Candidate Relationship Intelligence? What’s That?

Interview panelists connecting with a candidate.

“Candidate Relationship Intelligence.” Maybe you’ve heard the buzz around this phrase on our social media or in previous blog posts, or perhaps this is your first introduction to it. Regardless, we’re glad you’re here. If there was ever a prime time to get acquainted with Candidate Relationship Intelligence, the time is now.

In case you haven’t noticed, the hiring landscape has faced some drastic changes in the past few years. Hiring is now tough all over. The only way to succeed is to evolve your hiring methods and tools. That’s where Candidate Relationship Intelligence comes in.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s first dive into why we need Candidate Relationship Intelligence now more than ever. 

The State of Hiring

Talent teams currently stand at the intersection of multiple macro trends. For one, we face an unprecedented talent shortage that coincides with the Great Resignation. As a way to mitigate this shortage, many companies now hire remotely. Yet in turn, hiring in the absence of physical contact makes creating a positive candidate experience even more challenging. 

On top of all this, the expectations of candidates have skyrocketed. For instance, candidates now highly covet a speedy hiring process. But even more than that, candidates expect companies to transparently showcase their stance on intangible elements, such as DEIB, flexibility, employee well-being, and social good. Candidates want to learn more about an employer’s stance on those elements through forming a genuine connection with them. 

If talent teams want to win in this all-time competitive hiring market, superficial hiring tactics must be laid to rest. In our 2022 Hiring Insights Report, 46% of HR and talent leaders agreed that creating meaningful relationships with candidates is now non-negotiable. In fact, out of all the companies surveyed, the ones that implemented four or more candidate-focused hiring practices outperformed others in hiring goal attainment.

It’s clear that the future of attracting, winning, and retaining top talent is meaningful interactions. In order to hit their hiring goals, teams must utilize new tools to boost efficiency and build authentic relationships with candidates.

The Way Forward: Candidate Relationship Intelligence

The solution to connecting with candidates and beating the talent competition is none other than Candidate Relationship Intelligence. Three core pillars compose this solution. These three pillars all feed into each other to keep the Candidate Relationship Intelligence machine moving.

Pillar 1: Automation

A long time-to-hire can sour your candidate relationships and cause disengaged applicants to consider alternate opportunities. More than half of applicants will move on if they haven’t heard from an employer within two weeks of applying. 

That’s why Candidate Relationship Intelligence brings automation to the recruitment process to remove any time lag on the recruiting team and candidate side. It automates everything that goes into coordinating an interview, from simple phone interviews, all the way to complex multi-stakeholder interviews.

Pillar 2: Relationship

Creating a genuine, long lasting bond with candidates starts with having the right interviewers in each interview. A negative interviewing experience can completely shatter a candidate’s impression of your company. In fact, 44% of job seekers say that their experience in the interview stage is the most influential part of the hiring process. This makes interviewer selection and training mission critical. 

A Candidate Relationship Intelligence solution helps to ensure that each interview includes interviewers with the right skill sets, well-trained interviewers, and diversity across the interview panelists. All of these factors combine to deliver a positive interviewing experience for candidates that further nurtures their relationship with an employer and the recruiting team.

Pillar 3: Insights

Your time-to-hire and relationships with candidates won’t improve if you don’t actively measure them. That’s what makes this third and final pillar so crucial.

Candidate Relationship Intelligence empowers recruiting teams with actionable insights—such as interviewer performance and recruiting team performance—to continuously optimize their relationships and the effectiveness of each interview. With an increased visibility on your hiring process, you’ll have an even deeper understanding of the actions you need to take to hit your hiring goals.

Ignite the Power of GoodTime Hire

GoodTime Hire is the only platform that delivers Candidate Relationship Intelligence with the full power of all three pillars. There’s a reason why over 300 companies, like Slack and Spotify, look to Hire to stay ahead of the talent competition—and get to “yes” up to 70% faster.

Ready to learn more about Hire? We can make that happen.

TA Teams and Candidate Relationships: Big Talk, Little Action

Let’s start with the good news. More and more TA leaders finally recognize that to snag the best talent, forming candidate relationships is the way forward. They know that candidate-focused hiring practices must take center stage, and one-sided practices must be laid to rest.

Now…the bad news: the execution just isn’t adding up. Our 2022 Hiring Insights Report surveyed 560 TA decision makers across the U.S. to understand their perceptions of the most pressing challenges facing their teams, and what should be done to reel in top talent. The report’s data shows that yes, talent teams recognize the importance of connecting with candidates, but not enough teams actually put candidate relationships in motion—and that’s a problem. Too much talk, not enough action. 

If there was ever a time to kick relationship building into high gear, the time is now. In 2021, companies surveyed fell 50% short of their hiring goals. Failing to prioritize meaningfully connecting with candidates means bad news for your hiring goal attainment. It’s time for less saying and more doing.

Candidate Relationships in Short Supply

On the bright side, 46% of our report’s respondents agree that creating genuine relationships with candidates is more important than ever. But the positives end there.

Despite this consensus, only 36% of respondents looked to build better candidate relationships in the past 12 months, and the same percentage plan on improving these relationships in the coming months. Companies have good intentions, but struggle with taking action.

Remote workspaces do not fare any better. Among the fully-remote companies surveyed, just 25% plan to build relationships with candidates in the future. Yet if anyone should focus on relationship building, it’s them. Remote employees are more perceptible to feelings of isolation. This makes it even more important to cultivate trust and connection in a remote hiring process.

