Recruiting Practices: Responsiveness matters

Johnette Staes, Human Resources Director, East Jefferson General Hospital
Recruiting Practices: Responsiveness matters

When asked about the top priority for their Human Resources departments, most CEOs will tell you that talent is what keeps them awake at night.

  • How will we find talent to take our company to the next level?
  • How will we build our brand to ensure that people, the right people, want to work for us?
  • What are we doing to ensure that talent finds us?

When considering the healthcare industry, this is even more important when it comes to your patient-facing team.

Invest in the application experience

If you were able to quantify the revenue that interested applicants generate for your company, or the necessary services that they provide to your customers/clients/patients, would you be concerned about the applicant experience? Would you allow their online applications to linger in your Applicant Tracking System untouched for months? Would you find it important to extend a professional courtesy and inform them that they that they are not being considered for the role or that they are still in the running? What your Human Resources department does with talent is important. What they don't do may be equally as important.

"Brand" goes beyond logos and swag

Company branding extends beyond quality products and customer service. Branding can be determined by several factors such as the organization's community involvement, their diversity and inclusion policies and practices, their interactions and engagement with their employees or by how applicants are treated during the application process.

If you are a large company, consider how many people apply for open roles. It could easily be tens of thousands. If you are a small company, consider how 100 ignored applicants could impact your business or your ability to recruit in the future.

Being nonresponsive can backfire

I oftentimes hear Recruiters lament the volume of applicants they receive for an open role. This is inevitably followed by, "we just don't have time to respond to everyone." It is paramount that we make time. As a Human Resources executive, I understand that filling open roles is a priority and it is demanding work. I also understand that there will always be another position to fill and that what we do can shape how our company is viewed by those seeking job opportunities in an increasingly competitive landscape.

If your Human Resources department is ignoring 50% of interested applicants, what is the likelihood that they will reapply with your company again? How is your company brand impacted if the organization develops a reputation for being non-responsive to interested applicants? Is it possible that the disregarded applicants may no longer consider you an employer of choice? Is it likely that the ignored applicant will communicate their experience to others? Research indicates yes. Can any company afford to overlook thousands of applicants, many of whom live in our communities with networks and platforms, due to poor recruiting practices?

Solutions to improve the applicant experience:

1. Invest in an Applicant Tracking System that meets the needs of your company. The application process should be simple, thorough and it should respect the time that potential applicants take to apply. Your Human Resources team should be able to easily review applicants and send a system generated decline either individually or en masse. Quality Applicant Tracking Systems are worth the investment.

2. Ensure that Recruiters with social media presence are following up on their posts and responding to inquiries. This can be time consuming however research indicates that social media platforms are currently one of the most effective recruiting tools. Your people are your brand.

3. Staff your Recruiting department appropriately. If your company places as high a priority on servicing potential employees as it does on customer service or quality products, you will no longer have to lose sleep over recruiting top talent. Top talent will find you.