6 Ways to Provide a Great Candidate Experience

The Secret to Better Hires

Written by Freddie Rohner, iHire
Job seeker having a great candidate experience while applying for work

A common complaint among recruiters, HR personnel, and hiring managers isn’t the lack of candidates for an open position, but rather the shortage of qualified applicants. One way to attract more talented professionals is by improving the hiring process to ensure they have a positive experience. Based on findings collected during Talent Board’s 2014 Candidate Experience Awards, here are six strategies that you can implement to enhance your company’s candidate experience and generate interest from the right kinds of professionals.

1.Treat job seekers like customers: Approximately 60% of respondents stated that the type of candidate experience a company provided could affect their purchasing decisions or brand sentiment. This includes both positive and negative reactions, so your hiring process has the opportunity to influence revenue by generating goodwill or hurting your company’s brand. Instead of running the risk of alienating potential customers after they’ve applied to work for your company, why not strive to cultivate a candidate experience that will encourage those professionals to be lifelong customers even if they aren’t hired?

2.Communicate: Lack of information and poor follow up from employers is the job seeker’s biggest complaint, according to SoftwareAdvice.com. 93% of respondents said unclear application instructions had a negative impact on their opinion of a company. 34% said they would prefer more communication throughout the hiring process and 28% stated that their experience would be improved simply by receiving some form of notification to let them know they were no longer in the running for the position. These discoveries were reinforced by the Candidate Experience Awards results, which found that 55.9% of job seekers received no feedback from prospective employers. The takeaway here is to be considerate; people would rather find out that they were passed over for the position than hear nothing at all.

3.Create a career site: When researching prospective employers, 64.5% of applicants found career sites to be important sources of information. This is significant because, unlike review sites such as Glassdoor (mentioned by 19.9% of respondents) or social recruiting avenues (3.8% for Facebook, 1.9% for Twitter, and 5.9% for talent communities), a career site enables you to have complete control over what candidates see. A great career site can engage job seekers (even passive ones) and entice them to come back even if they end up being turned down for the role. Impress visitors with testimonials from staff and information about all the extras your company offers like professional development opportunities, unique rewards and benefits, and chances for career advancement.

4.Focus on preparing candidates: Cut down on the number of unqualified respondents and incomplete applications by providing specific details about your application and interviewing procedures. As mentioned in our second tip, 93% of survey participants complained of unclear instructions and 90% also cited poor job descriptions as negatively impacting their experience. Furthermore, many employers neglect to include potentially helpful information such as “day in the life” testimonials from staff (57.1%) or career path examples (49.4%). In what is possibly the most alarming trend, less than 40% of applicants reported receiving anything beyond a date and location to help them get ready for an interview. Simple steps like writing more in-depth job descriptions, offering insight into the company and position, and supplying directions and advice to aid in the interview process will improve your candidate experience.

5.Shorten your application process: 33.4% of candidates spend more than 30 minutes filling out the average online application, and another 10% spend more than an hour. It’s common knowledge among hiring agents that the best applicants are passive job seekers who are currently employed. These are the types of professionals who will not be willing (or even able) to dedicate a considerable amount of time to filling out initial hiring forms. Simplifying your application process will help to attract the types of job seekers that turn into top-notch hires.

6.Solicit (and act upon) feedback: More than 75% of employers make no effort to investigate perceptions of their hiring process. If you’re really serious about increasing your company’s ability to attract top performers and draw the type of passive job seekers that make the best hires (and if you’ve read this far, you must be pretty serious), then you need to take the time to compile and analyze the thoughts and opinions of the professionals who apply to join your team. There are many ways that you can capture this data, including as part of the interview process or with a formal online survey. Once you’ve collected those insights, don’t be shy about testing different approaches to strengthen your talent acquisition capabilities.

 

Sources

Matt Charney – Candidate Experience 101, The State of Candidate Experience: Top 10 Takeaways

Jerome Ternynck – 5 Tips to Improve the Candidate Experience

Recruiterbox – 3 Tips for a Better Candidate Experience

Siofra Pratt – How to: Drastically Improve Your Candidate Experience

Kate Reilly – 16 Tips for Improving Your Candidate Experience, #10 is a Must