For most insurers, the hiring process continues to be primarily virtual, bringing with it new obstacles and best practices. Candidates expect streamlined experiences tailored to the remote environment and have become less forgiving of avoidable missteps. Employers must be strategic about engaging candidates at every touchpoint, and presenting open roles and their organizations in the best light possible.
Our professional recruiting team works closely with both insurers and candidates, understanding the challenges of virtual interactions and helping create interview experiences that strengthen an organization’s employer brand. In this edition of Recruiter Report, we’re answering an essential question: How can organizations create an optimal remote candidate experience?
The majority of insurers (56%) are planning to hire in the next 12 months, according to our Q3 2021 Insurance Labor Market Study. In this candidate-driven market, it’s important for hiring managers and recruiters to cultivate excitement and interest around their company and its open roles. However, interviewing in a virtual environment may seem unnatural to some individuals and requires different interactions and communication methods than meeting candidates face-to-face. At the same time, failing to create an optimal experience can tarnish an organization’s reputation, making recruiting difficult in the future. Here are a few best practices for ensuring candidates maintain a favorable perception of your brand, even if they don’t receive a final offer.
Put your best foot forward.
Keep your employer brand intact by being professional, responsive and prompt in your candidate communication. Today’s fast-paced employment market requires hiring managers to move quickly at all stages of the recruiting process. If you have an opening, ensure you can dedicate the necessary time and energy to filling the position. Otherwise, you risk appearing disengaged and unprofessional, impacting whether candidates and those in their networks continue considering opportunities with your company. Or worse, you could put candidates through the process and then decide not to move forward with filling the role. If it’s not possible to prioritize recruitment efforts, hold the position until you are able to dedicate the appropriate time and resources.
Make candidates feel wanted.
It can be difficult to gauge interest and chemistry through a computer screen. Remember candidates want to feel like a company is excited about what they bring to the table and willing to invest in their success. Discuss how their skills would fit in with your team and company, as well as opportunities for long-term growth with the organization. Additionally, provide frequent and transparent communication throughout the hiring process. Outline what candidates can expect up front, from a phone screen to who they will be interviewing with and any other required steps, such as taking a work style assessment or providing references.
Understand what is important to individual candidates and be candid about whether your organization can meet their expectations. For instance, if candidates share they want flexible hours and you’re not able to meet these needs, let them know up front. Don’t continue the interview process in hopes they’ll change their minds following a formal offer. Additionally, ensure anyone candidates meet with is prepared to talk about the position, team structure, and responsibilities and expectations. Demonstrate you’ve been thoughtful about the role and ensure those involved in the interview process are also prepared and aligned.
Close the loop.
You may be hiring for just one open position, but how you treat candidates now could impact your recruiting success later. Let individuals know if you won’t be offering them a position and when appropriate, provide feedback explaining why. Even if they weren’t right for a current opening, it’s likely they may be a fit for future positions. Additionally, insurance is a close-knit industry and if your department or organization gains a reputation for poor communication, it may deter others from applying in the future.
The remote environment and competitive hiring market make it vital hiring managers roll out the virtual red carpet for candidates. Commit to ongoing communication, be aligned and clear on processes and expectations, and move quickly. Focus on maintaining your employer brand and providing a positive and streamlined hiring process. For more on what our team is seeing and hearing within the industry, view our past editions of Recruiter Report.