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Recruitment Pros and Cons: Taking Control of Your Candidate Experience

September 8, 2014

“ Recruitment Pros and Cons: Taking Control of Your Candidate Experience” was originally published on Levo League, a professional community for gen Y women. For more information on Levo League please visit: http://www.levo.com/about

As someone who works at a recruiting organization, I’m immersed in the regular dealings of the recruitment process. Within a range of industries and roles, I’ve had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the different ways recruitment and interviewing strategies are performed, as well as the positive and negatives of each. Whether you are a candidate for an executive HR position, mid-level sales role or a software developer intern, everyone has a different candidate experience. These experiences not only vary based on the organization and position, but also what you personally take away from it as a candidate. Once you determine exactly what your career goals are and have a deeper understanding of a typical recruitment flow, it will be much easier to set your own expectations and navigate the process the best you can–taking away more positives than negatives along the way.

In preparation for your job search, be sure to keep these in mind so you are better equipped Twitter-Icon copy:

Networking: No matter which way you slice it, networking is a huge part of the recruitment process. Whether you land the job you’re going for or not, networking helps you make connections that could be a benefit further down the line. Additionally, many organizations utilize talent communities to maintain the relationship, monitor past applicants during their career progressions and keep candidates informed of new opportunities. Just because you may have not been a good fit for the position you originally applied for or haven’t come across an ideal role within that company, that doesn’t mean another option won’t open in the future. During your interview, ask if you can be included in the company’s talent community or find out how you can keep the lines of communication open.

Lack of transparency: How many times have you applied for a job, had a few interviews and then never heard from the recruiter again? Unfortunately, this happens. It is a prime example of a poor candidate experience. Some organizations haven’t mastered their candidate experience and, therefore, leave candidates in the dark.

To be proactive, confirm expectations with the recruiter and hiring manager you speak with during each stage of the recruitment process. Holding them to this standard can help reduce the notorious “black hole” many candidates seem to fall into. Even if you aren’t successful, be sure to keep in touch with the recruiter and stay connected about future opportunities. A good recruiter takes the time to set realistic and honest expectations with a candidate, keeps communication flowing and remains transparent throughout the process.

Alternative opportunities: While interviewing and applying, keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities within the organization. If a position doesn’t work out in your favor, ask about the company’s internship program, other unique programs or alternative roles. An internship may be an ideal way to get your foot in the door and prove yourself, which can lead to other opportunities down the road. Recruiters often communicate with one another, so there could be another job suited for you that another recruiter is handling. Make sure you let your recruiter know you’re open, but also limit your openness to a relevant job type. It may raise a red flag if it seems like you’re willing to bounce around to different roles that aren’t related.

Timelines: Drawn-out applications and lengthy interview timelines can make the recruitment process feel like it’s never going to end. And, unfortunately, candidates do experience this if companies don’t have a solid interview strategy in place. Many candidates can’t afford a long process and it can be even more stressful if you make it to the final stages and still don’t land a job.

To ensure you’re using your time efficiently, research an organization before you apply. Check out what others have said about their timelines and processes through social media and reviews on the career site Glassdoor. These reviews often offer honest, unbiased information on a company’s application and interview process. It can also give you an idea about candidate success rates and tips on managing each stage of the interview process.

As candidates, we can’t always control the things that occur during the recruiting and interview process, but we do have the ability to prepare the best we can. Doing your due diligence can help you create a better experience and keep your confidence high no matter what’s thrown at you.

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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.

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