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First Impressions Count – Even with Your Candidates

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In the staffing industry, we put a lot of effort into making positive first impressions with potential clients.  And rightfully so.  Staffing decision makers often decide within minutes whether or not they will give you a shot at their business.

But does your staffing firm put as much effort into managing candidates’ first impressions?

You should.  As we all know, good talent is hard to attract.  Top candidates have options, and they may be meeting with other recruiters.  Make sure they want to work for you!  Use these tips to make a great first impression with applicants – and edge out your competitors:

  1. Take stock of all the first impressions you create through technology.  Often, the first contact you have with a potential candidate is through your website, Facebook page or job board.  Review the content with a fresh pair of eyes.  For example, start with the Job Seekers section of your website.  If you were a savvy candidate, would the content appeal to you?  Would you find the application and résumé submission sections easy to use?  Would your job board postings do enough to entice you to pick up the phone?  If necessary, update your messaging to properly control first impressions – and welcome top talent.
  2. Critically examine your entrance and reception area.  A job seeker will start forming impressions about your staffing service as soon as he sees your building.  Make sure that the entrance is clean, clearly marked and in a good state of repair.  When an applicant walks into your reception area, ensure he steps into a calm, well-lit, professional space that’s free from clutter.  Follow this link to learn more about creating a welcoming reception area.
  3. Appoint a “Manager of First Impressions.”  Make the person who initially interacts with applicants (probably your receptionist or a recruiter) your “Manager of First Impressions.”  Work with this person to establish standards for how candidates are welcomed.  Review telephone etiquette, the way candidates are greeted when they arrive, and your registration process.  Look for opportunities – however small – to present your company as a professional organization that values its applicants.
  4. Be friendly!  The candidates who come to you may be nervous, recently laid off or uninformed about the recruiting and staffing industry.  So make sure everyone who comes in contact with applicants is consistently friendly, informative and supportive.  Remind your team members to smile, share their enthusiasm and show applicants that your company truly cares about their success.

What does your staffing service or recruiting firm do to create a great candidate experience?  I’d love to hear!  Leave your ideas below.

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