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5 Strategies to ensure your Candidate Experience initiatives extend to your contingent workforce

Updated: May 22, 2019

The term, “Candidate Experience,” is habitually used by human resources, recruiters, and marketing teams within companies as well as staffing suppliers that support the hiring process. It is the term used to describe how job seekers recognize and respond to an employer's sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and on-boarding processes. There is an old saying based on market research done for Coca-Cola in the 1980’s where 10 people heard of someone’s bad experience yet only 1 person heard of someone’s good experience. That was well before the social media age where the feed, email, YouTube, Tweets, and the like can multiply the numbers hearing of someone’s bad experience by thousands. In the current environment a YouTube video can receive millions of views in 3 days when an airline loses luggage. As labor markets tighten and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor organizations are increasing their focus on the Candidate Experience today than ever before. The goal obviously being to provide a good experience and have the candidate share it with as many people as possible. However, few organizations are looking at the contingent workforce as an extension of their brand and ensuring that a similarly good experience is had by their contingent workers and candidates.

Ensure Suppliers Sell Your Brand Properly: Collaborate with your partners to understand how they plan to position your organization and the role’s purpose is essential. Are the suppliers selling your company's culture, benefits, and location? Consider a scheduled opportunity for suppliers to meet with the HR team to understand how the recruiters plan to position your organization with candidates. This type of meeting can help ensure consistent messaging through the entire process. As well, did the supplier have an opportunity to ask questions of the hiring manager regarding the specific role or position? In vendor neutral environments it is important to ensure suppliers and recruiters have heard the makeup of the team and why this role is open. Consider deploying surveys to on-boarded workers to measure their experience their on-boarding experience. Review the feedback with the suppliers and create action plans to address any challenges.

Timely Feedback & Scheduling: A majority of candidates in this market are interviewing for multiple roles. Hiring managers need assistance not only in reviewing resumes to select the proper candidate but also in scheduling interviews. Set an internal SLA for managers to review, provide feedback, and schedule interviews within 2 days of receiving a resume. Furthermore, when scheduling push to complete interviews within a week of receiving the resume. If you are waiting 2 weeks or more to have an initial screen, you risk losing a top candidate to another opportunity and giving the candidate the impression that filling this role is not a priority.

The Interview Process: What many organizations fail to realize is that during the interview process the candidate is evaluating your organization as well. While the staffing suppliers should have reviewed the job description with the candidate and done a preliminary screen to evaluate the candidate's fit for your organization, they are likewise waiting to hear from you. The initial interview should be a phone screen where the candidate can evaluate the role, the information received, and also make a determination if they want to move forward to the next round. The second round, should the role require working with multiple resources, have them as a part of the interview process and be aligned for the same day or sequentially. There is little worse than a four or five round interview process for a contract role. "Time is money," for candidates as well. They are likely working another job and having to take time off and expend personal resources and effort to come to your location to complete the interview process.

On-boarding: Companies need to examine and align the provisioning process to ensure workers are effective on day one. Do they have all the tools and space required? There is no point in having a worker start if they have no computer or place to sit. Consider an orientation. Obviously it would not be identical to an employee orientation, but consider a group orientation complete with a welcome video, obtaining badges, providing equipment, and training on timekeeping processes. This will create a sense of belonging, create a peer group for the newly on-boarded workers, and give them an opportunity to connect with resources outside of their team.

Resource Management: Similar to setting requirements for how suppliers sell your organization to candidates it is a best practice to set expectations for suppliers ongoing follow up and resource management. Too often one hears a candidate saying payroll is their only interaction with the supplier. A supplier invested in supporting your brand will want to ensure workers are continuing to having a great experience. This can be as simple as a Resource Manager within the supplier calling workers once a month or so to check in and organize events. Outings such as off cite lunches or team building events ensure there opportunities for workers to be appreciated for their contributions to your organization. This practice also can help ensure that the staffing supplier and not your organization addresses issues they that own and prevent any co-employment concerns.

With these simple steps, plus a few more careful adjustments the practices, Tracz Consulting can assist your organization to provide an excellent Candidate Experience for your Contingent Workforce. Contact us if you'd like to review how to measure the candidate experience for contingent workers to your organization.

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