For over a decade, recruiters and talent acquisition professionals have focused talent attraction strategies on providing a positive candidate experience as one of the keys to improving hiring outcomes.
Unlike many of the popular recruiting terms that seem to lose their buzz-worthiness the minute something new starts trending, candidate experience – how candidates feel about their experiences navigating an organization’s hiring process and how those feelings influence their decision to seek and accept employment with an organization; is rightfully occupying space as one of the most important factors.
Organizations providing best-in-class candidate experiences serve as models and benchmarks for others. But even those who hold these positions are missing an essential, and in some instances, even more, impactful element in their talent acquisition strategies.
What they’re missing, often undefined and not considered, is the recruiter experience.
What is the recruiter experience?
This term refers to how recruiters feel about their experiences navigating the hiring process and how those feelings influence how an organization successfully attracts, selects, and retains talent.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any TA pros who object to the fact that candidate experience starts before a position is ever posted.
This is why companies invest resources in developing branded materials, career sites, and content and adopting tools that support their talent attraction strategies.
A positive recruiter experience should also be a consideration when deciding where to invest resources. After all, candidate experience starts with the recruiter.
Elements of a positive recruiter experience
So, what are the elements of a positive recruiter experience? A positive recruiter experience should be comprised of elements that establish and maintain trust, relationship building, accountability, and a proactive approach.
Trust is the foundation of the recruiter experience. Establishing sustainable trust is all but impossible with disjointed processes, policies, and procedures that create waste and handoffs that aren’t clean.
Trusting recruiters to chart their own process roadmaps, eliminating waste and redundancy, and clearly defining roles and responsibilities within the process will increase productivity and improve performance.
2. Relationship building
Relationship building happens at every stage of the recruiting process. If recruiters don’t feel like there are partnerships with other stakeholders, the recruiter experience will be unfavorable. They should be positioned as the bridge between the employer and job seekers.
At the attraction stage, recruiters should collaborate in the creation and dissemination of branded materials and content so that they can better assist job seekers in envisioning how their skills and talents connect to the specific roles and teams they’re supporting and the organization as a whole.
At the sourcing, interviewing, and selection stages, recruiters should provide input to hiring teams on strategy, timing, and messaging and ensure job seekers enjoy fair, unbiased, replicable positive experiences.
Accountability goes both ways. Often, recruiters are blamed for all the things that go wrong in the recruiting process but not given their due credit for all the things that go right.
Much of the recruiter experience is dependent on the extent to which they are empowered.n When systems and tools aren’t effective, and communication and transparency are lacking, all parties involved suffer.
Keeping recruiter morale high requires that they be viewed and treated as true stakeholders enabled to take ownership of their work and contribute meaningfully to hiring decisions, not just scapegoats.
4. Proactive approach
A proactive approach is the final component of a positive recruiter experience. Too often, recruiting is viewed as reactive, and recruiters are viewed as order takers.
The truth is recruiting requires a strategy to be the most effective, and recruiters should have clear, attainable, measurable goals that extend beyond filling roles.
A positive recruiter experience means anticipating and accounting for roadblocks and challenges, identifying solutions, and allowing recruiters to develop and thrive in whatever function of talent acquisition fits best.