As trusted consultants to our partners, we’ve noticed plenty of patterns in the hiring struggles the organizations we work with have on a daily basis. And, as many of us came to Carex with experience in leading talent acquisition for companies of all sizes, we can clearly see the challenges from the other side. It’s a big part of what makes Carex different — our 360-degree approach and experience mean not only have we lived what your company is going through, we have insight on how to help you level up.
If you’ve worked with us before, you know transparency is a central value. We are not a company that says, “we know how to make you more successful, but we’re going to keep it to ourselves.” That’s just not in our DNA.
So, our team brainstormed a handful of the most common pain points we see organizations contend with, especially when it comes to working with external consultants like Carex. Then, we asked Jen Emmons, our Talent Strategist & Sourcing Specialist, and Katie Everson, our Director of Partner Success—both of whom have led talent acquisition for large corporations prior to joining us at Carex—to help us with the solutions.
1) Applying speed (and pauses) in the wrong places
“When an employee leaves an organization, sometimes there’s a bit of panic,” Jen says. “There’s a rush to get the job posting up, which absolutely makes sense—after all, you need an employee! But, I do see a lot of “speed in the wrong places” — a company will rush to get a job description out, without taking the time to truly assess if this role is what the company still needs.”
Jen suggests taking a step back and thinking strategically. “Ask yourself, ‘how do we see this position changing? Are there gaps between what the position is currently and how we might want it to look in the future?’ This kind of introspection can actually save you a considerable amount of time because you’re thinking long-term about a position.”
Katie agrees, adding, “The job description and title deserve a closer look. Does the title that you’re hiring for match the rest of what’s being asked for in the description?” A good way to check to see if your descriptions are competitive in the marketplace? Take a look at the job descriptions of your competitors. “What are your competitors posting with similar titles? Are they looking for specific years of experience or skills? I’ve seen many cases where required qualifications should be updated to be more inclusive to different backgrounds and experiences ” Katie says. “You want to make sure that there is market alignment — if they don’t align, you might get a lot of candidates who can’t match what you’re looking for.”
In the same way that organizations might hit the gas pedal too soon, there are also times when the brakes are applied too liberally—and that’s during the interview process. Delays in the process due to scheduling issues and other factors often result in accepted offers from competitors. A lack of specific feedback about why a candidate is or isn’t a good fit contributes to inefficiencies and decreased quality as well.
“If a candidate is not going to move on to the next stage of the process, let us know as soon as possible,” Jen says. “It helps them move on with their job search, leaves them with a better candidate experience while retaining a more positive view of the organization, and also helps you narrow the field more quickly.” Similarly, Jen also says this often happens during the sourcing process. “Organizations are often looking for a large pool of candidates, and it can feel a little deflating when you have a job opening and only a handful of candidates apply,” she says. However, she recommends focusing on the quality of candidates—not the quantity of your pool. “If you interview your small pool of candidates and they could all do the job incredibly well, this is a fantastic outcome,” she says. “Your needs have been met, and your decision-making process has been streamlined as well.”
2) Having unrealistic expectations
When companies partner with Carex, they have high expectations — and we welcome them. In fact, we’d be worried if you didn’t have high expectations of what we’ll be able to accomplish in our work together. However, we’ll point out that there’s a difference between “high expectations” and “unrealistic expectations.”
“We know it’s a hiring landscape unlike any other right now,” Jen says. Because of this, we always want to make sure that we’re transparent from the very beginning with our partners—we don’t want to do anything that would give them unrealistic expectations for how long it will take to fill a certain role or the number of candidates that are out there.”
To ensure we’re on the same page as our partners, we’ve started to share our data through all stages of the recruiting process, starting with how we source candidates. “Let’s say one of our partners is looking for a Project Manager,” Jen says. “I want to be able to tell them, “in order to find 5 qualified candidates for you to interview, I looked at 600 resumes and reached out to 30 candidates to conduct an initial screen.” Once our partners see those numbers, they have a baseline understanding of how easy or difficult it’s been to find candidates and whether they need to do something differently, like ensuring the salary range is aligned with the current market, considering offering remote or hybrid work options, or re-evaluating the technical requirements, especially for obscure or outdated platforms and tools.”
3) Not creating a seamless candidate—and brand—experience
One point we always try to make with our partners is that we operate as the front-end for their company’s brand. The candidates for the roles you’re hiring for first get introduced to your company after they get introduced to Carex. That means our partnership has to operate at a high level of mutual trust and respect, because we’re counting on each other to create—or further—a candidate’s experience with our brand.
It’s a big reason why we believe in transparency and constant communication. “If a company isn’t engaged with their agency partners—or vice versa—there’s the potential for some poor candidate experiences,” Katie says. “If we don’t have the information we need—or the interview and feedback process is taking a long time—a partner can indirectly and inadvertently create a poor candidate experience through us and ultimately harm their brand.”
Jen agrees. “We do everything we can to ‘sell’ a company, but it’s all predicated on an organization holding up their part of the partnership.”
Katie also says companies can uplevel their candidate experiences simply by putting themselves in their candidates’ shoes. “Organizations have their own hiring timelines, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” she says. However, the reality is that a candidate’s timeline doesn’t often mesh with the one your company has.” A candidate might have several offers in hand and is waiting on yours. What can you do to speed up the process? What can you do differently to connect with candidates in this stage and help them see themselves at your company over your competitors? It takes the commitment of your internal team to care deeply about the candidate experience. When that commitment is in place, everyone involved has a better experience.
What’s been the biggest pain point in your hiring process this year? Drop us a line and let us know—your question (and our answer) could make it into a future Carex blog!