The Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is a top priority for hiring professionals, or at least it should be. After all, it has a direct effect on your reputation, drop off rates, offer acceptance, and a multitude of other KPI’s.

But to get it right, the candidate experience has to be preserved from start to finish. So, what exactly should we be doing to achieve it?


1. Writing a Good Job Description

This might well be the first interaction they have with you, so make it a good one! Use this opportunity to market your company, not just inform them of your requirements. In an easy-to-read format, you should clearly and concisely include the information that candidates want and need to know. Company values, benefits, responsibilities, development opportunities and more. But do not overhaul it! Include enough information that makes them intuitive to search for your website. If you make your job advertisement too unambiguous you risk making the role undesirable.


2. Creating an Engaging Careers Website

When they land on your Careers Website, that is when they will get a real impression of you. Preserve the candidate journey by ensuring it is easy to use, mobile-friendly and get’s them to where they need to be, the apply button! Applying for jobs is already a tedious task let us not make it any harder than it needs to be. Include employee testimonials, informative and engaging company content like videos and interactive media, and most importantly, really represent what it is like to work for you.


3. Using Engaging Content

Engaging content needs to be used throughout. On your careers site as mentioned, your social media, during the onboarding process and everywhere in between. Use it to build your employment brand and captivate both a passive and active market. Wouldn’t it be nice to have candidates looking at your company and thinking, ‘I want to work for them’ before you have even advertised? It can be done. Be the one to sway even the inactive to apply.


4. Making it Easy to Apply

From start to finish, make the recruitment process easy to complete. The ease of application will considerably affect the experience at this initial stage of the recruitment process. 80% of candidates are said to quit an application form because of its length and difficulty to complete. That is a huge loss of potential talent. So, provide the right resources, allow them to apply through any device and only source the essential information initially to reduce time.


5. Communicating

Communication can be a deal-breaker for candidates but, why when it is the easiest task of them all? Simply, keep them updated from the moment they apply to the moment they are hired. Utilising both automated and personalised messaging systems at every stage. There is plenty of resources of the market to help, so you do not have to manually manage the process. A company needs to make itself easily accessible through online application forms, careers pages, emails, social media and various other forms.


6. Digitalising Recruitment

This is particularly important if you want to succeed in attracting Gen Z talent. The aim is to work smarter not harder and show candidates how digitally immersed you are, by staying ahead of the technology curve. This will only make yourself appear more attractive as an employer. It also preserves the candidate experience by ensuring that it is managed properly and efficiently. But balance is key. Despite how useful this level of technology is, always be mindful that the more we digitalise our processes, the more candidates will value a personalised experience that entails physical human interaction.


7. Meeting Expectations

The moment you fail to meet expectations is the moment you disappoint the candidate. Instead, be transparent throughout. Provide the best possible roadmap, so candidates know what is to be expected. Candidates have decided to dedicate their time to you, so be as organised as you can in your approach. Take the stress and nerves away and do not ever leave them feeling confused. We never want them to become doubtful of our offering.


8. Creating a Positive Interview Environment

The interview process can be a daunting experience, especially when it is often a crucial decision point from which both parties judge potential compatibility. To create a positive candidate experience, set the candidate up to succeed. Provide them with all of the information and resources they require, showcase your culture and be engaging in your approach. And if you still find them unsuitable, at least you know you have done all that you can to feel confident in your decision.


9. Reducing Time to Hire

Everyone benefits from a reduction in time to hire. Not only will you save money, but you will preserve the candidate experience and secure top talent before your competitors. If you fail to be responsive, candidates will search for an employer who is. Although candidates do not want to wait weeks and weeks to organise the interview or find out the success of their application, if your processes are taking longer than useful, be transparent and inform them, never leave them waiting.


10. Onboarding

Maintaining a positive candidate experience during the onboarding stage is just as important as the initial application. Even if you feel you have succeeded in finding qualified talent, the process can still very much backfire here, so ensure you have a sufficient onboarding programme in place to see them through a smooth transition. This stage is critical to shape their learning, productivity and create a positive business perception that makes them want to continue working for you.


11. Providing Feedback

You are on to a winner if you provide candidates with feedback regardless of whether they have been successful or not, as this continues to be one of the biggest frustrations for candidates in the current market. According to LinkedIn, 94% of candidates like to receive it, but unfortunately, many do not. You can also open yourself to feedback to get guidance on where to improve directly from the target market themselves.


12. Nurturing Candidate Relationships

This can set businesses apart. Make it clear the value candidates have by recognising that the process does not end with the final outcome. You can continue to nurture your relationships with candidates, even those who are unsuccessful. This proves your commitment to your corporate culture and provides the opportunity for movement should those candidates become suitable in the future. Allow them to sign up for job alerts and to be added into your talent pool so you can contact them should another position arise. This not only helps in improving candidate experience but by growing your talent pools and reducing your future time to hire.


The Result?

In a generation subject online sharing through social media and online forums, it has never been a more crucial time to preserve the candidate experience. When candidates get a bad perception of your employer brand, they can become inclined to share it with a wider network. Therefore, damaging your reputation, and affecting future hires. But when we work towards creating a positive candidate experience, it positively returns. More job offers will be accepted, loyalty gained, and they might well encourage others to engage with you too.


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Recruitive offer End to End Recruitment Solutions from ATS Software, Cloud Based Recruitment Software, Onboarding Software, Media Purchasing & the Design of Careers Websites.



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