Lantern Marketing is now part of Guide MKTG.  🎉  Read about the acquisition here.

Don’t Leave Candidates in the Dark

Have you ever sent in a job application only to receive zero response, feedback, or follow-up? You check your email, phone, and even the mailbox for something, anything! But all you get is the twinge of regret that you wasted another hour of your life on a pointless job application. Don’t be one of those companies. Ghosting your applicants is the worst way to start a relationship. Instead, include a clear hiring process in your job description so applicants know exactly what to expect.

6 Reasons to Include a Clear Hiring Process in Your Job Descriptions

Including a step-by-step hiring process in your job ads will not only benefit applicants, but it will also benefit your business.

#1: People Need to Know What Will Happen Next

The biggest reason to include a transparent hiring process in your job description is that people genuinely need to know what happens next.

When you purchase an item online, they always give you an expected delivery date. When you make an appointment for the first time, you receive a packet of documents to let you know what to expect. When your kids start at a new school, there is a whole meeting to answer all of your questions. Big life changes are already stressful. Not knowing what comes next just adds to the stress.

Our brains need cognitive closure, or as Donald Miller says “to close the story loop”. If we don’t tell job applicants what will come next in the process, they will spend their time and energy guessing, drawing their own conclusions, and stressing about the possible outcomes.

Don’t be the company that stresses people out before they are even hired. Be the company that relieves stress and makes applicants’ lives better from the start by telling them exactly what will happen next.

#2: A Hiring Plan Models Clear Communication

Effective communication skills are considered one of the most highly sought-after soft skills. A study by Jobbland found “effective communication” listed as a desired skill in 2.3 million LinkedIn job ads.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: effective communicators are drawn to clear communication. So, if you are asking qualified candidates to have communication skills, prove that your company has them too.

Including a concrete, step-by-step plan for the hiring process not only models clear communication but it also demonstrates professionalism and respect for applicants. It shows that your company genuinely embodies the values and skills you are listing in your job description, drawing more qualified candidates your way.

*Bonus Tip: Another great way to prove that you practice what you preach is by including employee testimonials in your job descriptions. Applicants will feel like they are getting the inside scoop about what it’s like to work with your company.

#3: You’ll Get Candidates That Fit Your Timeline

Most people don’t job search just for fun. They generally look for a new job because they need a new job. It is important to tell people how quickly, or slowly, your hiring process will move to ensure your timeline aligns with theirs.

#4: Clarity Will Keep Candidates Engaged

Almost all the candidates applying for your open role are also applying to other jobs. Clearly explaining your interview process will help keep quality candidates engaged.

If a candidate receives a job offer that they don’t love, and they have no idea where they stand with you, they may decide to settle and take the less favorable offer anyway. However, if you’ve already told them they will get a response within a week, they can easily reach out to the company that sent them an offer, asking for a week to decide.

*Bonus Tip: Another great way to keep candidates engaged is by using automated emails to regularly update them during the hiring process. This keeps the lines of communication open, provides the opportunity for candidates to learn more about the open role, and paves the way for a better experience for everyone.

#5: Get More Candidates to Apply

Applying for jobs is about as exciting as going to the dentist. You can only write out your work history and personal information so many times before you start hating every employer whose application process is longer than ten seconds.

However, if potential candidates reach a job ad that includes a clear, step-by-step process to get them from unemployed (or unhappily employed) to happily hired, they will be much more likely to grit their teeth and power through yet another application.

#6: Have a Clear Hiring Process

Another huge benefit of including a clear hiring process in your job advertisements is that it forces you to actually have a clear hiring process. Many small businesses are so busy making it through each day that they are making up their policies and procedures as they go. That can get a little…messy.

Putting candidates through a roller coaster of changes doesn’t make a great first impression. Taking the time to nail down your hiring process before you bring people on forces you to clarify your own next steps, streamlining the process for everyone.

What is a clear hiring process?

A clear hiring process is a plan for how you will bring people from interested applicants to active employees. Although your internal process may be more detailed and complex, the plan you include in your job description should have no more than 2-4 simple steps.

In your plan, try to include:

  • How quickly people will hear from you.
  • What method you will use to contact them (email, phone call, text, etc).
  • The number of interviews they will have.
  • How soon you’d expect them to start.

Here are three examples of simple but informative, step-by-step hiring processes:

Example 1 (manual labor):

  1. Apply today.
    Either click the “Apply” button or come down to our office and fill out an application. Your application will be reviewed, and, if we’re interested, you’ll be contacted for an in-person interview.

  2. Attend an in-person interview.
    If we think you have what it takes, you’ll be asked to come to our office so that you can see the office and meet possible co-workers.

Example 2 (professional services):

  1. Click the “Apply” button.
    In addition to submitting the requested documents, you’ll take an online Culture Index Survey. If you’re a good fit, we’ll invite you to take the next step.
  2. Go through a 2-stage interview process.
    We will call you personally for a Zoom or phone interview to go over the basics of the role. If everyone is still interested, we’ll invite you into the office (or set up a Zoom call) for a team interview.
  3. Say “Yes!”
    If we all feel like it’s a good fit and your references check out, we’ll offer you the position. There’s some paperwork to complete, but we’ll want you to start as soon as possible.

Example 3 (professional services):

  1. Click the “Apply” button
    If you’re a good fit, you’ll be sent a 10-minute assessment on your problem-solving skills. We will follow up one way or the other after this assessment.
  2. Go through a 2-stage interview process
    Candidates will receive an additional 30-minute assessment specific to this position. If that indicates we would work well together, you will be invited to a phone or in-person interview.
  3. Say “Yes!”
    If we all feel like it’s a good fit, we’ll invite you to join our team. We’ll need to check references, conduct a background check, and fill out some paperwork before it’s official, but we’ll want you to start as soon as possible.

The Easy Way to Create a Clear Hiring Plan

Simply adding a 2–4-step outline of your hiring process to your job descriptions can get you more candidates, build a better rapport with applicants, and streamline your process. However, distilling a complex process like hiring down to a few concrete steps is far from easy.

If you need help defining the steps of your hiring plan or are feeling disappointed by the results you’re getting from traditional hiring methods, schedule a call with Guide MKTG today. We can write job descriptions that get results and recruitment materials that will attract your ideal employee.


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