Noaptea Companiilor x Human Direct - all about candidate experience and employer branding

Anne-Lise Brown
Anne-Lise Brown ↓ 7 minute read
Nov 17, 2023
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For 2 consecutive nights, companies in 3 different cities in Romania, Cluj-Napoca, Iași, and Târgu-Mureș, have their doors wide open for candidates to get to know their organizational cultures. Workers from all fields get a chance to meet and chit-chat with the employees of these companies, exchange ideas, network, visit vibrant offices, ask questions about the available roles, and get a grasp of what their careers could look like in one of these companies.

These are the nights when the roles are reversed and potential candidates recruit the company they want to work for. With positive energy, a growth-oriented mindset, plenty of authenticity, and the right questions in their sleeves, candidates can assess which would be the best next career opportunity for them and take charge of their professional path.

The Human Direct team in full effect at RebelDot
The Human Direct team in full effect at RebelDot

Why do we support initiatives like Noaptea Companiilor?

At the start of the NCO, Peter, the founder of this project, came to me for consultancy regarding how such an initiative could meet recruitment needs and add value to the labor market. As the founder of a recruitment and consultancy company, of course, I was beyond excited about his idea. Companies needed a new medium through which they could not only fill the existing jobs but also highlight the candidate experience they offer. From the Organizational Psychologist's point of view, I always thought profoundly about our internal recruitment and selection processes and passionately encouraged our partners to invest more time, energy, and attention into their processes as well. I knew from then that NCO would create the perfect context for candidates to recruit the right environments for them, the managers they resonate with, and the mission that aligns with their professional growth aspirations. Research shows that the candidate’s experience during the selection process has a great impact on their performance during the following recruitment steps. Thus, if we want to witness the full potential of a candidate we need to create the proper context for them to relax and gain clarity about what the process will look like, what future responsibilities they will have, and what working with the management and the collective will look like. And talking about it, this example comes to mind with Accenture’s management opening up to visitors at NCO and doing a speed-date kind of thing where the mid-management was answering any and all questions visitors had about Accenture. What a fun way of putting everything about your company on the table, while also genuinely connecting with future candidates! We needed opportunities for such transparency. We needed occasions for authentic communication. And I am happy NCO brought this to the market.

- Erika Kosa, Founder and CEO at Human Direct and Organizational Psychologist


What is candidate experience and why does it matter?

The candidate experience represents the first encounters a candidate has with a company through the hiring process and how they shape the candidate’s perception of the company. It includes everything from how the JD is written, to how they’ve been approached for a certain position, how the interview was structured, and how thorough the follow-up has been.

Each step represents yet another chance for the candidate to form a more encompassing idea about what it means to work for the given company. For many candidates, a good recruitment process increases the likelihood of accepting the role, this experience being the first proof that they will be valued and treated with care and respect once a part of the team. On the flip side, a poor candidate experience can be the reason why great talent drops out of the hiring process.

Great candidate experience at Yardi
Great candidate experience at Yardi

A good hiring process is dynamic and highly personalized to the team recruited for, the roles, and the candidates. It is not a process based on routine or chance. Besides the structured and systematic approach needed to identify, attract, and evaluate top talent and assess their fit to the organizational culture, we can’t help but highlight the importance of what we call a human approach.

What does a human approach look like?

  • connecting with the candidates
  • understanding their motivations, desires, and needs
  • building trust-worthy professional relationships
  • guiding them through every step of the process
  • encouraging candidates beyond the hiring phase

Here are 3 benefits of a good candidate experience (and the list could go on…)

  1. Employer branding: A good candidate experience represents a competitive advantage on the market as it sets the company apart and makes future candidates eager and curious to apply for available positions and have a positive hiring experience themselves. A positive candidate experience can also turn into peer recommendations from current employees.
  2. Talks volume about the company’s values: A well-thought-out recruitment and hiring process will showcase to candidates the level of respect the company has for its employees and its involvement in the well-being of each team member. Through this process, the candidate can get a taste of what it means to be part of the company and what to expect in their working relationships.
  3. Employee Retention: In any type of relationship, a good first encounter can set the tone for how the connection will develop. Just like that, a great candidate experience can lead to happier employees, better engagement, and lasting retention.
Asking all the right questions at Bitdefender
Asking all the right questions at Bitdefender

It is also crucial for the candidate to understand that he is not passive in the hiring process. He is also responsible for recruiting the company he wants to work for, meaning assessing if the company culture fits his values, goals, practices, and learning/growth objectives. This approach can help them form an idea about whether they accept or are willing to accept the core values, attitudes, and behaviors of the organization and base decisions on that, rather than intuition, or gut feeling. This is why initiatives like NCO are so valuable for both companies and candidates because genuine professional encounters are facilitated.

How was Noaptea Companiilor for our team?

Energy. Involvement. Openness. Smiles and laughter. Genuine interest. Meaning.

These are just some of the words that describe the beautiful atmosphere of the 2 days of NCO.

As some of you probably know, Human Direct was present in an innovative way this year, not by recruiting or hosting candidates, but by stepping into the candidates’ shoes and visiting the participant companies. Three of our colleagues, together with Chris, our talented partner with whom we create the dearest of creative projects, went from company to company, aiming to get a feel of how it is to be a part of their teams. From game rooms to excellent coffee, vibrant kitchens that serve as meeting spots, cozy reading areas, and smiley faces all around, these companies seemed to have it all. The organizational cultures shone bright and we fell in love with the uniqueness of each of the companies we visited. Our colleagues had a great deal of fun, posted a bunch on our Instagram stories, and took insightful interviews with the employees.

We asked key questions to help viewers and potential candidates understand the core of what it means to work for and together with these companies and we hope that our videos are going to portray as best as possible each organizational culture. It is not every day you get to visit an office, have meaningful conversations with both HR personnel and other employees, and get answers to questions that are most important to you in choosing to make a career change. So stay tuned for the filmed interviews, and, through them, recruit the company you want to work for.

We want to give a round of applause to the 20+ companies that did their best to pleasantly surprise the participants curious about their organization, their mission, and how working for them looks and feels. Their efforts created such a welcome and started a ripple effect of showing up for our professional communities in authentic ways.

Through all the content we put online, we aim to educate, help professionals and companies grow, and create an empowered community that generates positive change. This is why, we want to offer a free resource - a short guide to understanding the specificities of a JD, the company, and the culture recruited for. As we emphasized multiple times, recruitment is highly personalized and the right questions are needed to design an effective recruitment process.

So, without further ado, check this out! 👉 Relevant questions we ask to fine-tune our recruitment strategy

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