For a long time now I have been wondering why the human element of running a business is disappearing.

Do we think that we don’t need to interact with people in the workplace or simply we don’t really want to?

I’m not sure about this and I realise that technology has a big part to play in how we interact with others.

We don’t pick up the phone anymore and speak to people, we text, instant message or simply send a photo to each other.

At work, we enter details into a system and it tell us what we should do next and how to respond to the customer.

Over time this is bound to affect our confidence and ability to speak with others. Sadly I see this in a lot of young people who are just starting out in their working lives.

Unemployment rates are at their lowest since 1972 sitting at 4.2 per cent. The war for talent is on.

So to appoint the best talent to our businesses we need to give them a great candidate experience.

Firstly we need to be able to generate interest in our business with a great employer brand and entice them out of their current comfort zone.

How do we get people to think about applying for a job at a different company when we are creatures of habit?

It will take something very special for them to upset that habit of working for the same company where they are happy.

For me this is all about creating a great place to work, celebrating success, making a big “song and dance” about it and most importantly creating a fantastic candidate experience.

I’m sure every growing business would like talent knocking at their door for a job rather than the other way round and having to hunt for them.

What does this actually mean then? Well, firstly just think about what hoops you get candidates to jump through to apply for jobs in your business.

Long, dull applications forms with lots of blank spaces is not necessarily the most engaging or efficient way to apply for a job.

It is also critical to move the candidate – who, by the way, is potentially your future colleague – through the process as efficiently as possible whilst communicating with them at every opportunity.

How many people have you heard from recently that say “I’ve applied for several jobs and never heard back”?

This is not a great candidate experience and more than likely doesn’t represent how you do business but to the candidates this is their first impression.

The interview experience is make or break time for everyone and over my 18-year career in business I have always guided recruiting managers to spend time preparing for that part of the process.

The most important aspect of any interview for me is that it should be a two way enjoyable discussion where both employer and candidate have the chance to open up.

No business or person is perfect so let's stop looking for perfection in candidates and instead look out for those key attributes that you can’t train but would be an incredible asset to your company.

An honest and productive interview can't happen if the employer has not provided a trusting interview environment from the beginning.

So let's not forgot about warm and personable introductions, eye contact, the right place to have it, offering a cuppa, being interested in their journey to your offices, etc.

The candidate is more likely to reciprocate that warmth and honesty.

The interview itself is an opportunity to be honest about the work environment, the role, the challenges in the business and how important this role is to the team and company growth.

How many times have I heard after someone has started their new role that “it wasn't how it was described” to them during interview.

Similarly, how many times have I heard hiring managers say that the person they have hired isn't doing X, Y or Z.

Now although I am big fan of recruitment systems to be able to streamline internal processes and reduce admin there has to be a balance between this and how it reflects on the candidate experience.

This balance can be achieved but only if you trial your system and processes out and put yourselves in the shoes of a candidate.

Realise HR are your outsourced HR partner of choice who help develop great places to work and put the human element back into HR with simple and practical solutions.

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