10 Tips for Delivering a Great Candidate Experience
December 06, 2018 by Nisha Raghavan, Talent Attraction and Employer Branding Specialist, American Heart Association
Attracting and engaging the right talent continue to become more competitive than ever and employers cannot afford to miss out on top talent. From the job application process to interviewing with the recruiters and hiring managers and getting offered, job seekers make the perception of your company's recruiting and hiring process and make a decision to work with you or not based on how positive their experience was.
An online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor in May 2018 highlighted specifically the reasons that cause frustration among job seekers and make them pull out of a recruitment process. 47 percent said that potential employers not responding in a timely manner and 40 percent mentioned a poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager.
Your candidates are your consumers of your company's products/services as well. A bad candidate experience can lead to boycott your products/services and share negative reviews online. Here is a prime example where Virgin Media calculated that a bad candidate experience costs them a shocking $5.4 million annually!
The CandE report from Talent Board found that of the candidates who had a positive candidate experience:
- 62% will increase their relationship with a brands products and networks
- 78% would refer someone in the future
- 62% would apply again
Fixing a broken candidate experience and providing a great candidate experience will help you attract and engage with your top talent and become successful in finding a right fit candidate at the right time. Below are some tips for delivering a great candidate experience.
10 Tips for Delivering a Great Candidate Experience
1. Make job application easier
Get rid of your lengthier job application rather make it easier for job seekers to submit the job applications on the go and provide a great job application experience. You will receive more applications when job seekers can submit their job applications using their mobile and not having to create a login ID and password but use any of their social media account (LinkedIn preferred) to submit their job application. Save the assessments for later and don’t add a lengthy assessment during the initial stages of the job application. If it takes 30 minutes to complete the job applications process then you will see a steady decrease in your application rate.
2. Transparency throughout the hiring process
In the Talent Board report, 86% of candidates report that not receiving a basic application confirmation email creates a bad candidate experience. Use your applicant tracking system to automate some of the emails like job seekers receiving an acknowledgment email after submitting their job application or after filling any eforms as part of your job application. Give a transparency throughout the process by letting them know what to expect at each stage of the recruiting process. When recruiter talking to a candidate, set the expectation at the beginning by letting the candidates know of what are going to be the next steps, how many levels of interviews will be there, when are you planning to wrap up the interviews, when are you planning to hire etc.
3. Listen and communicate
Listen to your candidates, ask if they have any questions and don’t rush the interview process. Candidates should get an opportunity to know what you are looking for as a recruiter/hiring manager, what type of skills and experience this role will need in order to be successful, who they will be working with and what it is like to work with you and your team etc. Give an opportunity to ask questions and answering to your candidates questions give a great candidate experience. Your candidates will feel more comfortable coming in knowing that you are there to help them make the right decision.
4. Customize and personalize
Provide a great candidate experience by making your candidates feel like you know them already and you did your research to learn about them. That starts with customizing your email templates with your candidates' name and the job that they applied for. When you reach out to a candidate via email or talk to them via phone, start with a conversation based on something that you saw on their resume or on their social media profile. As a recruiter/hiring manager, you need to prepare for the interview just like a candidate would do. Learning about their background and experience will make you avoid some obvious questions and use the opportunity to as further questions and utilize your time effectively.
5. Giving the best interview experience
Provide a great experience when your candidates coming in for an in-person interview. Give them all the information that they need to know. Not just the time and location. Once they reach your office where to park their car, who to ask at the front desk, who they will be meeting with, what’s their role and title, how long the interview will. The successful recruiters even mentor the candidates by letting them know a little more about the interviewers, what they are looking for, what it takes to be successful in the job interview etc.
6. Storytelling to make the connection
Ensuring candidates feel confident prior to an interview is an important step and that’s what makes a recruiter successful. You can do that by telling your stories, experience, and insights that resonate with the candidates. Share insights on how you as a recruiter started working with the organization, what’s been your experience working with the organization and what excites you the most etc. Keep your candidates excited about the opportunity, create a sense of belonging at every stages/touch point that way as a candidate will feel more confident coming in and help make a decision faster.
7. Be timely and be responsive
Be responsive by timely sending updates on where your candidate stands after each stage of the interview process. When they ask any questions, respond to it quickly and provide them necessary information in a timely manner which will help them engaged throughout the recruiting process. If you, as a recruiter don’t know the answer to their question, then let your candidates know that as well. Acknowledging that you received their email is better than no response at all.
8. Follow through on promises
Deliver your promises. If you promised that you will get back to them after one week, do it! Or at least inform them what is causing the delay. For a candidate, it means you represent a company that delivers promises. Follow through the promises in every stage of the recruiting process and after that. Give them the salary and benefits that you agreed upon and give them the opportunity to work on the assignment that you promised during the interview process.
9. Build a relationship and engage
As per the Talent Board, 31.9 percent of candidates reported that they received no information to help them prepare for an interview. Build a relationship with your candidates by giving them an opportunity to succeed. And as a recruiter, you can do that by providing helpful tips and advice on how to prepare for each stage of the interview. Engage your candidates by sharing stories on what it is like to work with your organization why you think it will be a great place for the candidate to build their next career.
10. Always look for areas of improvement
As a recruiter, always look for areas where you can improve the candidate experience. Be it the system that you use to receive and track application, email templates or email responses, when and how candidates receive each touch points during the recruiting process, what information they get to use in order to make a decision, training your hiring manager on how to provide a great interview experience etc. If you feel your process is a lengthy and time consuming one, discuss it internally on how to improve your process. And let candidates know the clear picture of what to expect coming in, that way you are setting the right expectations at the very beginning.
What other tips would you like to add to list to provide a great candidate experience?
For more content development strategies, join us in San Francisco this January 30 - February 1, 2019, at #SRSC where talent acquisition leaders connect to leverage emerging recruiting practices.