters, and recruiter pitches. If so, what’s the process to ensure that they all get read and sorted accordingly? Then, who’s in charge of managing communication with those applicants? How fast will initial responses be sent out? There is nothing more aggravating for candidates than to send in their information and NEVER HEAR ANYTHING BACK. On a personal level, it’s rude. On a professional level, it’s rude and it shows inefficiencies and gaps in your workplace systems. You can delegate people in your HR department to handle this task or you can use an automated service like Applicant Tracking System, ACTivate Platform. As we referenced in this post, a recent survey shows applicants find these qualities to be most important in first impressions: professional, personable, helpful, friendly, attentive. This most certainly applies to ANY communications you should be having with applicants.

Do Talk and Show Your Process

You’ve worked hard to optimize your hiring process. Why not tell job seekers what they can expect if they apply at your company? Ideally, you would spell it out for them directly on your website. We like Dot & Bo’s Career Page. The modern lifestyle curated shopping experience is clear on who it is, who you need to be and how you can join the team. Don’t forget to include your stance on background checks. If you conduct them or outsource them, you have a legal obligation to tell candidates and get their written permission.

Don’t Feel Everything Requires Transparency

There is a movement called radical transparency. You can decide for yourself if your company culture warrants this kind of honesty and information flow.

Do Keep Applications Succinct

We applaud your efforts to write descriptive job postings. Now, don’t bog down your candidates with dissertation-worthy applications. Whereas your job posting and transparent hiring process were your first impressions, the application is a job seekers chance to stand out from the party crowd. Make it tough for them so you weed out a ton of ill-fitting candidates from the get-go. Instead of wading through pages and pages of information from each applicant, use your initial application as a platform to have them showcase their best stuff, or at least the stuff that would eliminate a good portion of applicants who are wrong for the gig. You’re making efficient use of your time and theirs.

Have some more tips? Share ‘em below!

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
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