If you were a child of the late 90s like yours truly, there’s a good chance you owned a “___ is Life. The Rest is Just Details” T-shirt.
Mine was baseball. It was off-white by the end of its tenure, soft to the touch from hundreds of washings and hung to my knees fulfilling the unwritten rule that under no circumstance should a parent buy a shirt that actually fits his or her child.
I thought about this T-shirt the other week. I was in Denver listening to John Vlastelica—Founder and Managing Editor of Recruiting Toolbox—speak to a room of recruiters and staffing professionals when he said something that caught my attention.
“Hiring managers care about two things,” he said. “Speed and quality.”
Speed and quality. That’s it. They don’t care how you get there or how many other companies you recruit for or what job board(s) you use. They want positions filled quickly and with the best candidates.
The rest is just…details.
If you’re anything like the recruiters I’ve spoken with, it’s a fair assumption that you and your hiring managers don’t always see eye to eye.
Okay maybe not every hiring manager—I’m sure there are ones you’re in sync with like too-good-to-be-true-sitcom-friendships—but whether you work with one, five or 50, there are moments you’re both frustrated.
That’s because the partnership is often a strange and cruel paradox. Maintaining a strong relationship with hiring managers is the most influential factor in talent acquisition performance, but these relationships are also a top culprit of stress for recruiting professionals.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The two of you can work in harmony.
Over the past , the popular (and recently notorious) ride-sharing app Uber has grown from an idea to a juggernaut valued at an estimated $50 billion with drivers in 300 cities across 57 countries.
And along with its somewhat polarizing public image of acting more like a frat house than a company, Uber has one universal drivers don’t always know .
Last week, Uber took a step toward remedying this problem by launching a mobile iOS game called UberDRIVE. The purpose of the game is for players to navigate a real city map (currently San Francisco only) earning more points to unlock new cars and new parts of the city by taking more efficient routes.
In the expanse of the Hotel Irvine grand ballroom—nestled in the heart of sunny Southern California—recruiters move from booth to booth like tourists along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They’re laughing and shaking hands and telling stories; formalities and rituals before business begins.
It isn’t long before the conversations shift from small talk to real talk. The, “how have you been’s?” and “so great to see you’s,” become, “I need to enrich my pipeline and reach more candidates…show me your applicant tracking system…can you parse resumes with it?”
One thing you deduce at a staffing and recruiting conference is the air of excitement when recruiters talk about their career field. They want to stay current and understand how software solutions benefit them. They want to go home better than when they arrived.
And it is here where our journey ends. Not California like some Steinbeck-cliche or Manifest Destiny creed of the American West, but realizing that when recruiters gather together, their ambition is contagious.
For over 13 years, the reality singing competition has captivated, dare I say hypnotized, American television audiences. It started in 2002 with American Idol, and—as far as TV networks are concerned—won’t stop until they’ve forced every last person with any ounce of talent into our car stereos and Spotify playlists.
So when NBC introduced The Voice in 2011 I was…skeptical to say the least. Why did we need another prime time karaoke competition?
But The Voice was different. Not only did the celebrity judges “draft” singers to their respective teams instead of judging their performances alone, but they also had to pick singers with their backs turned to them. They couldn’t pick on appearance, hair color or gender. They had to choose based on what the name of the show suggests. The person’s voice.
So what does this have to do with recruiting? Until a few days ago…I assumed nothing. As I’ve alluded to in recent posts, human nature wants us to make poor hiring decisions. It wants us to choose people like ourselves and wants us to make judgments early in the interview process—like 10 seconds into the interview early.
I hear you all in the backseat. Your eager voices echoing like children on a family road trip to Mount Rushmore or Washington D.C.
“Are we there, yet?”
No, not yet. But I promise we’re getting…closer.
I know our last stop in the realm of bad candidate experiences was difficult at times, but it was crucial in order to overhaul and reshape the candidate experience.
So with Bad Candidate Experience-ville fixed in our rear view mirror, let’s set our sights toward a new horizon, one dotted with the shiny skyscrapers worth gasping over — the companies whose candidate experiences are at the heart of their success. Simply said, now that we know what a good candidate experience is not, it’s time to learn what a good candidate experience is.
Before we can reach our terminus of enlightenment for the “ultimate candidate experience,” our pilgrimage requires a pit-stop in the land of the bad, the depraved and the nefarious. Here we will leap into the turbulent waters of long and complicated job applications, and pore over characteristics of candidate experiences so awful that people spread the word like tent-revival evangelists.
Don’t worry, we won’t stay here long. No, our final destination is far from this land.
Our purpose here is simple. In order to overhaul the way candidates interact with your company, you must first understand what a great candidate experience is NOT. This means examining the recruiting process through an applicant’s eyes and thinking about his or her experience above everything else.