Archive for Talent management

Poor recruitment processes destroy brand equity.

Posted in Market mapping, Talent management, Talentinsight with tags , , , on January 11, 2011 by edcook

A poorly managed recruitment process damages brand equity irreparably; why do large corporates continue to underinvest in the first experience a potential employee has with their company? What could they be doing to improve the experience and avoid creating vocal detractors of their organisation?

How many times have you applied for a job online and either not heard anything back, received a standard response, or had your time wasted navigating a bureaucratic, impersonal recruitment process where most of the focus is on assessing you rather than communicating the benefits of working for the organisation you’ve applied for?

Three years ago the standard process was to stick a generic advert on seek and sift through the deluge of respondents, after about 2 weeks the unsuccessful ones would be sent a “standard” rejection email entitled “Dear Applicant”.  Approximately 6 of the candidates would be called in for interview with maybe 2 or 3 progressing to the final stage before the selected one being offered the role.  Assuming there were 100 applicants to start with maybe 3% would have had a positive experience, the remaining 97% feeling underwhelmed by the process.

The chances of identifying the best candidate by advertising on an online jobs board are remote.  The best candidates generally aren’t actively looking for a new role, they’re more likely to be focussing on their current role or engaging with their business network to identify their next opportunity.  The worrying thing for the companies mentioned above is that this network is likely to contain the vocal detractors frustrated by the poorly managed recruitment process.  The attraction process becomes harder and harder as more and more potential recruits are advised against working for the organisation.

How can organisations improve this situation and make the recruitment process easier, more cost-effective and faster; enabling them to attract the best passive candidate for a role and ensuring all applicants have a positive experience becoming advocates for the organisation?

Identify and engage with passive candidates: Gathering market intelligence and mapping potential talent is the first step to shortening the recruitment process and targeting potential employees more effectively.  Creating relevant, specific talent pools; develops a talent pipeline which can be engaged with as actively as required depending on the immediacy of the recruitment need.  Events such as networking breakfasts or speaker series can also be arranged to adopt a more active approach to talent engagement.  This enables an organisation to build goodwill with potential candidates and identify talent in a non-threatening, positive environment.  The majority of people who attend an event will start to develop a better understanding of the organisation and even if they are not interested in working there will become potential advocates.

Tap into existing Talent pools: Organisations such as Universities and Business Schools are always looking for job opportunities for their graduates.  In most cases they don’t charge companies to engage with their current students.  In my last role I worked with MBA graduates from Melbourne Business School, I was surprised at the unwillingness of some companies to at least present at the school.  Whilst the value of the MBA is questioned by some; there are full and part-time students with valuable experience and intellectual capability who would add considerable value to many organisations.  Before approaching these people it is important to articulate a clear value proposition to communicate to potential recruits.  The “war for talent” is fierce within Australia’s top business schools.

Better manage the on-boarding process: The first six months in a new role are a stressful time.  Misconceptions gained during the interview process are corrected and potential frustrations are realised.  Coaching and listening to new employees can provide company management and HR with useful insights into potential business problems.  New employees see the company with a fresh pair of eyes.  If their concerns are listened to and action taken to address them they are more likely to stay with the organisation and reach their full potential.  It pays dividends to coach new employees, helping them navigate their first few months within an organisation.  Information can then be gathered to enable the HR team to improve the on-boarding experience for future employees which increases employee engagement and reduces the rate of attrition.

Better manage internal talent: Replacing a key role is expensive, organisations that identify their key employees and put in place a plan to develop and challenge them are more likely to retain them.  I recently heard of a major Australian Bank that made someone on its Talent Program redundant, this suggests that either the wrong people are on the Talent program or the bank’s redeployment program is not working effectively.  A plan needs to be put in place to identify business critical internal talent, design a program to manage their development and coach them to ensure they reach their full potential.

The way most companies recruit has resulted in an impersonal, bureaucratic and unfulfilling experience for the applicant.  Potential employees who are treated as numbers are unlikely to gain much from the recruitment process.  Companies who take the time to engage with targeted talent are more likely to make the right hiring decision in a more timely, cost-effective manner.

If you would like to find out more about what I am developing in this space or if you believe your business would benefit from adopting some of the interventions mentioned above please connect with me on Linkedin ( or by calling +61 414 997 677.