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Shhh...The Secret to Improved Hiring Outcomes

Nam Nguyen


Recruiters should not simply look to attract as many candidates as possible, but instead cultivate right-fit applicant pools.

When companies begin a recruitment drive, many believe that the best approach is to attract as many applicants as possible. The idea is that the more candidates you have to choose from, the better the chances there will be enough right-fit talent to fill existing vacancies. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the reality is that this approach can often produce the opposite of the desired effect. For one thing, there’s absolutely no guarantee that simply having a huge initial candidate pool will contain right-fit talent within it. Moreover, it can place undue strain on recruitment teams and actually diminish quality of hire and employee retention in the long term.

These days, an “effective” talent marketing strategy isn’t about just amassing as many candidates as possible; rather, it should aim to improve the overall quality of the initial applicant pool by attracting people with the best possible qualifications and characteristics for the role. In other words, when it comes to your applicant pool, bigger isn’t always better.

Wrong-Fit Hires Are No Small Worry

When you attract too many wrong-fit candidates, it doesn’t just take a toll on the recruitment department’s time and resources — it significantly increases your team’s chances of making a bad hiring decision, which can have a seriously detrimental effect on the company’s bottom line.

In addition to representing a massive amount of wasted budget in terms of the recruitment drive, the onboarding/training process and a potentially costly severance package, hiring mistakes also mean a company has to head back to square one and start looking for new candidates all over again.

How to Leverage Your Employer Brand to Recruit Top Talent

In 2015, Amazon was criticised by the New York Times for what it described as a brutal work culture of harsh competition among colleagues and unforgivingly long hours. But Amazon defended its culture as one where the right people can thrive and be innovative. By staying true to its workforce model, Amazon shows it knows the difference between right- and wrong-fit hires in its talent acquisition strategy.

Being upfront like this about all aspects of a workplace’s culture may seem counterintuitive, since you want to show candidates your company’s best side. But candidates who haven’t been exposed to your company brand or culture can feel blindsided when the less agreeable aspects of the job finally appear, whether that be during the interview process or after an offer has been made. When this happens, they may feel they’ve been lied to, causing them to leave or become disengaged workers.

On the other hand, informed candidates will be genuinely interested in the job for all that it is, and are therefore more likely to both accept the role and be a right fit for the company. In turn, this boosts recruitment ROI, as well as long-term retention and productivity.

Your talent attraction strategy should be built around dynamic content types that convey your unique organisational values and expectations in the most engaging way possible. For example, video testimonials from current employees are a great way to boost the authenticity of your message while increasing the likelihood that it will, in fact, be received.

A More Personal Approach

To add to this, whilst also improving the candidate experience, a growing number of companies are adding a video assessment stage into their recruitment process. This is a great way to increase the quality of your initial applicant pool. It can weed out less motivated candidates who may be applying to hundreds of positions with duplicate information. Moreover, it provides an additional opportunity for companies to leverage recruitment videos to provide a more accurate sense of the nature of the role in question, which allows candidates to assess whether or not they’re a good fit and, if not, seamlessly exit themselves from the process.

To be sure, improving the quality of your initial applicant pool requires some additional effort, but the potential returns almost certainly outweigh the upfront costs. After all, how can you make a bad hiring decision when all of the candidates you’re evaluating are perfectly suited to the role?

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Nam Nguyen

Nam is Launchpad's Customer Success Manager. With 9 years experience in customer facing roles, Nam is the secret to our happy and satisfied customers.