- Research claims that the early part of the year is a prime time for job seekers.
- Allwork.Space spoke with Aleksandra Sulimko, CHRO at TheSoul Publishing, to learn how companies can improve their hiring process.
- Sulimko also offers some key advice to help job seekers improve their applications and have a better chance of job success.
According to Indeed, companies tend to hire the most in January and February. With the labor shortage and the Great Resignation expected to continue this year (2022), companies need to make sure that their interview process stands out to candidates.
To address the challenges of hiring new talent this year, TheSoul Publishing, the digital media powerhouse behind 5-Minute Crafts and Brightside, has instituted a new interview process that focuses on creativity and does away with interview questions that don’t add any value.
Allwork.Space spoke with Aleksandra Sulimko, CHRO at TheSoul Publishing to learn more about how companies can improve the interview process to ensure it is a positive experience for candidates. Sulimko also offers some tips for candidates to stand out.
Allwork.Space: Studies have shown that even happy employees are looking for other possibilities, which means the job market is more competitive for job seekers. What are some tips candidates can keep in mind to make sure they stand out?
Aleksandra Sulimko: The simplest way to stand out is to keep your profile in professional social networks updated and attractive. This may seem obvious, but a lot of candidates do not find it necessary to fill in their profiles in detail and keep it to a bare minimum, including only the names of their roles and organizations.
When a recruiter is searching for a perfect profile online, there are hundreds and thousands of candidates indicating “open to opportunities.” If your profile is incomplete, many recruiters will not think twice and will just swipe left to the next profile. Yes, it will take you some time to fill in the profile and update it regularly, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to stay on top of the recruitment search algorithms.
The next step would be to write an article or two about the topics where you have expertise, to ask for several references from your previous colleagues, to add a picture, to repost some news that is related to your professional sphere, and the list goes on.
Allwork.Space: At the same time, companies are struggling to attract top talent. What are some strategies companies can implement to ensure the interview/hiring process is a positive experience for candidates?
Actually, the advice about the updates of the profile works perfectly for the companies as well. We live in an unprecedented time with the highest level of access to information. Candidates want to know more before they decide to spend an hour of their lives talking to your recruiters or hiring teams. Give them this opportunity by creating a beautiful and profound career and corporate website, and social network pages with lots of photos, videos, and articles – both about the professional work and employee stories.
People want to know about people, at the end of the day a popular saying goes: “Employees leave managers, not companies.”
Top talent is always interested to know what happens after. “What prospects do I have in a year? What opportunities will I have after I finish this project? What role will I be offered inside the organization after I reach this goal?”
Be ready for these questions and always think five steps ahead. A-players are looking for the roles and companies that have a future. Provide opportunities to learn new skills, to try new business spheres, to be promoted. Be ambitious in building your KPI and organizational plans, then ambitious people will be happy to join your company.
Provide the best candidate recruitment experience. If you want to hire top talent, you cannot afford belated email responses, inexperienced recruiters, unfriendly interviews, lack of feedback, and the list goes on and on.
A smooth and perfect recruitment experience gives the candidates an understanding that this company’s processes are strong, the team is something he/she wants to be a part of. And when it’s time to choose between 3 job offers, the candidate will choose the company that takes recruitment seriously!
Allwork.Space: What does TheSoul Publishing’s hiring process look like? Have you recently made any changes, and if so, why? Have these changes had a positive impact on hiring?
We have a very detailed and profound hiring process. We are looking for people who are creative and organized at the same time, and cultural fit is a top priority. We always have a test task for both creative and administrative roles and a number of interviews with recruiters and hiring teams.
We also use pre-recorded interviews that save time both for the hiring team and candidates. Candidates record answers to a number of questions online at a time that works best for them, and we watch the recorded interview later. For a number of roles, we collect references before the job offer and perform personality tests that help us to see the motivation and main professional and personal features of the candidates better.
A lot of our candidates say that it’s the most intense recruitment process they’ve seen in their lives, but they also say it’s the most interesting one, as they get to know the company and the team really well while they are going through this hiring journey.
Recently we’ve made a major change with the hiring process for IT roles.
The current IT market is extremely competitive and talented software developers get job offers right during the interviews. We adjusted our recruitment steps to be as quick as possible. We got rid of the test tasks and pre-recorded interviews, we also made our technical interviews more in-depth and added more opportunities for the candidates to ask their questions. Now our IT hiring process is fast and efficient.
Allwork.Space: What are the top 3 mistakes you see candidates making in their job search?
It is a broad question, so let’s focus on three mistakes during the application process.
1. No cover letter.
Yes, cover letters are important, as they definitely help candidates to stand out from the crowd of faceless CVs. If you really like the opportunity you are applying for, take some time and prepare a tailored and smart cover letter. Mention what caught your attention in the role description and how your experience fits the requirements and the responsibilities of the position. You might also consider mentioning what you liked in the organization’s story and why you are a fan/active user of the company’s products.
2. No specific role is mentioned in the application.
We get a lot of applications that say “Hey, your organization seems very cool! My CV is attached, what can you offer me?”. Currently, we have about 250 active open roles in the company, this year we processed more than 100.000 applications. All the recruiters work according to their specialization and, unfortunately, no recruiter has time or capacity to analyze the candidates’ CVs that were sent in blindly. If you didn’t do the job of studying the company’s open opportunities and choosing the one that fits you best, please don’t expect the company representative to do this job for you. If you send an application this way, it will likely end up without a response.
If your recruiter’s name is Jane, don’t call her Steve. If the role’s name is Sales Representative, don’t call it Account Manager. If the company’s name is X, don’t call it Y. If you hired a career counselor to brighten up your CV, make sure you finished with all the formatting before sending this CV to a company. If you are a Junior Marketing Specialist, don’t apply for the CMO role. We understand that it’s difficult to avoid copying and pasting if you are actively applying for numerous vacancies per day. But these silly mistakes can cause damage to your reputation as a candidate. Looking for a job is a job itself; be smart doing it.