SmartRecruiters Blog

Stop Kissing the Best Candidates Goodbye

This column originally appeared on

We’re all looking for someone remarkable–that one individual with the precise mix of experience, skills and personality traits for the job. But recruiting is more than finding your next great candidate. You have to build and continually optimize a scalable business operation–similar to how smart companies eliminate leakage in the sales pipeline–in order to modernize your organization’s recruitment function. For starters, 58 percent of employers don’t have a talent pipeline.

No wonder it’s difficult to hire when most businesses don’t even maintain a go-to network of candidates. It starts with an engaging candidate experience. Here’s the grim reality: one in four candidates say they’ve had a bad experience when applying for jobs due to factors such as companies’ lack of follow through. After having a bad candidate experience, 42 percent of candidates would never seek employment at that company again. Worse, 22 percent of candidates would tell others not to work there either. It’s a tangled situation that demands a new approach. Here are the four new rules of recruiting:

1. Start sourcing from your employees’ social networks.

Great candidates are already in your social networks and your colleagues’ social networks, where you can connect with them and look up their profiles (a.k.a., the modern resume) to learn more about them. If this is how we find and engage with the best people we hire, why are so many businesses still using tools like applicant tracking systems that just create a massive stack of resumes to sort through? Start by empowering you colleagues to easily source talent from their social networks, because when talent receives a job opening from a friend, they are more likely to apply. At the end of the day, your talent pipeline should be filled with better candidates sourced through your colleagues’ trusted networks.

2. Get a move on mobile recruiting.

The robust talent pipeline I just told you about? You’ve got to make it mobile. Sixty-five percent of candidates who job search on a mobile device will leave a non-mobile optimized site without completing the application. If candidates can pay bills, book a hotel and buy concert tickets on their mobile device, they certainly expect to be able to express interest in a job through mobile, too. Create a mobile-first careers page on your website. These days, most people use online profiles, such as LinkedIn, to apply for jobs. If your job ad requires a resume attachment, no interested candidate will be able to express interest from their mobile phone. By letting candidates apply to jobs on their smartphones you are making it easy for great candidates to submit their online profile with just one tap. Candidates have moved on from the resume. It’s time you do, too.

3. Strengthen your employer brand across online and offline channels.

Candidates want to work for more than a salary. They want to align with a strong employer brand and join a mission with inspiring team members. At the same time, we live in an age of transparency where employer brand is more visible. It includes what your employees say on social media and what you publish across your digital properties, which filters into offline conversations. Candidates pay attention to all of this. Ensure your employees have a strong, positive public face that aligns with your business’s mission and values. Promote your company culture across social media and other digital channels. Use this to your advantage, by sharing your long-term vision and workplace culture proudly and loudly. Don’t forget, creating a seamless application experience allows you to capitalize on all your hard branding work.

4. Make hiring a team sport.

Let’s say you’ve followed all these rules and managed to attract some great candidates. How do you close the best one? Your colleagues are an indispensable part of the hiring decision. Three or four people in your business should interview every candidate. This lets your colleagues ask different questions, dig more deeply into certain topics and gather a greater variety of responses. All of your team’s observations, learnings and perspectives will serve as invaluable data points when reviewing candidates. This collaborative approach will provide accurate assessment of the candidate. One person might overlook a red flag that another team member noticed, while you might pick up on a great aspect that your colleague missed. Collaborative decision making is crucial to finding the best new hire.

Never compromise. That’s the modern mantra of recruiting and hiring. By adopting these four new rules of recruiting, you can create better hiring choices, make great hiring decisions and stop kissing the best candidates goodbye.

The 4 New Rules of Recruiting

Jerome Ternynck

Jerome Ternynck is the Founder & CEO of SmartRecruiters, the industry's premier talent acquisition suite to find and hire great people.