Is the recruitment process from Mars, and the right candidate from Venus…?

Is the recruitment process from Mars, and the right candidate from Venus…?

Well, they may as well be, according to a new study by Aon Assessment Solutions. Their findings show that job descriptions can often bear little relation to the day-to-day role they advertise; at the same time, candidates’ expectations can vary wildly.

Aon report that many employers use outdated ‘skills-based’ recruitment practices. If the recruitment process isn’t able to determine whether a candidate is a good match for the role, and also, whether the role is suited to the candidate, the fallout could be hiring someone who doesn’t share the employer’s values, someone who can’t do the job sufficiently, and/or a disgruntled candidate angry about the time (and other opportunities) they may have wasted.

Poor hires cost employers time and money, too, which could otherwise be saved if their recruitment processes were modernised. Not to mention the harm to their brand as dissatisfied employees make their feelings known. A recent report by CareerArc showed that almost three-quarters of job seekers who had suffered a poor candidate experience shared the incident on such as Glassdoor, social networking sites, and between colleagues and friends.

Nicholas Martin, Global Products and Analytics Leader at Aon Assessment Solutions, believes that “candidates have a choice in where they work and have very high expectations.” Those involved with recruitment in today’s job market, he adds, need to overhaul their selection process, so that it provides a “meaningful exchange, that benefits both parties”.

He goes on to suggest that employers should identify why their high-performing employees are engaged with their company, then use this information to create a 3-D, immersive experience for potential candidates, so that they can see for themselves what it would be like to work in that particular role, for that specific company – and which gives them the opportunity to determine if they’d be a good fit.

This disparity between process and expectations is something recruiters need to get right, if only for the following: a Linkedin study found that a whopping 83% of job-seekers would change their mind about a position or company if the interview process was a negative one. That’s a lot of talent that could be lost, and further good hires that could be put off by word of mouth. If candidates are indeed from Mars, recruiters need to be taking field trips there!

Instead of skills-based competency tests, there should be a mix of different scenarios that commonly crop up in the role, that can help filter suitable candidates based on their actions, thought-processes and attitude. Another recommendation would be involving the relevant supervisor/line manager in the recruiting process; candidates see this as key, knowing who they’d be working with. Allowing them to prepare properly is also helpful, such as providing an agenda for the interview, and the type of tests/competencies they may be required to complete/display within the session. Nicholas also recommends offering constructive feedback to unsuccessful applicants, to help them work on the skills/traits they may be lacking for that position.

Recruiters may be guilty of using the same job boards, platforms and methods of advertising that they’ve always done. But if this is the case, how can they know that the top talent will always use these same channels whenever they’re looking for a new role? Time and effort should be spent researching and developing new ways to access the market.

Admittedly, these studies suggest more work on the recruiter’s behalf, to ensure expectations are met and the experience is a positive one for the candidate. Is this a sign that the job market is sparsely-populated, giving the ‘top talent’ the power to be picky?

Whatever the reason, if the benefits from overhauling your recruitment process result in better-skilled and better-matched candidates, who reflect the necessary values of the company; if it equals positive feedback for the brand; and if time and money is saved because no poor hires are’s worth it.

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