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Why a Transparent Hiring Process Is Important for Both Parties

The transparent hiring process is important both for employers and applicants. And given the wide availability of information online on sites like Glassdoor, transparency is unavoidable. If you don’t share information yourself, someone else will share it on Glassdoor for you.

That said, when employers establish clear and accurate expectations, it can only help the applicant come away with a good feeling about the process, no matter if they were selected in the end or not. And for those who are selected, it helps prevent turnover as they know exactly what to expect when starting work.

Let’s take a look at some key steps any organization can take to bring more transparency to their hiring process. These tips can help you to make your hiring strategy transparent and effective.

Briefing Candidates

Once you’ve read a candidate’s application and selected them for an interview, it’s great to give them an overview of what to expect in your hiring process. This includes sharing information about the number of interviews, their format, which tests will be required if any, and how soon they can expect to hear back about whether they have made it to the next round of interviews.

You can even include information about this process on your branded employer portal (though also be sure to communicate to applicants directly).

An example of what the hiring process overview on a branded portal might look like (from Kiwi.com)

Feedback After Each Interview

This is really important for applicants, for many reasons. Firstly, it’s just common courtesy. If after the first interview you decide a candidate isn’t a fit, they really appreciate it when organizations can offer them feedback on why — whether that’s missing skills in a certain area, or something else. Job-seekers will feel better about the experience if they know what they can improve on.

The only time not to offer direct feedback on non-selection is if the applicant behaves in a way that is absolutely erratic or bizarre during an interview — in that instance, it may be best to go with a vague, generic non-selection message.

The more interviews a candidate goes through with you, the more important offering direct feedback becomes. If someone goes through 3 rounds of interviews, for example, only to then receive a mass rejection template email that says «Dear Candidate, thank you for interest….», that’s just plain disrespectful of the time and effort the person put in — and is likely to result in them leaving a negative review on Glassdoor.

Detailed feedback is not only important for rejections, but also when you want to move to the next stage. For example, if you interview a candidate, but don’t offer any feedback for weeks — the person is likely to assume that you have decided to move forward with someone else. So keeping candidates in the loop is important here also. Properly implemented, these steps will help you to develop a transparent interview process.

Include a Field Ride

One of the best ways to establish clear expectations for what it is like to work in the role, and to get a clear sense of the candidate’s working style is to include a “field-ride”. This involves inviting the applicant to embed the team they would be working on for a day. 

This process is helpful for both parties. The applicant gets to see exactly what it’s like to work at your company, and the team gets to see how the applicant fits within their existing structures.

To implement field rides effectively, you’ll need to make sure that there are clear lines of communication between HR and the teams with vacant positions. You don’t want to spring a field ride on a team with short notice, because if they haven’t prepared briefing materials for the applicant, it will be hard for them to slot in to the ongoing project.

Some segmentation may also be necessary here. If you are working on a sensitive project, you want to avoid sharing too many details with someone you are not yet 100% sure that you will hire. NDAs can go some way toward alleviating these concerns but they are not a magic bullet.

But if you have the proper procedures in place, field rides are an excellent assessment tool.

Safeguard Your Applicant Data

Okay, so this one is actually an area where you don’t want to be transparent. Applicant data often contains sensitive information, and if your organization is not storing this data with best safeguarding practices in place, then you are running severe reputational risks. After all, according to Accenture, cybercriminals stole $4.2 billion USD in 2020 alone.

Another thing to keep an eye out for are recruiting scams that may use your company’s name to scam potential applicants, sending emails from a similar address to yours, asking applicants for sensitive information to complete their application, process a background check, or similar.

While your organization is not liable for scams initiated by cyber criminals, it’s still not something you want to be associated with. One thing you can do to mitigate this risk is, if you become aware of the existence of such a scam, put information on your branded portal clarifying that you will never ask for social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. as part of your hiring process.

Scams aren’t the only threat, there is also the risk of hackers breaking into your stored data applicant data directly. Especially if you are using an ATS integration, you to not only be confident in your own security systems, but also those of the third party you are working with.

I would say that the risk that we keep our eyes on the most now is cyber risk…[so you] would worry about a cyber event. That’s something that many, many government agencies, including the Fed and all large private businesses and all large private financial companies in particular, monitor very carefully, invest heavily in. And that’s really where the risk I would say is now, rather than something that looked like the global financial crisis.

Jerome Powell — Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Before selecting an ATS partner, be sure to schedule a call where you specifically discuss the security measures they have in place, ask what level of security their data center has, etc. This call should be led your own Chief of Information Security so that you are positioned to evaluate the claims your potential partner makes.

This applies doubly if you will be hiring for sensitive positions, such as Industrial Control Systems engineers or similar. An ATS that is known to be holding particularly high-value candidate data is much more likely to be targeted by hackers and scammers.

Choose a Communicative ATS

While the value of personalized communication with applicants cannot be overstated, there are issues of scale. How do you give applicants a personalized experience if your company needs to automate the hiring process?

The key here is to select an AI-based ATS that was designed with the candidate experience in mind, such as Employa. Employa updates applicants and provides personalized feedback at each stage of the process, without requiring input from a human HR professional.

Need Employa to advance your tech recruiting?

Whether you need a recruitment service or upgrade existing recruitment software, Employa is ready to help.

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