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Aman Sodi on Why Applicants Seek More than a Great Position

Summit Search Group

Aman Sodi

Director, Recruitment

Aman Sodi

Director, Recruitment

“Today’s talent has a lot going on!” Aman Sodi says. “People are already managing a full time job, family commitments, and juggling work life balance as best they can: for an applicant who finds their time divided, it takes more than the promise of a great position to be truly engaged.”

She notes that everything from the steps of the hiring process to the level of upfront pressure during the search can weigh on a candidate’s mind – and ultimately impacts whether or not they choose to see a recruitment journey through to its close.

“For example, a lengthy assessment or case study in the early stages of the hiring process, while it might be useful to a client, may be enough to turn a candidate off. It’s a significant amount of time, as well as pressure. Assessments may make people uncomfortable: they may not know what’s involved, they may feel put on the spot, and they can have a lot of uncertainty as to how it impacts the outcome of their candidacy. It feels intimidating, especially for a situation in which no results are guaranteed.”

Aman sat down with us to break down a common recruitment myth in today’s work culture: that really great positions will inevitably attract great candidates.

Why does the hiring process matter?

“Without a great hiring process, a company can lose exceptional talent before they even get through the pipeline,” Aman points out first. “This is where recruitment consultants can have a major impact in setting expectations. In a search kick off call, I always ask my clients what the process for a given role will look like. What is the time commitment? What can applicants expect? This helps us to capture clearer information for candidates from the start, and it also empowers us to take a consultative approach to improving the process.”

When Aman considers hiring processes that she’s seen get in the way of great opportunities, several common themes come to mind.

  • Processes are too long and require too much waiting between steps.
  • Processes have too many steps from the start, and require too many interviews.
  • Companies ask too much, too soon with assignments, assessments and interviews.

“Assessment or case studies can be a helpful tools in the process,” she adds. “But wait until after a second or third interview before handing a candidate an assessment or case studyt. Be sure they’re confident and engaged first. Remember that deeper explorations into a candidate’s talent, skill, and even psychometrics requires a sacrifice in time as well as a certain amount of trust. I’ve seen people walk away under these pressures, even when they may have been a great fit for a role.”

The hiring process post pandemic

Aman reveals another myth in our conversation: this one emerges from shifting expectations around digital hiring tools. While they have become increasingly popular, they aren’t always the best possible answer.

“Candidates don’t want the 100% virtual hiring process: they want to have the chance for at least one round of interviews to get a sense of the physical space, the real people, and the role in context,” Aman details. “Just because the position sounds great doesn’t mean they’re on board: candidates want an opportunity to get grounded and connect.”

She notes that high tech tools, especially for interviews, are more prevalent than ever: pre-recorded interview questions, automated intake experiences, and video introductions number on her list of examples. While these tools allow candidates multiple ways to make a first impression, she reminds us that it’s a double-edged sword for the overall investment of someone’s time as it adds to the list of things to do.

Tools to support today’s hiring journey

“When creating a job description, adding visibility into your hiring process is a great way to establish expectations from a candidate’s initial steps,” Aman suggests. “Make the process really support the opportunity on hand: if candidates feel that the experience is interactive, engaging, and exciting, you have much more flexibility and forge a better connection. As recruiters, we can truthfully add another round or two of interviews without creating a burden in this case, and we can help make it all feel cohesive and seamless. It strengthens the opportunity as a whole.”

In addition to information, Aman suggests several tools and tactics that can support your hiring process and position your role squarely in a candidate’s interest.

Make scheduling easy

Less waiting seems to be what audiences want in any industry, but Aman highlights the value of scheduling ease as particularly important in hiring. “Calendly is a great tool,” she advises, “That said, anything that gives candidates a streamlined experience with easy scheduling and time management makes a big difference. Allow them to take initiative and be empowered with their time, and it pays dividends.”

Communicate clearly

Clear communication with candidates rises to the top as Aman’s number one secret weapon. “You can have all the tools in the world, but it all comes down to connecting with people at the end of the day,” she shares. “I never want a candidate to email me and ask for an update: I always want to beat them to it. Providing more information is always better than less. Candidates will engage a more rigorous process if they feel that they’re building real relationships and have the support of a genuine advocate.”

Be authentic

“It’s important for employers to understand the hiring process as a key part of the role itself – and an extension of their overall brand as a company,” Aman explains. “When you feel that you’re part of a team, and you have a great experience with people from the very start, the feeling overall is positive. You can expect applicants to share their experience, whether they get the job or not. That ties into your employer branding. It’s a huge part of your brand perception.”

Aman specifically notes that your authenticity reaches beyond the results of any given search. “Treat people with ethics, integrity and mutual respect: they will remember it.”

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Aman Sodi on Why Applicants Seek More than a Great Position

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