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How to Create a Better Candidate Experience

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Creating a positive candidate experience is one of the most important responsibilities of a recruiter. Why? The experience that the candidate will draw from the hiring process could either make the candidate an advocate of your organization or a critic.

According to the Talent Board, the host of the Candidate Experience Awards, candidate experience has an impact on how the applicants will perceive the organization. Out of 45,000 respondents, here are some of their conclusions:

  • 61% of the candidate would actively encourage colleagues to apply after a positive experience
  • 27% of the candidates would actively discourage colleagues to apply after a negative experience
  • Almost 40% of the positives would buy more of the company’s goods or services despite not being hired
  • 30% of the negatives would buy less of the company’s goods or services
  • 50% of the positives will share their positive experience
  • 32% of the negatives will broadcast the bad news

This only means one thing, a positive candidate experience not only helps you gain more candidate referrals, but it also serves as a great marketing tool.

Sadly, a lot of recruiters are falling into the trap of not paying close attention to it.

Based on the Global Recruiting Survey 2016, 56% of recruiters work between averages of 36-45 hours per week. 54% manage less than 10 requisitions at any given time across the board (except  agency workers who tend to work more vacancies on average). And also, since most organizations base their variable pay on the number of hires or placements, candidate experience is often neglected. But with the rise of social media and blogging platforms, it became evident that candidate experience should be the core of the recruitment process. Here are 5 steps for you to create a better candidate experience:

Try to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes

As a job applicant, what are the things that will make you feel good after the hiring process? Do you still have self-confidence and self-respect although you are not accepted for the job? Did you learn anything from the experience? Is it worth-while? Will you refer your friends to the company or not?

No one wants to be left hanging after the hiring process. So calling candidates and giving them feedback would give them an idea of where they stand as of the moment. If they didn’t make it, let them know as well and include the things that they have to work on so that the next time that they apply, they are already well-prepared. Get in touch with them from time to time and update your records about their current job and their contact details. These gestures will make them feel valued.

By reflecting how a candidate would feel will help you map out how you should approach them. Think of every possible way that will show how much you value your candidates because you’d be surprised at the impact of a positive candidate experience. 

Communicate clearly with the candidates

How you communicate with the candidates is very much the same as you would communicate with a client. You have to completely inform them about the hiring process. You can give them a PDF file or a video of the steps on how to complete the application.

Give them the timeline so that they know how short or how long it’s going to take for you to fill the role.

Tell them about the advantages of joining your organization as well as the challenges that a potential candidate may face. Be open about compensation packages, taxes, and other benefits.

If everything is clearly laid out to them, they can set their expectations and can also help them decide whether they are culturally fit to join your organization.

Give them an office tour

As mentioned earlier, candidates want to visualize if they are qualified and suitable enough to work for your company. Another way to help them decide is to give them a tour of your office.

An office tour gives the candidates a sense of reassurance and comfort. It only means that you are transparent enough to walk them through the office and that you have nothing to hide from them.

This is also a great time to watch the candidate’s body language for any key indicators of the candidate’s character which is something that you will not see in the interview room.

An office tour will also help the candidate have an informed decision which will give you less chance of making a bad hire. If they feel that they are not for the job, they could simply quit. If they are motivated by what they see, the candidates will pursue their application.

The office tour can also help in brand advocacy. By taking the time to take a potential candidate around the office gives them an idea that you are proud to be part of the organization. That feeling is contagious because it can compel the candidate to join the company the moment that they have a chance.

Make the recruitment process personal

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to recruitment.

Try to tailor your interview questions based on the candidate’s background.  Read their CV and cover letter. Call them by their name. This will signify that you actually took the time to know them a little bit.

If the interview has to be forwarded to your boss for a final interview, prep your boss about the questions that you asked as well as their answers. This will avoid the candidate from being asked the same question over and over again which can be frustrating sometimes.

When you send an email, make sure that you customize your signature. Add your designation, contact details, and logo. Remember that professionalism should be practiced even in littlest of things.

Ask for a feedback

This is probably the most important thing you have to do to ensure a positive customer experience.

Kate Reilly, a writer, content strategist, and marketer pointed that this question should be asked every single time:

“Is there anything you didn’t get a chance to tell us today that you think we should know?”

The candidates are the fresh set of eyes that can spot things that your company may not see. It could be about your product or services. It could be about customer service. Or it could be about the hiring process. By asking them this question, you will have an opportunity to know how you can improve your company and most especially your recruitment process.

A survey can also be conducted after the process. You can give them a questionnaire about how you can improve and maintain candidate experience.

Do you have any positive candidate experience that you would like to share with us? Please type in your answers in the comment section below.     

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