The world of recruitment has undergone a power shift in the last decade. With job openings at a record high and alarming talent shortages in some industries, candidates have more decision power than ever before. They can afford to be more selective. As a result, businesses are enhancing their hiring strategies to reach top talent, and candidate experience has become the buzzword of the hour in recruitment circles.
There are three steps you must follow to create a great candidate experience. But first, let’s get down to basics and define what candidate experience is.
What is candidate experience?
Candidate experience refers to the perception a job seeker has about a prospective employer. It encompasses all touchpoints between job seekers and organizations, from the initial point of contact all the way to the job offer acceptance. The goal is for candidates to feel appreciated and respected throughout the whole process.
Why is candidate experience important?
A negative experience in which the candidate feels unheard, uninformed, or upset can hurt your recruitment success and reflect badly on your company as a whole. A positive candidate experience, on the other hand, can be beneficial in many ways. It helps to:
- Secure top talent
- Shape your employer branding
- Increase your brand awareness
- Give you an edge over the competition
- Attract more candidates
- Draw in more customers
- Improve the quality of hires
With all that in mind, here are three steps to a great candidate experience.
1. Make your employer brand shine online.
Have you ever heard the phrase: “Treat candidates as you would treat your customers?” This adage has never been truer. In today’s job market, it’s crucial for you to create a good reputation for your company, not only as a provider of goods or services but also as an excellent place to work. You want people who come across your online content to regard you as a great potential employer. To do this, consider the following.
Social media could be the first place a potential future employee finds out about your company. So use your social pages strategically. Find out which platforms are most used by your target audience and focus your effort on these platforms. Building an online presence on social media takes time and effort, but it can greatly enhance the way a candidate perceives you as an employer.
Visitors coming to your career page want to know what your openings are and what it’s like to work for you. Don’t hesitate to include authentic pictures of your current employees with quotes about the company and its culture. You can also post fun pictures of recent team bonding activities, for example.
You already advertise specific jobs in your postings, but you can also run broader “brand awareness” ads for your hiring needs. These ads serve not to fill a certain spot but to showcase your employer brand and enhance your reputation as a place to work. Talent can be scarce nowadays, and you want to be a job seeker’s first choice. So don’t hesitate to be creative in your hiring methods, for example, by trying out a video ad!
2. Simplify your application process.
Today’s Internet users expect web pages to be user-friendly. They want to be able to find what they want quickly, with the least clicks possible. This applies to younger generations of users but also older ones. So, whoever your ideal candidate is, make sure your whole application process is as smooth as possible. To ensure that happens, consider the following:
This is crucial in 2021. Numbers taken from international job platform Talent.com’s internal database show that over 70 percent of the site traffic comes from mobile devices. Since the mobile trend shows no sign of abating, it’s up to you to adapt your application process to modern job seekers’ desires and habits. This means making sure your job postings are accessible through mobile and even optimized for mobile.
Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes and review your current application process. Are there any bugs or malfunctions? Are there redundant steps that could be removed? If so, work on your application process to make it as user-friendly as possible. To achieve this, you could automate certain elements or work with a job platform that offers on-site quick applications.
In the war for talent, you want to catch the best candidates before your competition. In this context, your job postings can’t be just a list of requirements. They must also encourage people to apply and join your team. Highlight what’s in it for them and why they should pick you. Present your company culture, benefits, and perks. You want to make your job postings as appealing as possible to attract talent.
3. Establish a constant, clear, and fluid communication process with candidates.
Communication is key. And during the applicant process, communication can take many forms. In order to create a great candidate experience, it’s important for recruiters to create functioning communication channels and to have great communication habits. Here’s how:
Be honest and transparent before, during, and after interviews. You want to establish an environment of authenticity. When candidates see that you are honest with them, they are likely to be honest with you. This saves time, builds your credibility, and contributes to the development of authentic relationships.
Candidates want to be kept in the loop. They want to know if they’ve made it to the next round of interviews, ideally quickly. Therefore, it’s important for you to be responsive and candidate journey map with your candidates. Make sure candidates know what to prepare, how long each step of the process will be, and when they can expect to hear from you.
Tactful rejection contributes to a positive candidate experience. Not every qualified applicant can be chosen, and it’s your job to communicate your selection in a respectful manner. You can find free rejection letter templates online and adapt them to your needs. You can even give rejected candidates constructive criticism, which could make them more likely to re-apply in the future.
Providing a great candidate experience means making your employer brand shine online, simplifying your application process, and establishing a constant, clear, and fluid communication process with candidates. To keep track of candidates, don’t hesitate to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or utilize a candidate journey map. It can help you understand your candidates’ states of mind and the challenges they face at each stage of the journey.