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Friday, August 15, 2014

Why Transparency Is Important For Courting Great Talent


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Early on in my career, I experienced a hiring manager who lied and withheld the truth in order to fill his/her job openings. He painted a picture of a workplace that was far from the truth. He told the candidates little white lies filled with flexible schedules, time off requests and development opportunities.

In the new world of technology powered by the Internet and accelerated by our mobile device, there are no secrets. Employers can no longer hide behind closed doors ignoring their little white lies and mistakes. The key to hiring great talent is by being transparent. The key to hiring and retaining great talent is to focus on your culture and creating a great workplace.

Just a couple weeks after the new hires were onboarded and training was complete, they began to understand the true picture of the culture and environment in which they were now working. Turnover for these newly onboarded employees was extremely high. The hiring manager wanted to blame the recruiting process itself, namely me, but our employee exit interviews told another story.

According to a survey by HireRight, 77% of job applicants don’t receive communication from the organization after applying for an advertised position. We’ve talked about the importance treating candidates like customers and having a transparent recruiting practice is the first step in doing so.

It’s impossible to personally reply to each candidate, but having some type of talent community can help with not only developing your employer brand, but giving candidates a positive experience in the hiring process. Pushing out automated emails 6-8 weeks after a candidate has applied for a position isn’t cutting it any longer.

One of the major contributors to a candidate’s dissatisfaction with a company is the lack of transparency in the hiring process. Great talent generally expects great service. You’re not going to get the best developer to work for your company if you’re application process is laborious and outdated. In order to create a better process, here are three things that you can do, cost-free to enhance the amount of transparency:

Write out a job description, with excellent clarity. We’ve all done it, where the job description is vague in order to attract a wide talent pool of candidates. The problem is that your practitioners are spending too much time on under-qualified candidates that they aren’t able to take a good look at candidates who may actually be the best fit. Be clear in what you’re hiring for to get the best results.

Create a talent community. Using services like TalentCircles employers are able to have a talent community where they can filter all candidates into one place and have a dedicated staff person to answer questions and learn more about potential new employees. Understanding your candidates better will give you a greater sense to if they are a perfect fit for your company and the culture you promote. Skills on a piece of paper don’t necessarily qualify a candidate to work for your company. Talent communities help identify perfect fit based on skill and interaction with recruiters and staff members. This will also help decrease turnover because of the amount of transparency offered in a talent community.

Being socially transparent. Social recruiting is the ultimate forum to show transparency as a company. Being fun and minimally legalistic in responding to candidates is a good sign that your culture is reflective of your presence online. Point candidates in the right direction when it comes to the application process, but responding is key. You’ll get those stragglers who are upset that they were rejected, but continuous transparency in your social recruiting practices is best.

Hiding company shortcomings is nearly impossible in today’s social landscape. Being transparent in an outside the application process will give your company the advantage when it comes to hiring the best of the best.

How are you transparent in your recruiting processes?

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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