People among my profession have been talking recently about the candidate experience. The candidate experience is telling organizations how to contact applicants. It’s an approach to show organizations care that you applied, but for most instances, it is the typical generic answer that organizations thanks you, but tell you to find something else and they’ll keep your resume on file for a year. However, there is one person who has customized the candidate experience that blends the applicant, the organization, and himself.
Kevin Conroy is the Director of User Experience and Product Development at GlobalGiving. He recently posted a position for an Unmarketing Manager that he is hiring for. It has the job description and requirements for the position, but if you scroll down to the job posting to the “How to Apply” section, it’s very detailed. That is because Conroy want “… is make the process fun and engaging for everyone involved.”
I had a conversation with Conroy about why he did this. Conroy states:
“I’ve been the hiring manager for dozens of different positions at different companies over the years and I’m sick of reading boring resumes and cover letters that don’t tell me what the candidate is like – and doesn’t give the candidate a chance to express their passion for why they want the position. Even the best written cover letter can’t hold a candle to some of the creative applications that I’ve seen in the last week for this position. The goal here is to see who is really passionate about this position and the cause of GlobalGiving. We want to get a sense of if this person will be a good fit.”
Conroy then discuss his process:
“…if the team you want to join doesn’t like your creative approach to applying, will they welcome a creative approach that you take on the job? If you can afford to be selective about what job you want to take, then you owe it to yourself to make your application original, authentic, creative, and passionate. Anything less is just another paper on the stack of resumes and cover letters that every hiring manager gets.”
Is Conroy’s process innovative? In a job search…absolutely. Think of Conroy’s approach as casting for a reality show where the first show is people taping themselves to be on the show and then get picked. Conroy has brought a “reality show” element to the application process and like any reality show, there will be challenges from:
- Writing a sample newsletter that you would send to engage our email subscribers.
- Show us how you would promote projects or content on Twitter or on Facebook.
- Tell us three specific changes you would make to the site to make it more engaging. Bonus points for mockups.
- Think outside of the box and unmarket yourself to us. If you pick this option, we trust that you know what to do.
After the challenges, it is to the final interview(s) to make sure the applicant is genuine and is not doing lip service. By making it a “reality show” feel, Conroy has succeeded in improving the candidate experience. However, Conroy did something else that only a rare few have done and that is telling the public what to expect working for him before the interview.
Many businesses discuss their workplace culture, projects, benefits, and others, but the hardest part of the hiring process is how the applicant and the hiring manager co-exist before meeting each other. On the job description, Conroy lays out who he is looking for and what is expected of joining his department. Simply, he’s doing acculturation through the job description.
So far, there has been a huge response to the Unmarketing Manager position from the #iwilllovethisjob thread and the applicants Conroy is receiving. From the looks of it, there are a bunch of passionate people who care about GlobalGiving and are willing to do anything for an interview.
Would I recommend Conroy’s approach in recruiting? That depends on the position and culture of the organization. If the organization is looking for an accountant or in-house attorney, it would never fly. However, if you have position openings in communications, development, marketing, and HR, you can pull it off, but you need an open culture and an open-minded hiring manager. For GlobalGiving, they’re fortunate to be an open organization and a hiring manager thinking outside the box. That is an organization I want to work for.