Hiring Efficiency Falters

TA leaders surveyed indicated that their main focus lies in improving the overall efficiency of their hiring process. This is a good sign; respondents agree that prompt and clear communication throughout the hiring process is most valuable to candidates, which goes hand-in-hand with an efficient process. Improved efficiency also means more time and space to focus on high-value tasks—such as authentically connecting with candidates. 

But before companies can even start to use this space for building relationships with applicants, they have a ways to go in ramping up their overall hiring efficiency. The majority of respondents—60%—say that over the past 12 months, their time-to-hire has increased. Companies that hire fast have a major advantage in keeping talent engaged enough to win them over. However, the average time-to-hire among all respondents was three weeks.

As for the time spent on administrative tasks, HR teams reportedly spend more than one-third of their time scheduling interviews. Manual, clunky interview scheduling majorly lowers the quality of a hiring process—and a candidate-recruiter relationship. 

By establishing the right processes and technology to eliminate the time spent on administrative tasks and boost hiring efficiency, TA teams can maximize their bandwidth to focus on what matters most: connecting with candidates.

Disconnect in Company Culture

It’s not lost on TA teams that job seekers deeply consider company culture before accepting an offer. Nearly all (90%) companies reportedly designed their interview process to reflect their culture.

The problem? Just 53% communicate their company culture to candidates during the hiring process. In other words, 47% of companies neglect to communicate an element that is incredibly top-of-mind for candidates—and risk losing out on star applicants due to this disregard.

Candidates want to know whether a company’s mission, values, and culture align with their own beliefs. They’re quick to turn down an offer if they don’t see themselves feeling happy and welcome at your company. One of the clearest paths to forming candidate relationships is by having them feel deeply connected to your culture—yet this can’t happen if the culture isn’t communicated to them to begin with. 

Dig Into the Data Today

It’s abundantly clear that in the HR world, there’s lots of talk but little execution—and companies aren’t achieving their hiring goals as a result. Candidates are interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them, and they expect you to put in the work to form a connection. 

For TA teams to make long-lasting bonds with applicants, they must pull themselves up by the bootstraps and take action. That means leveling up their efficiency to free up time to focus on candidates, and thoughtfully communicating elements of their culture to win applicants over. 

But this isn’t even the entire story. Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report today to get the full scoop on the state of hiring.

The Data Is In: Recruiters Must Connect to Compete

Recruitment teams, let’s make one thing clear: candidates now call the shots.

In every sense of the word, we’re living in a candidate’s market. The job market is twice as competitive as it was pre-pandemic, and it’s increasingly common for candidates to end up spoiled for choice with multiple offers. To top it all off, the Great Resignation is still in full swing, as employees leave for greener pastures in droves.

In our ever-evolving hiring landscape, companies must stay in-the-know on the latest HR trends—or risk getting left in the dust. To gain an inside look on these trends and uncover how to succeed in a candidate’s market, GoodTime surveyed 560 HR, talent, and recruiting leaders across the U.S. for our 2022 Hiring Insights Report.

The findings? Companies that build genuine candidate relationships smash their hiring goals. If teams want to compete with the talent landscape, they must invest time and energy into building relationships with applicants. There’s no way around it.

Candidate Relationships Remain Paramount

When asked how they would describe the changes they’ve observed in the hiring landscape over the past 12 months, 46% of HR leaders said that the ability to create meaningful relationships with candidates has become more important than ever before. This is 1% below the top response, “the hiring landscape has become more competitive due to an increased demand for talent.”

The data shows that focusing on candidate relationships will remain of utmost importance in the future. The ability to create meaningful candidate relationships topped the list of how HR leaders expect the landscape to evolve in the next 12 months. 

Interestingly, when asked which hiring challenges they’ve faced in the past 12 months and which challenges they expect to face in the coming months, HR leaders ranked “retaining top talent” as the biggest challenge each time.

The writing’s on the wall: connecting with candidates is a key component of a successful hiring process. This won’t change anytime soon. But creating candidate relationships is as important for talent retention as it is for acquisition. Retaining talent starts from the very first moment that a candidate has a conversation with a recruiter. In order to turn candidates into long-term hires, talent teams must cultivate genuine connections with new employees from the get-go.

Say Good-bye To One-sided Hiring Practices…

If you didn’t know before, now you know: one-sided, staged hiring practices belong in the past. “Our company has ‘Bring Your Pet to Work Days!’” just doesn’t have the same pizzazz anymore. Candidates expect something deeper.

We asked our report’s respondents what, if anything, does their organization currently do to build a meaningful relationship with candidates throughout the recruiting process. Out of the seven items to choose from, the first seven are candidate-focused hiring practices, and the last two—office tours and free lunch—are outdated methods. Unsurprisingly, we found that less than 35% of companies partake in the last two methods.

The vast majority of companies now realize that one-sided practices don’t generate offer acceptances. Flashy perks hold no value in today’s Distance Economy. (Finally, we can put the in-office ping pong table to rest.) Emphasizing genuine connection, transparency, adaptability, and candidate well-being transforms candidates into new hires.

…And Say Hello To Candidate-focused Methods

It’s no secret that hiring in today’s intensely competitive labor market can feel like an uphill battle. If you want to give your hiring goal attainment a major boost, look no further than candidate-focused hiring practices. 

