At the helm of #rmstouch, Jean-Christophe Anna has been working since 2011 to help companies recruit more efficiently and improve the experience they offer applicants. Former head hunter, connoisseur of the evolution of the recruiter-candidate relationship, organizer of the major event #rmsconf dedicated to innovation in the talent experience and author of several books on this matter, he gives us his advice to court young talents.
When expectations change, some recruiters lose their way
“What has changed is not so much the youth specifically, but their expectations generally” says Jean-Christophe. He dismisses all the talk about millennials, arguing that new graduates want the same thing as those who came before them: “Their goal is not so much to succeed in life but to make a success of their life. That doesn’t mean rising up the ranks of a major corporation or having a house, a car and a pool but rather striking a balance between their professional, personal and community life”.
Given these changing expectations, a standard job offer is not enough anymore. Young people have to be offered a more genuine experience. As Jean-Christophe explains, “this starts with recruitment. Here at #rmstouch, we help companies optimise their entire process, from posting job offers online to accepting candidates, including applications and interviews”.
Rule number one: simplify the process and save time
The top priority is to simplify the recruitment process as much as possible. “Today’s youth grew up with Google and Uber, which popularised the notion that everything should be one click away. You have to help these people to save time”, explains Jean-Christophe.
In other words, complicated job sites and extensive searches are out. A job offer must contain all the relevant information – just as Booking.com or TripAdvisor does – which, according to Jean-Christophe, would include a description of the position, staff testimonials, photos and videos of the premises, info about day-to-day life, assessments of employees and candidates, calculation of the commuting time and anything else of interest. Applying for a job online also has to be straightforward.
“Previously, it was often very long to apply on a computer. The one-click mobile application, via an “Apply with LinkedIn” button or the ability to search for a resume in the Cloud, has greatly improved the candidate experience. So today, candidates can do so when they apply at Carrefour, Deloitte or Kiabi.”
“You’re the star of the show”: personalizing relationships with applicants
Another priority for recruiters is to cultivate a personalised relationship with young job-seekers. “They do not appreciate being lumped in with the crowd. To win them over, it’s not enough to be on social media and reach out to them that way, you also need to let them know that they are the stars of the show”, Jean-Christophe tells us.
This means starting off on the right foot. A great way to stand out is to show the applicant that you know their story and their skills and you let them know that they fit the position. This is especially true during a time when most recruiters content themselves with sending out the same message to every applicant, merely changing the name at the top. Next, it is crucial to support the applicant throughout the recruitment process, which #rmstouch does by creating a specific app that is customised based on the applicant’s profile. “The app addresses the applicant directly, says who their HR contact will be at the company and who they would be working with. It also provides feedback and advice at each stage, from the initial round of tests to interviews and final recruitment. We want to show applicants that they are valued individuals and to give them a unique experience”, he explains.
Be authentic and honest
The final challenge for recruiters is to be honest when dealing with job candidates. “Applicants won’t put up with being lied to, and will spread the word online if they are”, says Jean-Christophe.
So companies have to be as transparent as possible, even if that means saying something negative. At a time when the job market is bursting with so-called dream jobs, many firms fall into the trap of wanting to appear cool, fun and flawless, boasting about limitless possibilities that have nothing to do with the real situation in the firm. Young people are aware of this, talk about it together and punish this kind of behaviour. Stand-out companies are the ones that provide applicants with the information they need to form their own opinions. To give an example, Mazars, a French audit and consulting firm, shares the plus sides of offers but also posts ratings from employees, trainees and applicants on its careers page. “Applicants have free access to all this information – it’s up to them to sift through it.”
Jean-Christophe concludes with: “In the end, young people today are not asking for anything revolutionary. There’s no such thing as millennials. They’re just people who want a relationship based on equality,from one adult to another. Because that’s what they are, after all!”