What is your recruitment process missing? Think about your hiring operation for a moment. Start with how you access the need for more talent and your planning methods. Consider the various team members involved with the operation. Review the tools and other mechanisms used in your recruitment process steps. What is missing?

This isn’t necessarily meant to be a trick question. Yet, far too often hiring organizations tend to get so entrenched in the process that they forget to think about the who. We’re referring to your candidates here. Since the pandemic, new terms like “The Great Resignation,” “The Great Rehire,” and now “Quiet Quitting” have surfaced that continue to challenge HR professionals and hiring managers. The commonality in all of these terms is employees — talent that has decided to assume the role of a candidate to find something that is new, different, or otherwise missing from their current role.

That desire and need to find something new starts with your recruitment process. Capturing their attention and building a mutually beneficial working relationship begins with understanding what they are expecting from you. In this article, we provide helpful insight on these candidate expectations and how to successfully meet them.

10 Deliverables Candidates Expect From Your Recruitment Process

1. Candidates want the details, in full

Provide clear details on not just the position, but requirements for the role, a realistic description of your company culture, and when possible the compensation. These details should find their way into your job posting, which is not the same as a job description. Many HR professionals and hiring managers treat a job posting like a job description, but mixing up the two can be a critical mistake in trying to attract the right candidate. Painting a complete picture of the position, your organization, and the steps in your recruitment process creates a welcoming environment. Even better, it allows your perfect-fit candidates to imagine themselves as part of your team before they even are.

2. Candidates expect easy submissions

Your application or resume submission process should not require hours of your recruits’ time, and it shouldn’t be difficult. Candidates do not expect or want to jump through endless hoops to apply for a position and they won’t. More than 70% of candidates surveyed in the 2022 Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report said they wouldn’t bother filling out an application if it required more than 15 minutes of their time. To engage candidates, you need to evaluate your submission process to ensure that it’s efficient and easy to navigate. Don’t let the easiest part of your recruitment process become a roadblock that ends a relationship before it even begins.

3. Visibility into your culture

Before committing to an employer, today’s candidates like to see how they fit into your company culture. You need to ensure your website and social media pages provide a clear and realistic view of who you are as a company and reflect your workplace culture. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase the reasons that make people proud and motivated to work at your company, as well as utilize your company’s unique employee value proposition to attract the right candidates. Visibility in your company can establish the credibility you need with candidates and can differentiate your company from your competitors.

4. Consistent communication at every stage of the recruitment process

DO NOT ghost your candidates. More than 75% of candidates have been ghosted by potential employers (Greenhouse), so this is an easy way to stand out from your competition. Candidates expect open communication throughout the recruitment process and many job seekers will discount a company if they don’t know where they stand or how they’re progressing. Frequent, clear communication can make all the difference in recruiting and retaining top talent.

5. Defined expectations for the role

Clearly defining the expectations for open positions goes beyond listing requirements. Candidates expect you to know exactly what you need, what success will look like, and how their performance will be measured. Clarifying job expectations can give you specific things to discuss during the interview and ensure that a successful candidate won’t be surprised during their first performance review. This level of transparency will also improve the retention of new hires and the productivity of current employees.

6. A thorough (but not endless) hiring process

The recruitment process can sometimes be long and daunting for candidates. Once applicants have made it into the hiring process, completion can be a burden. Short, but thorough virtual interviews can efficiently screen many candidates — and is likely their top preference. In-person interviews require higher levels of commitment, so plan and use these meetings effectively. It’s also important to note that today’s candidates will not tolerate or participate in endless ongoing interviews and assessments to secure a position, the current job market is too competitive to string candidates along. Remember, the goal of your hiring process is to progress from an open position to an employee’s first day in the most proficient way possible. Don’t overcomplicate the process for them or your team.

7. Honest and helpful feedback

Candidates know they won’t get every position they apply and interview for but they do expect to learn from each opportunity. Let them know why you passed on them, what made them stand out, and where they need to build their skill set. Good feedback provides candidates with the means to move forward with their career plans. And it’s important not to leave an adverse impression on candidates, because some may be suitable for future vacancies.

8. A compelling reason to accept your job offer

It’s a common mistake in the recruitment process that once you’ve reached the point of extending an offer, candidates will automatically accept it. According to a PwC survey, nearly half (49%) of job seekers said they rejected an offer due to a negative experience during the recruitment process.

Some other top reasons for turning down an offer included accepting another position, lengthy hiring practices, and insufficient compensation. When it comes to the job offer, you need to manage expectations about what the offer will include. A job offer is so much more than a simple formality, it’s a continuation of dialogue between the candidate and your company as you work to become employer and employee. Your goal should go beyond having a candidate accept the offer, and invite that individual to become a member of your team.

9. An organized onboarding process

A candidate’s first impression of a new workplace often sets the tone for their entire experience with the company, and their first impression starts with their onboarding process. An organized and engaged onboarding can greatly improve job performance in the long term by setting candidates up for success the moment they accept the job offer.

With so much depending on this early stage of an employee’s tenure with your company, it’s important to understand some of the basics that make your onboarding successful. The most important is that onboarding is not synonymous with new hire orientations. Instead, this process is about preparing them for the role, connecting them with their new team members, and providing context for how they will fit in your organization. At this step in the recruitment process, your goal should be to ensure that your candidates don’t regret their decision to join your company, rather, you should want them to feel like an integral part of your business.

10. A glimpse of what their future looks like with you

Finally, it’s important to show your candidates that not only are they an integral part of your company but they are necessary for its future. Employees want to be able to envision their future, they want a sense of purpose in their careers. Employees who feel that their skills are not being put to good use in their current position are ten times more likely to be looking for a new position. (LinkedIn). This means creating a well-defined career path that helps employees know what is possible with your company beyond the role they are considering today.

Develop a Recruitment Process that Exceeds Expectations

As the labor market changes and hiring trends shift, so do the expectations of top candidates. It’s not necessary to update your recruitment process every six months, but it is important to keep a close eye on what top candidates expect from your company.

Creating a faster, more communicative, and transparent recruitment process is a great starting point. Re-evaluating your hiring and onboarding process to maximize efficiency and make the right first impression on your candidates is an important next step. And before making any hiring decisions, be sure to spell out how candidates will integrate into your unique company culture and what their future could look like when they join your organization. These combined efforts ensure that you will recruit the right talent for your company and retain them.

How your recruitment process progresses from need to perfect-fit hire is vital to get right. However, don’t forget about whom you are engaging with throughout your recruitment process steps. That said, we have some helpful tips in this guide if you noticed other parts of your recruiting and hiring process may be missing something too.

a guide to the recruitment process