As you interview quality candidates, you are essentially selling them your company. But like many salespeople, you can easily get in a rut as you promote your organization.
After all, you work there, you like the company and your job, and you hear the words of wisdom and motivation from your senior executives every day. You have a very clear paradigm that has been developed over the years that allows you to see your company in a very specific way, but you don't even realize it.
When your RAH is not adjusted for the candidate's perspective, you run the risk of your best candidates hearing only one side of the corporate story from you.
Granted, you want to promote all the things that make your company attractive -- pay, vacations, vision statements, teamwork, positive atmosphere, etc. But what happens if those items are in direct conflict with what the candidate is seeing in a stock price drop, accounting scandal, layoffs or more? The candidate will assume that you are telling flat-out lies. Changing your RAH is all about being honestly excited about your company and what it can offer to the candidate.
Think about what you tell a candidate in each of the steps you go through when recruiting. Are you telling every candidate the same stories, using the same form letters and introducing them to the same people at your company during interviews? If you are, then you need to change your RAH, because this repetitive process is transparent to the potential hire.
Be honest with your candidates about what is occurring at your company, especially the negative. If you are going through a layoff at the same time you are hiring, explain why you are doing that and why it does not and will not affect the position that this person has applied for.
If your company's stock is dropping, explain what the company is doing to make adjustments other than layoffs. If you don't know what the answers to those questions are, talk to your investor relations or corporate communications group about the specifics -- or even better, have your candidate meet with someone from your investor relations department.
Here are a few ways to know if you need to recreate your RAH.
- Put yourself in your candidates shoes. Tape your conversations with candidates and play them back afterward. Do you believe what you were saying? Do you truly sound excited about the company? Did you really answer the candidate's questions?
- Have a friend outside of your company read the letters and e-mails you send to candidates. Do they like what they are reading? Does it make them want to come work for your company?
- Revisit your career section on your Web site. Are you adjusting the content online to reflect the company today or what it was three months ago?
- Look at how you prepare other people within the company who are involved in the interview process. Are you making sure that everyone is on the same page, or is the candidate getting various messages that are confusing?
Ultimately you have to make sure that your RAH comes across loud, clear, distinguishable and full of enthusiasm. If it doesn't, you are faced with your competitor's RAH coming across much stronger in the eyes of the candidate.
Jeff Dahltorp is director of global marketing and business development for TruStar Solutions, which creates exceptional hiring strategies. He is a regular contributor to human resource industry publications such as HR.com, Electronic Recruiting Exchange and Online Recruiting Magazine. He has spoken at industry specific trade shows such as SHRM, IMRA, NACE and IHRIM on the topic of Internet recruiting practices. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 813-0346.