Among the report’s respondents, we found a notably positive correlation between the number of candidate-focused hiring practices implemented and the percentage of hiring goals met. Specifically, companies implementing seven candidate-focused practices from the previous list saw a 17.7% gain in attaining their hiring goals. 

In fact, as long as companies implemented at least four candidate relationship best practices from the list, they outperformed the average. The business gains from creating genuine candidate relationships are very real. If you care about your bottom line, it’s time to connect.

Dig Deeper Into the Data

The recent changes in the hiring landscape are enough to make anyone’s head spin, but at its core, succeeding at TA in today’s world isn’t as complicated as it seems. If applicants don’t feel connected to your company, they won’t join. And if employees feel disconnected from your company, they will leave. It all boils down to connection. Candidates are people, and everyone yearns for a genuine connection. It’s only human nature.

The solution to TA is right in front of us: invest in candidate relationships as you would in any meaningful asset. You’ll be impressed with the payoff.

Want to dig into more HR data? We got you. Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report today to get the full story.

Recruiting Automation vs. Human Touch: How to Balance Both

Talent leader using both recruiting automation and a personal touch.

For hustling and bustling recruiting teams, the right recruitment software feels transformative. From virtual interviewing platforms, to applicant tracking systems (ATS), hiring is now a completely different ball game. As the recruiting industry grows more and more data-centric, keeping a robust tech stack by your side is now a necessity.

Balancing recruiting automation and human touch is much like walking a tightrope. Too much automation? Your hiring process starts to feel robotic and impersonal. Too much human touch? Your daily recruitment tasks become far too tedious and inefficient.

Reaching a perfect balance between automation and humanity is the secret to building solid relationships with candidates and maintaining the efficiency that’s needed to engage top-tier talent. So—how do you achieve the perfect balance?

Automate To Boost Human Connection

HR professionals spend a whopping 86% of their time on administrative duties. The right tech tools can slash this time in half. But while your tech automates tasks for you, should you kick your feet up and bask in your newfound free time? Of course not—you have candidates to attend to!

Recruiting automation is only helpful to the extent that it gives your talent team more time to connect with applicants on a personal level. If you use technology to replace rather than amplify human connection, you’re doing something wrong.

As wonderful as it is to have your tech stack take care of recruitment tasks, certain human elements are incredibly hard to replicate. Take empathy, for example. 96% of employees agree that empathy makes them want to stay at a job. Displaying empathy from the first moment a future employee interacts with a recruiter is crucial, and true empathy simply doesn’t have a technological equivalent.

Far too often, people view HR tech tools as a threat to human connection. But in reality, it isn’t the tools that are threats. The ways that some people use the tools are the true threats to connection. Talent professionals must recognize that technology can free up time for their teams to focus on what matters: building empathy, trust, and transparency to create better candidate relationships.

Leverage Talent Tech for Personalization

Personalization goes a long way in making people feel special, and the same applies to candidates. It’s the reason why people love personalized music recommendations. We want to feel unique, and above all, we want to feel seen. It’s only human nature.

While recruiting tech can’t replicate all the human elements that a successful hiring process requires, technology that enables personalization adds a human touch. For instance, custom email templates that automatically generate personalized communications for each candidate foster meaningful connections with minimal effort. The companies that succeed in making their automation feel less automated are the ones that come out on top.

Use the free time that automation provides to further emphasize personalization and elevate the recruiter-candidate relationship. Spend time jotting down more notes on relatable aspects of a candidate’s background that could translate to conversations in the interview stage (who knows—maybe you attended the same college). 

Candidate Relationships Are Human Relationships

Applicants have increasingly high expectations of your recruitment process. They expect a tech-driven hiring process to match their tech-driven lifestyle. However, candidates still want to connect with your talent team on a human-to-human level. After all, candidates are humans, too. If candidates don’t connect with your company in the process, there’s a good chance that they’ll turn down your job offer. 

Ironically, while candidates crave a personal touch throughout the hiring process, more and more candidates seek virtual work opportunities. Now that remote hiring is the norm, companies are pulling out all the stops to make hiring from across the world feel a bit less distant.

Achieving a balance between leveraging recruiting automation and human touch is the key to competing in today’s fiercely competitive market. To strike the perfect balance, treat candidate relationships the same way you would treat human relationships. Texting a friend can sustain a friendship, but you still need to connect in person once in a while. Likewise, recruiting automation can boost your hiring efficiency to impress applicants, but you still need to personally refine your connection to candidates. 

Say Hello to Candidate Relationship Intelligence

Pre-pandemic, less than half of recruiters said that they have the technology they need to build relationships with candidates. 53% wanted to emerge post-pandemic with the tools needed to improve their relationship building. Want to become one of the recruiters that rave about their tech stack? Time to level up your technology.

GoodTime Hire harnesses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, build relationships during interviews, and provide actionable insights to continuously improve your connections with applicants. It’s the tech of your candidate relationship-building dreams.

Piqued your interest? Learn more here.

How to Win Top Talent With Strong Candidate Relationships

Want to move the needle on your hiring goals? Sorry to break it to you, but cool swag and flashy benefits don’t cut it. Today’s top talent leaders focus on fostering candidate relationships. 

Recruiters had the upper hand in the recruiter-candidate relationship in the past, but not anymore. Candidates now hold all the cards in choosing where they want to go for their next career, and they’ve grown more and more selective. Job seekers won’t just accept any offer that comes their way; they expect deeper relationships and intangibles such as flexibility, transparency, and a visible commitment to DEIB.

