SmartRecruiters Blog

A “Candidate Experience” to Phone Friends About

In 2009, my recruiting team at OfficeMax and I set out to impact our company’s candidate experience with a little thing I like to call the phone call.  Many of our positions we were recruiting for were high volume with headcount changing sometimes on a monthly or weekly basis with the number subject to change at a moment’s notice.

Basically, my team had to be prepared to spring into action at any moment.

This made recruiting especially difficult as we worked to prepare for the inevitable.  Meaning the moment when I received that phone call, telling me that we had to fill 50 positions and with under two weeks to make it happen. 

Our clients staffing needs changed quickly, and emergency recruiting was stressful and expensive.  So we set out to create a different kind of relationship with our candidate.  We set out to focus on human interaction within the candidate experience.

A relationship is what we were after, and one that our candidates were willing to wait for.  We set out to touch every single candidate regardless of their qualification and background to talk with them directly. We set out to call and give feedback to candidates within forty-eight hours after they applied leaving those automated email messages to the masses in favor human interaction and engagement instead.

We did more than establish a relationship with the job seeker.  We gave it to them straight.  Boldly telling them if they were not the right fit for any of our positions or if any positions were available.  Depending on their skills and qualifications we offered them options either by providing them a job seeker toolkit or passing on their resume to another recruiter at a neighboring organization who was hiring.  And they were grateful.

A strange thing began happening.  Candidate applications increased.  Candidate quality did too.  Due to this improved candidate experience, job seekers even offered up referrals to the recruiting team from just a simple phone call.  We built relationships with those job seekers serving as a resource and almost a friend.

So when the time came and the hiring flood doors opened, we easily filled 25 positions in under a day.  Our candidates were willing to wait because of the time we spent and the candidate experience we displayed.  And in just 5 business days we filled 50 seats in what started as a phone call and a mission to build a relationship, a dialogue, and the candidate experience.

@blogging4jobs blogsMeet Jessica, and hear her expertise on Candidate Experience, at “SmartUp: Candidate Experience” 6 pm Wednesday Aug. 8 in SmartRecruiters San Francisco Office. Tickets Available Here.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. When she talks, people listen.  Also, connect with her on Pinterest @blogging4jobs. Photo Credit Michele Rosenthal, Dribble

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.