Ever attended one of those assessment centres where you were made to feel comfortable and at ease? Treated with the utmost respect and catered to in such a way that you almost forgot where you were or the purpose for your attendance? Kudos to those firms who go to the lengths of reimbursing participants’ transportation and accommodation bills.
Compare the preceding to a poorly organized test/interview session where candidates are packed into a poorly ventilated space; instructions thrust like reprimands and facilitators easily mistaken for boot-camp instructors. It gets worse! There have been instances where there was absolutely no respect for the candidates’ personal time and sessions began hours later than they had previously been scheduled to commence.
One thing is clear; the little things do matter. People are generally reactive and would usually respond in accordance to how they are being treated. This is why I believe organizations can and should take advantage of the opportunities the ‘Recruitment and Selection’ (R&S) process provides. It could be used as a powerful, yet subtle tool to improve an organization’s brand perception or public image. Likewise, it serves as a platform to ensure successful candidates are those who value their employer, are proud to be associated with the brand and ultimately, ready to stay the long haul.
Countless research findings have established a link between an effective R&S strategy and an organization’s overall performance. Nevertheless, while there may exist a relationship between a firm’s R&S strategy and the employees’ subsequent satisfaction, it should be noted that individual differences, interests and ‘motivation’ all play an equally important role irrespective of the R&S strategy applied.
Without a doubt, a well thought out and executed candidate-centred R&S session holds great potential. The benefit to the organization far outweighs the costs of not engaging in same and could very well assist organizations achieve a spot reserved for a few – the employer of first choice!
Implication for HR:
For firms that would rather outsource the R&S function: it behoves the HR department to ensure a ‘values’ match. Vendors must be educated about the impact of service quality on the company’s brand and ultimately, its bottom line.
Alternatively, when R&S is conducted in-house, staff are to be encouraged to deliberately portray behaviours that are in accordance with the company’s core values as well as any existing stakeholder retention policies.
The candidate’s experience does matter. The benefit (to the firm) may be viewed in terms of:
- The Brand: R&S provides a cheaper alternative of promoting a company’s image. Savings in advertising costs are inevitable when a room filled with candidates help to spread the word about an exceptional experience.
- The Quality of staff: R&S conducted with a candidate-centred approach may in the short-term endear the candidate to the organization and in the long-term go a long way in ensuring employees ‘feel’ engaged to the firm.
In conclusion, some benefit is always better than none. However, the extent to which a candidate-centred R&S strategy is employed depends largely on how much a firm values its brand outlook.