Sunday, October 01, 2006

They love me, they love me not.......

Do you remember that little time-waster we used to do when we were kids. We'd think of the person who we fancied, pick a daisy and pluck out the petals one by one, reciting "(s)he loves me" with the first petal and "(s)he loves me not" with the next... this would go on till the last petal and we'd have our answer - unless it was the wrong answer, in which case we'd keep picking daises till we got it right. That way, we knew how the object of our affection felt about us. Too bad we don't have any daises to tell us how that job you have applied for feels about us!

The unfortunate thing is that most recruiters get it wrong when it comes to candidate feedback. We all use the same excuses - too many candidates, too little time to get back to all of them. But we all need to wake up - this ain't the heady 1990's! Candidates are becoming all to scarce and if we don't start treating them better, they are going to take their talents and go find someplace else to play -like our competitors. I found a really great post on the Recruiting Animal blog which spells this all out pretty clearly but I will give you my own prescription on how to cure this problem: COMMUNICATE with EVERY CANDIDATE! With the state of Technology today, there is no reason we cannot migrate from that ancient response of "we will only contact candidates of interest" to an automated e-mail reply that tells a candidate that "love them" or "love them not". Even smaller organizations can now afford automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Systems to track applicants used to cost zillions, now you can get one on an ASP basis for under 15k. My company recently launched a great system from HRMDirect. While no system is a cure for all your recruitment sins, one can give you a great start toward getting better at communicating with your candidates. Trust me on this one, you cannot afford to risk letting talent slip through your fingers.

Talk to your HR department about how you manage candidates and insist that prompt and candid feedback to EVERY applicant become the norm.

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