You can learn a lot about an employer just in their application process, said Christi Schreyer, a seasoned recruiter, at a human resources management conference. She advised that people ask the following questions.
1 How are you being engaged?
“Human resources managers get so caught up in their recruiting process that they fail to step back and ask themselves, ‘Would I like to work at the kind of company I am portraying?’” Christi Schreyer reminded a room full of human resources managers to acknowledge job applications when they are received and to provide updates when timelines change. She emphasized the importance of human contact, not just email. “With today’s automation, the telephone is a powerful and key tool.”
2 Are you being respected for your time?
One other important way the employer can respect the applicant is in the application process. “It should take no more than 3 clicks or 5 minutes, otherwise top talent will turn away.” You should “not be forced to use convoluted and time consuming application systems.” Staffing.org reported in 2009 that the number one reason applicants drop out is employers’ frustrating application processes.
3 Are you being provided the information you need?
“People want growth, promise of a future, stability, and, of course, money. They want to know ‘what’s in it for me.’ Does this job fit around me? Does it fit around my schedule? The steps in the recruiting process should be explained very early in the beginning. Discussion of salary range should happen early on in the process to avoid the “cat and mouse’ game” that happens during the salary offer.
4 How are you being communicated with?
Employees want a supervisor who is approachable. Top candidates should be hearing from the hiring manager on the phone, by email, or by text even before they come in for an interview.
Ms. Schreyer shared that an applicant interviewed with a major medical technology company. She went four months without contact and suddenly received an offer. Not surprisingly, she turned it down.
Do local employers live up to these standards?
The author checked out the websites of Riverside County’s five largest employers.
The largest employer in Riverside County is Riverside County itself. The county provides good information about the job and pay in their easy-to-use website. However, the NeoGov application system is slow and cumbersome, taking hours to complete. Any long pause requires one to log in again. NeoGov allows only one set of information in their data base. Applying for a different job or to a different employer with the NeoGov system will give them the same information. The system reflects what one would expect from a large governmental employer.
The second largest employer is March Air Reserve. The U.S. Airforce recruitment website is most user friendly with abundant information.
The third largest employer is University of California-Riverside. They too, have an easy-to-use website that allows one to browse jobs and get all the information. Similar to Riverside County, their application system discourages applicants because it takes hours to complete.
The fourth largest employer, Stater Brothers, is more flexible. They carefully explain their different methods of applying for jobs, depending on the type. For example, retail stores post signs in the store-front windows whenever openings exist for entry-level positions.
The fifth largest employer in Riverside County is Pechanga Casino. They too have an easy-to-navigate website but their on-line application is cumbersome and time-consuming. Pay information is not available at the initial stage.
About the expert
Christi Schreyeris Co-founder & Principal of Instigate, Inc. providing recruitment process outsourcing to small and large employers. She headlined these issues at a 2011 Annual Fall Conference of the Southwest Human Resources Association.
Prior to founding Instigate in 1999, Christi played a critical role in talent acquisition for Wilson Learning. Before that, she executed nearly every HR function as a specialist with Campbell Mithun, helping them grow into a national ad agency.