To snag the best talent from the bunch, you must establish a genuine connection to your company’s mission, to the team, and to your recruiters. So, where do you start? 

GoodTime Account Executives John Bartsch and Siegfried Huffnagle, joined by Maria Riabukhina and Matthias Schmeißer from Beamery’s talent team, sat down to discuss the secret sauce to cultivating healthy candidate relationships. If you didn’t catch the webinar, here’s the TLDR with the key takeaways on how to better connect with candidates for hiring success.

Four Pillars of Candidate Relationships

Yes, investing time into connecting with candidates is non-negotiable for recruiters, but what do candidates actually expect from the relationship? Here are four main pillars that should comprise your candidate relationships.

Genuine Connection

While remote work has created a distance economy, candidates don’t want to feel so “distant.” Genuine connections are now more valuable than ever. In fact, 72% of candidates would reject a job offer if they didn’t feel connected to the company culture during the hiring process. Even if the salary and the job description are aligned, if candidates don’t recognize a human-to-human connection, it’s a no go. Recruiters must address candidates from a position strongly rooted in authenticity.

Transparency

To instill your recruitment process with authenticity, start by prioritizing transparency. Don’t leave candidates guessing; applicants want to know what it’s like to work for your company from the very beginning of the interview process. 39% of candidates expect to be informed about compensation in the initial job post. Besides expecting open communication surrounding compensation, candidates want potential employers to be loud and clear on their DEIB initiatives.

“People have spent the last couple years thinking about what’s most important to them, how they want to spend their time, and what their values are. People want to make sure that the time that they spend at work is aligned with that.”

— Siegfried Huffnagle, Account Executive at GoodTime

Adaptability

GoodTime found that candidates currently interview at 4x more employers than pre-pandemic — meaning that the talent competition is more intense than ever. This is largely due to the rise of remote work. As the office workspace continues to evolve, so does candidates’ ideal work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements are now at the top of job seekers’ wish lists. Companies must adapt to the work preferences of candidates, and demonstrate that adaptability throughout the company culture.

Candidate Well-being

All in all, candidates don’t want to sacrifice their well-being for their job. Sixty-two percent of employees cite well-being support as their top priority when job hunting. Work must exist in harmony with health — there’s no way around it. Recruitment teams should be prepared to openly address the efforts that their company makes in prioritizing the health and general well-being of their employees.

Boost Connections With Recruiting Tools and Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the building blocks of candidate relationships, it’s time to reel candidates in — hook, line, and sinker. Examine your hiring methods and tools and look for areas of improvement. You’ll not only enhance the relationships created from your hiring process, but also move candidates through the funnel more efficiently to get an offer in their hand.

Gather Candidate Feedback

Now that candidates are in the driver’s seat, they want more ownership and involvement in the recruitment process. For this reason, gathering candidate feedback becomes both necessary and expected. Who can speak to the quality of your hiring process better than those that experience it firsthand? By factoring in candidate feedback on your entire interview process, talent teams can ensure that their process exceeds expectations.

Build DEIB From the Studs Up

If you think you can skate by in the hiring process without highlighting your company’s DEIB efforts, think again. To align with candidate expectations, recruitment teams must present candidates with a holistic image of what their company stands for on DEIB. This translates to having the tools and strategies in place to provide this image from the very first moment that candidates sit down to interview.

“Companies that are enabling diverse and inclusive interview panels experienced a 4X increase in interviews in less than one year. This really speaks to the importance of training up your interviewers and having a broad and diverse pool.”

— John Bartsch, Account Executive at GoodTime

Prioritize Interviewer Training

How do you demonstrate a genuine commitment to DEIB? Start by training a diverse and expansive pool of potential interviewers. Widening your interviewer pool not only ensures that you’ll always have people available to interview applicants, but also cultivates a group of diverse panelists that are representative of both your company and the candidates you want to attract. Having five alternative interviewers for each interview translates to a 95% chance that one of them will be available for the time slot selected by the candidate.

Empower Your Recruiting Tech Stack

A robust tech stack seals the deal when it comes to impressing candidates. Beamery’s talent lifecycle management platform delivers meaningful insights to shape customers’ holistic talent strategy. Here at GoodTime, our Hire product uses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, connect with candidates, and gather actionable data.

Interested in learning all about Hire? Say no more.

Yes, You Can High-Volume Hire AND Create Candidate Relationships

Job candidates waiting for their interviews

High-volume hiring isn’t for the faint of heart. Hiring a mass amount of candidates in a short time frame AND investing the time to create bespoke candidate relationships with each potential hire? Recruitment teams must practically become superheroes to get the job done.

Recruiting coordinators should always focus on fostering strong candidate relationships, but when overwhelmed with the unique challenges that come with hiring at scale for rapidly growing companies, how can you possibly make time for candidates?

Here’s the good news: with the right strategies and software, you’ll hire at scale AND develop genuine candidate relationships in one fell swoop. 

Don’t get trapped in a cycle of tedious recruiting tasks at the expense of your candidates. Read on to discover key ways to keep the candidate relationship front and center while acing high-volume hiring. 

Grow Your Interviewer Pool

The last thing you want to deal with when hiring a large number of employees is an interviewer pool that’s much too small for your scheduling needs. Expanding this pool is an absolute must-do to guarantee that you always have quality interviewers at your fingertips.

