Why should you invest in your candidate experience?
We all know it’s true: you only have one chance to make a good first impression. For many candidates, the experience of the application process is the first exposure they will ever get to your brand, so it is paramount that it is a memorable one.
If you are successful in presenting yourself as an organized, professional, and attentive company, you will not only improve your hiring brand and make it easier to get the best candidates, but they will be more likely to accept the job should you offer it.
Not implementing a dependable and successful strategy for optimizing CX at all stages of the process will cost you. The reality is that most applicants (depending on your industry) are also potential consumers of your product. 23.8% of survey respondents stated that a positive candidate experience with an employer made them more likely to increase their relationships with employers’ respective “brand alliances, product purchases or networking.” Don’t make the mistake of losing your candidates and your consumers through a suboptimal candidate experience.
Candidate Experience is no longer a “nice to have” effort within your talent strategy. It’s imperative and needs to be iterated and enhanced regularly. It’s time for the conversation to shift from “why” to “how”.
1. Be transparent
Many companies try to hide all their quirks and the challenges that a new employee will face. Full transparency seems scary, and it’s always easier just to highlight what you think the candidate wants to hear. It is important that you let the candidate ask whatever questions are on their mind whether this be about team dynamics, work style/hours, financials or product strategy. Keep the conversation as open as possible so that they can leave the conversation with a better understanding of your company.
2. Avoid the black hole
Most candidates complain about starting an interview process, only to fall into the all-too-common “black hole” and never hear back. We get it. Recruiters are busy and don’t have time to close the loop with candidates. This will always be the case, so you need to start looking for ways to automate as much of the candidate communication as possible. When you take an action in your ATS, does it update your candidate with relevant correspondence? That’s where it needs to be.
3. Interviewing should be a give-and-take relationship.
In most cases, an interview process is simply take, take, take on the side of the company, resulting in a terrible candidate experience. The goal should be for candidates to be learning throughout your interview process – learning more about your company, the role, the challenges that will need to be solved and the company culture. You have a captive audience. It’s time to start engaging and educating them!
As it turns out, great people always have options. Even if they’re not a good fit and you decide not to hire — you want them to leave with as positive an impression as possible.
4. Calibrate for speed
Faster is ALWAYS better.
Your interview process should be structured for speed, with only the minimum number of steps necessary to make an effective hire. Then, the emphasis should be to make each stage as impactful as possible. Great companies move quickly and only have a few, very impactful steps in their process, allowing them to identify top talent quicker and hire faster than their competition.
5. Offer careers, not jobs.
Start with a great job description and emphasize career development at every step.
A job is a set of duties that meet today’s needs, but a career is a dynamic learning experience with unlimited potential. Top talent demands careers, and by highlighting careers instead of jobs, you will stand out from the crowd and attract exceptional talent.