Ways To Improve the Candidate Experience

September 20, 2022 – In the midst of the Great Resignation, competition for talent is fierce. The market is still candidate driven, which means that companies must examine their employee value proposition (EVP) but also carefully consider their recruitment process and leverage this as a competitive advantage when hiring “best athlete” talent.

In a new report, Julian Rives, managing partner of Chapel Hill Solutions, a healthcare-focused executive search firm, offers some different ways companies can improve and simplify their recruitment process to provide a better candidate experience, keep talent engaged, and beat competitors to the punch with an offer:

Audit Your Recruitment Process

The faster an organization can onboard a new hire, the sooner that individual can begin adding value to the team and drive performance. The longer an organization takes to find, interview, and present an offer to a candidate, the more opportunity is at stake across the board. “To remain competitive, audit your recruitment process and look at where candidates withdraw and examine roadblocks internally and externally,” said Mr. Rives. “These can be delayed feedback, scheduling conflicts, miscommunication, the total number of interviews held, or the length of time it takes to go from sourcing to making an offer. All of these can have a negative impact on the candidate’s experience. If possible, combine steps to shorten the time in between different stages, prioritize feedback and, most importantly, respect a candidate’s time,” he said. “Today, having a seamless and positive candidate experience is critical to keeping talent engaged.”

Identify Who Needs Buy-In

During the interview stages, identify and include only the stakeholders who deeply understand the goals and responsibilities of the role and who will be interacting with a candidate on a day-to-day basis. Decide who needs “buy-in” for a candidate and prioritize these interviews over others. “Putting a candidate through multiple interviews with many different people within the organization can slow the hiring process down and frustrate a candidate,” said Chapel Hill Solutions. “For those individuals that will be more peripheral when interacting with the role, consider a panel interview and allow each person a certain amount of time or questions to ask during the interview. Keep important one-to-one interviews limited to those immediate players that will be working with this individual on a regular basis and use these more personal conversations to gauge cultural fit and overall working style.”

Leave Space For Negotiation And Empower Recruiters

The supply of highly qualified and skilled talent is at an all-time low. As a result, companies and organizations will need to be prepared to pay a premium in terms of salary and benefits. “Conduct market research with talent mapping to uncover what other organizations may offer for salary, equity, benefits, rewards, etc., and align your expectations with these,” said the report. “Consider publishing a salary range within the initial job description to immediately filter out any candidates that may have inflated or unrealistic expectations. Additionally, keep compensation in mind throughout the conversation internally once you arrive at a shortlist. Prepare for senior leadership discussions around compensation and provide recruitment teams with the tools and approvals (within reason) to speed up the negotiation process at the end of a search.”

Julian Rives is managing partner of Chapel Hill Solutions. The firm has grown in the executive search marketplace for 25-plus years, recruiting leaders and top talented individuals in its network to enhance its clients’ workforce. Chapel Hill Solutions focuses on the healthcare and life sciences industry, including all phases and business areas within the pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical research, medical device, and healthcare disciplines.

Hiring Best Practices In A Candidate Driven Market.

2022 will continue to be a strong candidate market as candidates are exiting the workforce, changing industries, starting new businesses and transforming the world of work, said Chapel Hill Solutions. Employers must keep this in mind when looking for “best athlete talent” and will need to be flexible, agile and patient to remain competitive such as:

  • Being flexible in terms of a candidate’s timeline and possibly delaying a start date
  • Adapting a role to better suite a candidate’s background or skills
  • Remaining patient to find, engage and attract the best candidate for the role.
  • Providing flexible working arrangements (working from home or a hybrid model)
  • Proactively staying ahead of your competitors within the recruitment process
  • Focusing on talent retention to avoid turnover and losing high performers
  • Taking a closer look at your EVP and tailor it accordingly

“Similar to the housing market, the transfer of power from a ‘candidate market’ to an ‘employer market’ will not happen overnight,” said Mr. Rives. “Companies can expect candidates to continue to influence conversations and dictate hiring outcomes as we move into 2023. If a company remains agile, flexible, and patient and places the candidate experience in the center of their recruitment process, they are more likely to win and hire highly sought after top-level talent.”

Chapel Hill Solutions focuses on healthcare as well as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, clinical research, and medical devices. The firm provides executive search services to these primary areas: healthcare, acute care, ambulatory surgery centers, information technology, healthcare financial services, surgical services, emergency room, OR, EMR, HIM, and case management. Other services include research capabilities, technological support, and relocation assessment.

Related: A New Lever for Private Equity Value Creation: Talent Optimization

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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