Need further encouragement to grow your interviewer pool? Consider the cost of interviewer burnout. Our studies show that 30% of employees typically handle 70% of the interviewer load. When interviewers find themselves bogged down by heavy workloads, they can’t possibly be on their A-game to connect with candidates.

Interviewer training is the key to evenly distributing the interview load across your company’s employees. Training your interviewers might sound time consuming in the context of high-volume hiring, but have no fear: tech tools make scaling interviewer pools an effortless process.

After you train more employees in the art of interviewing, you’ll have a large group of capable interviewers with ample time to personally connect with candidates — even in the middle of chaotic high-volume recruiting seasons.

Automate Your Interview Scheduling

When you say good-bye to manual scheduling and hello to automation, everything falls into place. Suddenly you can spend more time prioritizing candidates and less time playing calendar tetris.

Automated candidate-driven scheduling streamlines your high-volume hiring and mitigates long wait times to ensure that candidates move on to the next step in the process as soon as possible. After all, recruiting coordinators are busy, but so are candidates. Candidates don’t want to wait around for someone to schedule their interview, so why not let them schedule themselves?

Allowing candidates to self-schedule their interviews based on their own calendar eliminates back-and-forth emails and conveys that you appreciate their time. That’s a win-win.

Rediscover Eligible Candidates

The best strategy when high-volume hiring: work smarter, not harder. Before you scour the job boards for qualified candidates, first identify the candidates you already have at hand that fit the criteria for a new opportunity.

Now is the time to consider previous silver or bronze-medal candidates. Just because you passed on a candidate previously doesn’t mean that you should forget about them — the timing might not have been right, another candidate might’ve narrowly beat them, or the candidate might’ve been better suited for a different position.

In addition to considering previous candidates, you can also look into current employees who are interested in switching jobs internally and talent that your hiring team connected with at professional events.

Tapping into candidates that are already on your radar gives your hiring efforts a boost by eliminating the time it takes to source and screen fresh candidates. Not only that, but reaching out to old connections promotes positive candidate relationships through the power of continuous candidate engagement.

Engage with Candidate Experience Surveys

In a perfect recruiting world, we’d suggest for you to supply each every candidate with feedback on how they performed within your hiring process. But this is the real world, and sending each candidate feedback is nearly impossible to do when hiring in mass quantities.

What is possible is sending automated candidate experience surveys to your candidates. Collecting candidate feedback through anonymous surveys provides an inside look at the current state of the candidate relationship within your hiring process, straight from the perspectives of those who know your hiring process best: your candidates. 

This is a highly effective, highly low-effort way for you to collect crucial data to improve your recruitment strategies and keep candidates engaged, all without expending valuable time and energy during your hiring frenzy. What’s better than that?

Above All: Leverage Tech When High-Volume Hiring

When filling many positions at once, it’s much too easy to get caught up in the noise and neglect to engage with your candidates. One of the worst things that you can do while trying to attract the best talent is to provide candidates with a hiring process that feels cold and impersonal.

Make every interview impactful with Candidate Relationship Intelligence. GoodTime Hire supercharges your recruiting and unlocks meaningful data so that your team gives candidates the genuine connections that they expect — every single time.

Request a demo to see how Hire creates more than just a candidate “experience.”

Culture Fit Is Dead. It’s Time to Hire for Culture Add.

A group of diverse employees.

Keeping your company’s culture in mind is a must-do when recruiting for open positions, but should you really hire for culture fit? Or is hiring for culture add the new way to go?

When done right, hiring for culture fit means looking for candidates that align with the core company values and the way that things are done at an organization, making it even more likely that they would thrive in the workplace and successfully perform as new employees.

Sounds logical, right? Most recruitment teams would agree: 83% of recruiters reportedly consider culture fit to be the most important hiring factor after previous job experience. Meshing with company culture is equally significant to candidates, as more than half of job seekers say that company culture is more important than salary when it comes to being satisfied at work.

But as is the unfortunate fate for many recruiting buzzwords, culture fit has been misinterpreted and misused to the point where the concept now does more harm than good. It’s time to say good-bye to hiring for culture fit and hello to hiring for culture add.

Dangers of Hiring for Culture Fit

Culture Fit Is Difficult to Define

How well a candidate fits into a company’s culture is incredibly subjective and hard to measure. One recruiter may see a candidate as a perfect culture match, and another may have a completely different perspective.

Leaving culture fit open to interpretation makes it susceptible to misuse. What recruiters and hiring managers often end up measuring instead is how well they get along with a candidate. This is where hiring for culture fit becomes problematic.

Prioritizes Similarities When Hiring

The rumors are true: birds of a feather really do flock together. Science shows that we naturally take comfort in identifying with people who are similar to us. In a recruitment context, this means that if a candidate shares a specific characteristic or lived experience with a hiring manager, this commonality creates a bond. 

In turn, some hiring managers neglect to prioritize alignment between the company and the candidate — aka, what culture fit should really be about — and instead focus on alignment between themselves and the candidate. Hiring for culture fit turns into hiring for homogeneity, and I’m sure you can guess how this impacts DEI recruitment efforts.

Negates DEI Recruitment Principles

Selecting candidates based on how well you mesh with them goes against everything that equitable hiring stands for. What started as an attempt to hire for culture fit snowballs into a company that lacks diversity and struggles with DEI hiring practices.

