Delivering a great candidate experience that appeals to all job seekers is accomplished by beginning with the basics. Regardless of seniority, each job seeker should have an experience that is consistent throughout the entire process. Delivering a great candidate experience is not only important for the candidates going through the process, but you can almost guarantee a negative experience will be talked about, causing detriment to your talent pool. According to the Human Capital Institute, 72% of candidates who encounter a negative candidate experience will talk about it to their friends and 52% will avoid a company altogether afterward.
The repercussions of having a bad candidate experience go well beyond losing a candidate and will eventually hurt the business as a whole. In order to prevent a negative experience and create a process that appeals to all job seekers, it’s time to get back to basics.
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Back to Basics: 5 Tips on Delivering a Great Candidate Experience
1. Use communication as the foundation of candidate experience.
Searching for a job is one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. The uncertainties, the lack of communication and the constant rejection can take a toll on someone’s psyche. Making communication the foundation of your candidate experience is necessary for consistency across the board. Doing so means scheduling time throughout the day for returning candidate emails, phone calls and staying up-to-date on where candidates are throughout the process.
Not only should those who are going through the process receive communication, but the individuals who have been eliminated from the next round should also be notified. 75% of applicants never hear back from employers after applying for a job and 60% never hear back from employers after an interview. Can you imagine the anticipation of hearing a potential job offer and never actual receiving communication from the company again?
To Do: Create predetermined responses to send to candidates at each step of the recruiting process including application received and in review, application onto the next round or not, interview schedule, interview reminder and interview decision.
2. Treat each candidate like they’re the most important person in the room.
Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, don’t forget everyone from a floor associate to an executive are all representing your company. Live not only by the Golden Rule (treat others as you wish to be treated) but with the mindset that every person you hire has the ability to make a lasting impact on your company’s bottom line. In order to deliver a great candidate experience that appeals to all job seekers, you have to treat each individual the same regardless of the position.
To Do: No matter the position someone may be interviewing for, a tour of the office is a great way to put you ahead of the competition and make candidates feel welcome.
3. Handle rejection as a learning opportunity.
Rejecting someone for a job is never a fun task. When necessary, it’s important to handle dealing with candidate rejection with professionalism. According to LinkedIn, 94% of talent wants to receive interview feedback, but only 41% have ever received this type of feedback before. Make it a goal to provide feedback on the decision and give them advice on how they could improve in the future.
To Do: Use rejection as a learning opportunity and give actionable interview feedback. This will help not only help the job seeker but going above and beyond in candidate rejection will go a long way in what is said post-interview about your organization.
4. Don’t take the small things for granted.
Whether you’re offering your candidate a glass of water or sending a friendly follow-up email before an interview — don’t forget the small things are important, too. These small items will get candidates excited about the opportunity to work for your company and will likely get them to share the experience with their friends, whether they get the position or not.
During an on-site, being prepared for the job seeker and making sure normal tasks don’t delay speaking with the candidate will also create a great impression from the start. Imagine trying to interview with someone you can clearly tell was not prepared for your arrival. Putting your candidates in this situation creates an awkward environment for everyone.
To Do: Offer water in a branded bottle or a small welcome package to job seekers as a small token of gratitude. Always prepare at least 20-30 minutes before the scheduled interview time so you’re ready with questions and the interview doesn’t sneak up on you when doing other tasks.
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5. Promote an inclusive employer brand.
Candidate experience is tied directly to your employer brand. 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. When companies promote an employer brand that is inclusive to any type of jobseeker, it generally leads to a great experience for all candidates who go through the process, attracting more diverse and top talent.
To Do: Stay on top of your employer brand and get everyone involved in the process. During the candidate experience, make sure the interview showcases your company’s culture and the people who make your company great.
What types of actions do you take to make sure job seekers have a great experience? Don’t miss this crazy good interviewing webcast talking about recruiting’s biggest pain points and what to do about them.