Candidate experience should be at the heart of every organisation’s recruitment strategy. Candidate experience is a candidate’s overall evaluation of the hiring process from sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding.
As per a survey of 180,000 candidates who applied to positions at 200 companies (most of whom did not get the job), four essential things that the top ranked companies with the best candidate experience do that sets them apart:
- They listen more and communicate often with candidates.
- They set better expectations for candidates about the recruiting process from pre-application to onboarding.
- They hold themselves accountable for candidate experience and talent acquisition performance and measure it regularly and consistently.
- These organisations are perceived by candidates as having a ‘fairer and ‘transparent’ process.
So how can you make sure you foster a positive candidate experience, to help your future recruitment, in just the same way?
Master the art of communication
When attracting the right candidate in the talent-short market, communication is the key. Every candidate, whether successful or unsuccessful will expect to hear back from you on
- Acknowledgement of the application
- What are the next stages and when are they likely to hear more about the next steps?
- If they are rejected, then why? etc
It is vital to keep your candidates in the loop throughout the recruitment process. Check in with your candidate regularly. This not only improves the brand loyalty but will also enhance the candidate engagement levels.
Clear job descriptions
The first step to attracting right candidates is having a clear job description which clearly sets out what is expected. Besides company introduction, job responsibilities and work benefits, also talk about salary, location and scope to help increase relevant applications.
Simplify the job application process
Majority of the candidates find job application process long and frustrating. Your application process should reflect your company’s values. The process needs to be seamless and organised; try avoiding any surprise elements. A complex process can cause a great deal of stress to candidates- simplify the process and put them at ease. To offer a good candidate experience, design the application process that helps you find the person with the best cultural fit and skills/talent your need.
Interview feedback is an important step of the recruitment life cycle often overlooked by recruiters. A common frustration which candidates face is the lack of proper feedback after a face-to-face interview. As a hiring process involves number of steps, the candidate is expected to do a lot of research, undergo several rounds of interview and sometimes prepare presentations. If they are successful, they may get some positive feedback at some stage but if unsuccessful, a constructive feedback might help in preparing themselves for the future interviews. They will highly value the input as they continue their search.
A positive onboarding experience can leave a positive impression on the candidate. A personal, high touch approach between a new hire and the hiring manager works best. An office tour, induction program, welcome kit or simply a phone call a day before the joining to provide basic information such as confirmation of start date, where to report and to whom can make the entire onboarding process smooth and pleasant for the new hire.
Treat candidates as customers
The candidates who are unsuccessful can become brand advocates. Even if they don’t get the job offer, they should leave feeling valued. They are more likely to walk away with a positive image of the organisation which means they are more likely to re-engage with you in the future and share positive reviews with other, making it a win-win situation for both.