In today’s climate of ultra-low unemployment, it’s become a candidate’s market. If you want to succeed in executive search, it’s vital for your team to focus on creating candidate experiences that wow top talent. If you don’t, executive candidates will become increasingly likely to drop out of the interview process and accept opportunities elsewhere.
Executives are especially sensitive to their treatment as candidates. They know their value, and they often have multiple opportunities in the pipeline. So, how can you create a candidate experience that wows top talent?
Here are some ways in-house executive search teams can wow candidates and excite them about the opportunity to work for your company.
1. Simplify the application and interview process.
If you want to make the best possible hire, you’ll need the best possible application process. For starters, enhance the position description, and create a dynamic experience by including videos. Applications should also be fully optimized for mobile and collect only the information needed for the preliminary stages of hiring. Applications also shouldn’t duplicate the information commonly found on a resume. Keeping the application short and simple shows that you respect the applicants’ time and privacy.
2. Sweat the small stuff.
There are many seemingly small things hiring teams can do to improve the candidate experience, and these things matter more than you think. Offer candidates a comfortable place to wait for an interview. Executive recruiting goes beyond the obvious. You need to deliver white-glove service like a high-end hotel takes care of their guests. Offer your executive candidates their own office space to set up in if they need to squeeze in calls, and make sure give them breathing room between meetings. Find out if they have any meal preferences, dietary restrictions, or allergies. And have their entire itinerary good to go right down to the transportation details before they arrive.
Another small act of kindness that’ll help improve the candidate experience is providing clear contact information for the hiring team so your executive candidates know where to send a thank you note or follow-up message. And make sure to extend a handwritten thank you note to the candidates as well. While these details may seem insignificant to your team, they could make all the difference in how candidates feel about coming to work for your company.
3. Be kind.
This sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised how many times hiring teams fail to just be kind and treat executive candidates the way they would want to be treated. Not sure how your hiring team is perceived? You might consider a similar concept to “mystery shopping” by having someone go through the application and interview process for the express purpose of evaluating it.
4. Do your research.
There’s nothing more valuable than doing your research. Since research can take hours on end, hire a team of research specialists to learn as much as they can about the candidates as possible. Learn about the companies they’ve worked at in the past, the company cultures they’re accustomed to, their past roles, and their track record. Find out what’s important to them in terms of their culture, charities they love, and even their personal interests.
You can gather a lot of this information by simply scoping out their LinkedIn profiles. You’ll even want to take note of what kinds of content they’ve written in the past and what kind of content they share. Once you’ve done your homework on the candidate, you’ll be well prepared to impress them by showing them how well you understand them and what they value. Just by doing your homework, they’ll be able to see why they’re truly an ideal fit for your company and why your company is the ideal opportunity for them.
5. Be responsive.
Responsiveness—returning phone calls and communicating promptly when a decision is made—is another way to improve the candidate experience. Imagine the positive word of mouth you might get when you respond to inquiries within 24 hours and continue communication with candidates that aren’t selected. By the time the next search rolls around, you make have candidates seeking you out rather than the other way around.
6. Ask for feedback.
The best way to know how your executive candidate experience comes across to candidates is to ask for feedback from candidates that have gone through your process. You can then make adjustments and improvements when needed to ensure that the candidate experience is positive and not a turnoff.
Thrive TRM can help you create a candidate experience that wows top executives by providing personal information and storing feedback to help you personalize the journey for each candidate. Contact us for more information about what Thrive TRM can do to help your in-house executive recruiting efforts.