Prioritizing sameness maintains the status quo and creates unconscious biases. Diverse candidates — whether this means diversity of thought or of demographic characteristics — find themselves at a disadvantage.

All in all, hiring for culture fit in this manner creates a workforce with employees that think and look the same. A truly successful company is a diverse company, where issues are tackled and innovations are created thanks to employees with a wide range of thought processes and lived experiences. 

Start Hiring for Culture Add

Stop looking for someone who simply fits your company culture and start searching for something more meaningful: culture add. 

Hiring for culture add means considering your company’s culture while looking for candidates who would enrich the culture with diverse experiences and ideas. In this way, your hiring team fosters a forward-thinking mindset by considering how adding certain perspectives and backgrounds would create a successful future for your organization. 

How to Hire for Culture Add

Assess What’s Missing from Your Organization

It’s impossible to identify candidates who would add to your company culture without first examining what your company lacks. Perhaps you don’t have enough employees who take risks and propose pie in the sky ideas, or who thrive when hyper-focused on the details of a project.

Once you’ve identified what you’re missing, your hiring team can venture forward in their search for candidates who would be successful additions.

Ask Candidates How Your Culture Can Improve

A good candidate keenly understands and appreciates your company culture. A great candidate goes against the grain and recognizes where your culture needs improvements.

If a candidate acknowledges gaps within your company culture, they’d likely be an employee who contributes to your culture with positive change and a different perspective on how to do things, instead of an employee who assimilates to how things have always been done and fits your current company image.

By hiring candidates who can recognize these gaps, your company benefits from a diversity of thought that pushes your organization forward and challenges the status quo.

Diversify Your Sourcing Channels

If you’re struggling with hiring for culture add, it might be because your talent pool is too homogeneous. Take this as a sign that you need to add diversity to your sourcing strategies.

Start by getting acquainted with online job posting platforms that cater to diverse populations, such as the Professional Diversity Network and Diversity Job Board. Posting your job openings on these websites encourages historically underrepresented groups to consider employment at your company.

You can also seek out and hold events with local chapters and associations where diverse candidates meet. This way, you’ll form meaningful candidate relationships with job seekers who could add immense value to your organization’s culture.

5 Takeaways For Recruiting Teams: Treat Your Candidates Like Customers

Hot take: If recruiting teams only focus on forming relationships with candidates within the hiring funnel, then they’re missing out on a lot of talent.

The traditional idea of the candidate experience is short and sweet; the candidate experience starts when talent becomes a candidate, and ends when they’re rejected. But what about before and after?

Charles Mah, Chief Customer Officer at iCIMS, sat down with GoodTime’s Founder and Head of Company Strategy, Ahryun Moon, to share his strategy in continuously engaging candidates. This “customer-driven” hiring model converts candidates into engaged ambassadors of your brand, helping your hiring team make the most coveted hires.

If you don’t have time to watch the full video, here’s the TLDR with five takeaways from the session.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=s2OMlYXS5Eo

1. The Current Talent Acquisition Model is Antiquated

The talent acquisition model is in dire need of a makeover. TA has always been about simply filling positions, and this used to be sufficient. But as the talent landscape continues to undergo major changes — with the rise of the distance economy, remote work, and a candidate-driven market, to name a few — we also need to change how we engage talent.

Traditionally, the TA model is short and linear. Recruiting teams send mass amounts of emails and in-mails in a sourcing frenzy, interviewing candidates, and then relaying offers and rejections. The point when candidates enter the hiring funnel and start interviewing is thought of as the prime time to focus on the candidate experience, and the experience is largely neglected during all other touchpoints.

This process is no longer up to the standards of what candidates want out of their hiring experience. Candidates want to feel engaged at every stage of recruitment, and this means before, during, and after the process. 

2. Create Candidate Relationships — Not Just Candidate Experiences

Move over, candidate experience, and make way for the candidate relationship.

The candidate experience is all about how candidates gauge their interactions with a potential employer during the hiring process.Having recruiting teams focus on creating a positive experience for candidates is undoubtedly important, but the candidate experience as it’s traditionally executed comes with pitfalls. That’s why we need to shift towards crafting rich, engaging candidate relationships.

When companies focus on the candidate experience, they don’t usually nurture the connection with the talent they’ve passed on. This is mistake number one: failing to connect with rejected candidates prevents you from tapping into them for new roles. 

Mistake number two occurs when hiring teams neglect to cultivate the candidate relationship before the interviewing stage. Candidates often have multiple job offers on the table, and the companies that go the extra mile to engage potential hires pre-interview are the ones that stand out.

3. Hiring Pools Still Lack Representation

Creating diverse talent pools is a major talking point in the recruiting world, yet data shows that there’s still a lot of work to be done in turning these conversations into actions. Even as recruiting teams expand their talent pools, they struggle to move the diversity needle.

“We’ve seen an average of 11% to 15% of diverse candidates get the opportunity to interview.

That’s still far below where it needs to be.”

– Charles Mah, Chief Customer Officer at iCI

The current methods of recruiting candidates aren’t conducive to championing diversity. If recruiters want to bring a wider range of representation to their talent pools and tap into more diverse candidates, they need to change the ways that they engage and evaluate quality candidates. 

