By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Recruiters often don’t realize that for a candidate, the job search can be an extremely personal experience. Aspects of the process, specifically their success or failure, can be tied directly to the financial freedom and the ability to achieve their personal dreams for both them and their dependents. For many, a new job and the income sustained from that job could be the solution to getting by or achieving happiness or fulfillment.
Still, in many instances, the recruitment process remains one of the least personal interactions in an organization. It’s focused on pushing people through an ATS and relies mostly on simplistic email messages and auto responders in order to communicate with candidates. The only real engagement has with an organization often only happens during a formal interview or negotiation. This is the fatal flaw in the recruiting and hiring processes. Our interactions with talent need to go beyond this. It will have positive effects on both the candidates as well as our companies.
Your Candidates Want To Invest In You
Recruiting is personal because a job is a huge part of every person’s life. A person who works 40 hours a week is spending approximately 37% of their waking hours working. That is a significant time investment that is bound to influence one’s value. To be given a position doing something they find fulfilling can be your employee’s direct line to personal happiness, wellbeing and freedom financially.
Going beyond recruiting, if a candidate is selected and had a good experience in the recruiting process, they are more likely to start their new role on the right foot. If they are not selected but still had a good experience, they are more likely to apply again for a position better suited for them or send other qualified talent your way.
You Should Want to Invest in Your Candidates
Whether or not you offer a candidate a position, you have the ability to directly influence their self worth. It should be expected that when someone is not selected for a role, there will be some level of disappointment. Instead of just letting your system send them an automatic rejection letter or email, you can provide them with constructive feedback that can help them when applying for other jobs in the future. In some cases, just adding your personal touch will help them not to feel discarded when they are not selected. This will reflect well on your company.
Your personal approach could be the difference that leads a qualified candidate to accept a position with you over another company. The interview process goes both ways. If they are qualified for a position you are trying to fill, they are likely qualified for other positions elsewhere as well. Your personal approach could be the element that sets you apart and draws in the qualified talent
Recruiting is personal because its about the people and no amount of automation or technology can change this fact. Only companies who wake up and realize this fact and proceed to improve, enhance and personalize their recruiting, hiring and onboarding efforts can and will win the war for talent. It’s a certainty.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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