What Do Candidates Say About Your Staffing Company?
In business, isn’t it common sense to focus on paying customers? And so in staffing and recruitment, doesn’t it simply make sense to focus on the candidates that you place. After all, these are the candidates that your clients pay you to find. And without these talented people, you as a staffing provider would not be paid.But have you ever stopped to consider the candidates that you didn’t place? Think about all the candidates that have submitted their resume or that you interviewed that you didn’t place? How much do they matter? What impact if any do their opinions have on your staffing business?
In business for every one sale we make, we come into contact with many more. And whether a sale is made or not, each customer contact is an opportunity to make an impression. In staffing and recruitment, this translates into not just focusing on the impression you make on the candidates you hire. By focusing solely on the candidates you placed, and neglecting the applicants you didn’t place, you can become dangerously myopic. Indeed focusing only on hires and placements, narrow our view and blind us to the entire spectrum of opportunities.
As a former corporate HR professional I worked with staffing companies to place people into our company. After they were placed, I would see them again at the lunchroom or at the water cooler. As the person who expressed interest and hired them (but not their boss), these consultants, temps, and employees often talked to me about their recruiter and/or staffing companySome raved and others complained but both talked (and these were the candidates that were placed).
So how do you create a positive buzz about your staffing company? Based on what the people that you have placed tell me, here are the top three things you can do to ensure candidates speak highly of your recruitment company:
3 Tips on Creating Positive Candidate Word of Mouth
Show genuine care about your candidate’s career whether or not you decide to represent them. After all, they are likely making the biggest decision in the placementSo this also means taking time to listen to what your candidate is looking for in their career. This also means taking time to carefully review the candidate’s qualifications, giving feedback about resumes, and interviewing skills. If you cannot help them, refer them to another trusted professional whether this means to another staffing provider, resume writer, or interview coach or even a good career book.
Open and honest communication. Be open and honest with your candidates. This means when you give feedback to your candidates, be honest. Candidates seek your employment expertise and appreciate your honest feedback. It goes a long way in establishing your credibility. This can also mean be upfront with details like pay rates. Not every staffing company tells their candidate what their commission is but some do. From my experience, the staffing companies who have an open compensation policy often have a positive reputation and are trusted more. If you don’t disclose this to your candidates, well I suppose you better hope they do not find out. This reminds me of a time when a staffing company marked up their fees by 100% but did not tell their contractors. When these consultants discovered what their staffing company was billing them out at, there was serious mutiny (and I hate to say it but I chuckled since it reminded me of the days when I handled compensation issues with the union reps.)
Set clear expectations. This kind of relates to the honest and open communication point above. Here simply create clear expectations on role and responsibilities for both you and your candidate. How often have I heard a qualified candidate, whose recruiter went MIA after promising to be in contact? Conversely, how many candidates went MIA, also known as the infamous no show for their interview? Set clear expectations to avoid misunderstanding and promote a harmonious candidate/recruiter relationship.
So by focusing not only on the candidate you place, but also the ones you didn’t and ensuing that all applicant’s who touch your recruitment process have a positive experience, you will be well on your way to creating a positive Candidate buzz.
For more information about creating a positive a positive word of mouth advertising in recruitment and staffing, see the article “Building the Buzz for Your Recruitment Company”.