4. Recruiting Teams Need Need CCE

It’s time to treat candidates like customers and focus on continuous candidate engagement (CCE). Just as brands engage and re-engage with their customers, CCE refers to the ongoing, value-driven connection between candidates and an organization. It’s established through continuously nurturing candidates.

CCE starts with reaching out to candidates about ideas that you’re mutually interested in, such as by sending relevant blogs or podcasts. You can then add these candidates into your CRM to nurture this engagement.

The next step is to connect candidates in your CRM to larger-scale events, whether this means hackathons or ERG events. When it comes to diversifying your talent pool, encouraging participation in ERG events can greatly accomplish this goal.

Participation in these events leads to networking. By connecting your talent pool to hiring managers and ERG members, you can facilitate genuine connections.

After using your CRM to collect data on these dynamic experiences, you now have a high-quality pool of engaged candidates to interview, already pre-vetted on key soft skills. Rejected candidates are not forgotten – the CCE model moves them back to the talent network and continuously nurtures those connections.

5. Why Continuous Candidate Engagement Matters

CCE is the key to building meaningful candidate relationships for life. Through facilitating ongoing engagement, these incredible experiences with candidates not only build diverse and highly skilled workforces, but a community of loyal customers as well.

“Ongoing engagement creates a network of extremely engaged talent that will jump at the opportunity to work at your company.”

– Charles Mah, Chief Customer Officer at iCIMS

If you want to build a CCE engine that breathes life into your candidate relationships, look at your tech stack. iCIMS’ CRM allows you to cultivate robust relationships with candidates through creating moments that matter. At GoodTime, our full hiring solution elevates your hiring team’s ability to connect with and win, talent at scale. Learn more here.

How Intake Meetings Supercharge Your Hiring Efficiency

Recruiter and hiring manager in an intake meeting.

Bad hires are expensive. Not only do they take up valuable time and resources for companies, but it only gets worse the more senior-level the hire is. To avoid costly mistakes, it’s essential for recruiters and hiring managers to facilitate an efficient hiring process, imbued with clear and open communication. However, many hiring teams overlook a crucial step: the intake meeting. 

Outlining expectations between recruiters and hiring managers in an intake meeting is a sure-fire way to hire the best talent, all while preventing the wasted time, frustrations, and headaches that result from choosing the wrong candidate. 

So…What Exactly Is an Intake Meeting?

An intake meeting is a preliminary gathering between hiring managers and recruiters to discuss what the ideal candidate for the position looks like. This meeting takes place at the very beginning of the hiring process and includes discussions on topics such as:

  • Goals for the recruiting process
  • A profile of the ideal candidate
  • Job requirements
  • Job title and salary
  • Stages of the hiring process and touchpoints
  • Sourcing strategies

The intake meeting occurs before the requisition is posted to ensure hiring managers and recruiters possess a thorough understanding of how the hiring process should pan out. When done correctly, intake meetings help the interview process run smoothly by minimizing confusion down the road.

Ways Intake Meetings Boost Your Recruiting

Sharpens Understanding of the Ideal Candidate

The first step to a fast, efficient hiring process is to create an in-depth profile of the ideal candidate for the role. Before any interviews even take place, the entire hiring team should have a clear image of the skills, experiences, and traits they’re looking for. 

Intake meetings offer the perfect opportunity for recruiters and hiring managers to carve out these expectations together. After developing an optimal candidate profile, the profile can be used to write a well-defined job description that attracts applicants the hiring team is looking for. 

Armed with a defined image of the best possible candidate, hiring teams can use this image to easily identify applicants that do not meet the basic requirements discussed in the intake meeting.

Strengthens the Recruiter-Hiring Manager Relationship

An intake meeting acts as the glue that’s needed to hold the recruiter-hiring manager relationship together. The stability of this relationship heavily dictates whether a hiring process succeeds: studies show that a strong relationship between recruiters and their hiring managers is one of the biggest drivers of talent acquisition performance. 

Setting aside ample time to meet with one another streamlines the hiring process by ensuring that all parties agree on realistic objectives. In turn, this prevents any future miscommunication or confusion that might prolong the hiring process. 

For instance, rather than facing difficulties down the line with trying to fill a role within too short of a time period, intake meetings allow recruiters to candidly discuss if a hiring manager’s expectations on the hiring process are actually attainable.

The trust, rapport, and mutual support that intake meetings foster between recruiters and hiring managers bolsters the hiring process with a solid foundation for success. 

Reduces Your Time To Hire

Intake meetings play a key role in reducing time to hire. Nearly every facet of an intake meeting—from the way that they eliminate potential roadblocks, to the way that they reduce back-and-forth communications between the recruiter and the hiring manager— is engineered to promote a quick hiring process.

In a time when competition for the best talent is more intense than ever before, companies with the most efficient hiring come out on top. Intake meetings boost recruitment efforts with exactly the speed that hiring teams need. While 55% of organizations do not utilize intake meetings, 30% admit that the hiring process takes longer without them.

When recruiters collaborate with hiring managers in intake meetings, they’re able to fine-tune their sourcing and drastically reduce their screening time. Some teams even review LinkedIn profiles that demonstrate who their ideal candidate is to further reduce their time to hire and establish how they can identify the best matches for the job.

Efficient Hiring Means Better Candidate Relationships

No matter how far along a candidate is in their career, interviewing is stressful— and an inefficient hiring process only makes matters worse. A chaotic process that sours the candidate relationship can be the deciding factor in candidates turning down an otherwise desirable offer. 

