In the academic world, it is the norm to give a contact number of the future line manager who is expected to take calls and talk around the job. It is amazing how often, though, said contact person is away. What should applicants read into that?
In the non-academic world, I remember inviting candidates around to look over the job themselves. Technically, this is called a realistic preview, but it made an enormous impression that they were being taken seriously. Indeed, I also worked for a university who invited shortlisted candidates in for a week. They were put up in a hotel. Anyone and everyone who wanted to interview them could in addition to the formal interviews. And candidates were run around the town to see everything that interested them. Sometimes it was schools; sometimes it was the beach. Their questions were answered.
Are there formal ways to think through our interaction with applicants?
Core value proposition. What is the core value of the job and how does it relate to the applicants’ core problem that we defined earlier? Immediately, we see that skipping steps in our homework will cause a problem! We do need to understand our people as well as the job!
Hook. Having identified the core value proposition, how can we express it in the simplest terms?
Time to Value. How quickly will the applicant experience value? What is value to the applicant in the application process? Now here is a tough one, though probably because we spend so little time thinking about this, we can quickly identify points that would annoy them! Where is value for them in the recruitment process? Perhaps helping them find the information they need to make an informed decision?
Stickiness. Who begins this process and who wanders off? And most importantly, on a 2×2 who arrives whom we sincerely believe might benefit from an employment relationship with us? And who are we losing? But specifically, what is that we are doing that helps applicants sift themselves?
Will a marketing mindset help you?
If I am utterly honest, I see so few people manage their entire application process that I would be hesitant to call it. And if the previous exercises to think through the job and advertisement had not been done, it would be difficult to think clearly about the process.