Establishing a smooth hiring process with the help of intake meetings leads to better candidate relationships and an enjoyable experience for all involved. 

Download our eBook to learn more about how your hiring team can cultivate the best candidate relationships possible.

Hiring Gen Z? Here’s What They Want in the Candidate Relationship

Gen Z is the newest demographic entering the workforce, and they’re here to make waves. As the youngest, largest, and most diverse generation in United States history, Gen Z stands out from any generation that’s come before them. They’re already redefining the workplace with their unique preferences, and with Gen Z employees set to comprise 27% of the workforce by 2025, their influence will only continue to expand. From a hiring perspective, teams need to consider how to cultivate a strong candidate relationship with the Gen Z job seeker.

Talent leaders who want to win over this next generation of workers will need to get acquainted with their expectations— and fast. Forming an authentic connection with your Gen Z candidates throughout the hiring process is crucial to maintaining their interest amid a sea of other attractive job offers. 

Read on to learn how you can attract and engage Gen Z at every touchpoint in the interview process by living up to their expectations of the candidate relationship

Demonstrated Emphasis on Company Values

Despite being new to the workplace, Gen Z already knows what they value, and they don’t want to compromise. If an employer doesn’t demonstrate their principles, Gen Z will find a workplace that does. In fact, nearly 70% of young professionals in this cohort are likely to switch industries to locate opportunities that align with their values.

Work-life balance is among this group’s top principles; 42% of Gen Z candidates make a healthy work-life integration a top priority when job hunting. Gen Z seeks out employers that recognize the need to unplug and recharge once in a while to avoid burnout. It’s unlikely you’ll find this age group sacrificing their well-being for the sake of a paycheck.

Companies that don’t emphasize their values are setting themselves up for disappointment when it comes to attracting Gen Z talent. Taking time to clearly communicate what matters most to your organization in the interview stage goes a long way in cultivating a relationship with Gen Z candidates.

Commitment to DEI

DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) holds a special place in the hearts of Gen Z. 48% of United States Gen Z-ers are racial or ethnic minorities, and they want to see the diversity of their demographic reflected in the workplace.

Gen Z is leading the charge in shifting a heavier emphasis on DEI, and much of their interest comes from first-hand experiences with discriminatory workplaces. A recent study shows that 67% of Gen Z employees reported witnessing racial, ethnic, sexual, or gender-driven discrimination in the workplace, and 44% have been on the receiving end of this discrimination themselves.

In turn, this means that this generation is even warier regarding if an organization really cares about facilitating an inclusive and equitable work environment. Gen Z wants companies to champion DEI at all stages of an employee’s journey— even the pre-employment stage. 

Evaluate your pool of interviewers; do your interviewers come from a variety of backgrounds and characteristics? If not, you’re presenting an image of a workplace devoid of a diversity of perspectives. The interview is Gen Z’s first impression of your company, and failing to promote DEI starts the candidate relationship on the wrong foot.

Transparency on the Compensation Package

Gen Z candidates want their future employers to have a strong social conscience, but they want to be paid well, too; 70% say that salary is their top motivator when considering a job offer.

Salary transparency is becoming a widely discussed topic, and Gen Z is oftentimes at the forefront of these conversations. A healthy workplace culture now includes better salary transparency, and 70% of Gen Z would consider switching jobs for more of this transparency.

As a generation defined by money-conscious mindsets and honest discussions on compensation, Gen Z is not likely to tolerate companies that withhold details regarding salaries and benefits. Companies seeking to form trusted candidate relationships with Gen Z must be transparent with their compensation packages, and this means facilitating candid discussions in interviews.

Open Communication on Growth Opportunities 

To cultivate a genuine candidate relationship between Gen Z and your hiring team, it is essential to include discussions on growth opportunities within the interview process. The data doesn’t lie: in a survey, 64% of Gen Z workers identified growth opportunities as one of their top career priorities. 

Gen Z candidates want to know that they can have an exciting future at your company, but this doesn’t mean that they want to hear all about how they can someday fulfill their dreams of becoming a top executive. In the same survey, only 3% of Gen Z cited having a “fancy job title” as a priority. 

Instead, Gen Z wants their hiring process to include open dialogue surrounding how they’d be able to pick up new skills and grow their learnings in their potential future job. Overall, these candidates are looking for additional responsibilities at companies that are dedicated to maintaining their values and prioritizing the well-being of their employees.

Tech-Driven Candidate Experience

Gen Z learned how to scroll before they could speak. They were born with technology in their hands, and they expect the hiring process to keep up with their fast-paced, tech-driven lifestyles. In fact, a staggering 54% of Gen Z job seekers won’t even submit their applications if your hiring process seems outdated or unnecessarily time-consuming.

Arming your tech stack with intelligent recruitment software allows you to keep pace with Gen Z’s expectations. Prioritizing a tech-driven candidate relationship will save you both time and energy, all while ensuring that outdated hiring procedures don’t hold you back from securing top talent.

The Bottom Line: Prioritize the Candidate Relationship

Every generation has preferences in what they want in the candidate relationship, and Gen Z is no exception. This new demographic is redefining not only what an ideal work environment looks like, but also what a desirable hiring process looks like. Staying up-to-date on their expectations is crucial to winning them over.

Cultivating candidate relationships doesn’t have to be complicated. Download our eBook to learn more about the key pillars to a strong candidate relationship.