Creating a Candidate Experience That Gets Results

October 20th, 2016

Research from CareerArc shows that nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of them shared that experience online or with someone directly. candidate experience

Whether it’s on Glassdoor, Facebook or another social media site, or in one-on-one  conversations with family, friends and colleagues, talent is talking about your organization and its candidate experience. Do you know what they’re saying?

Attracting top talent starts with candidate experience

It can be difficult to undo the damage of written or spoken criticism from candidates. The best solution here is prevention >> Creating a positive candidate experience can help build a strong reputation for your company and ultimately can help bring exceptional candidates into your talent pipeline.

Follow these seven steps to improve your candidate experience and start getting better results from your recruitment efforts:

1. Create a plan ahead of time. It’s one thing to say you want to improve your candidate experience. It’s another thing entirely to put a plan in action. Schedule a meeting with key personnel within your organization to identify and map out critical steps.

2. Involve your current employees. While you’re creating that plan, don’t be afraid to gather feedback from your current employees or if you’re currently recruiting for a position or positions, ask candidates for their input along the way. This feedback can help you gain important perspective on your process and where it’s missing the boat. Be sure to let employees know their candid feedback here helps everyone – some employees may fear punishment if they deliver constructive or critical feedback on your process.

3. Be specific in your job descriptions. Once you have a process in place that helps you find the best talent while providing a great experience for candidates, it’s time to review your job descriptions. Research from The Talent Board shows that job descriptions are the most important job-related content candidates look for when they are applying. Specifically, they want a clear description of the job duties and responsibilities, plus an overview of the essentials: salary, benefits, company values/culture and any perks (eg. working remotely, flexible schedule, education allowance). Your job descriptions should include all of this information within a quick, easy-to-read package.

4. Communicate throughout the process. In the previously referenced research from CareerArc, 60% of candidates said that better communication throughout and after the applicant process would make the most positive impact on their candidate experience. Yet, 65% say they never or rarely receive notice about their applications. This should be a part of your planning in Step 1, but it’s especially important to follow through. Let candidates know when they can expect to hear from you (even starting with the job description mentioned above). Then, be sure to call or email them at the right stages and times.

5. Consolidate multiple interviews into one visit. Speed of your hiring process can make a major impact on candidate experience. As we mentioned earlier this year in our blog, unnecessary steps can bloat your hiring process and lead to unhappy candidates. This is especially true with multiple interviews. Coming into your office two, three, even four times for interviews can be excessive and cause candidates to become frustrated (consider this: getting dressed up, printing out resume copies and travel time to and from your office can cause major stress). Align your schedules so that all critical personnel are able to meet with candidates on the same day. Your candidates will appreciate the effort and your hiring process will likely move much more quickly.

6. Follow up with EVERY candidate. To build on the point made in Step #4, communication throughout the process is essential >> But, that includes communication with EVERY candidate, not just those who are moving forward in your hiring process. Today’s “wrong fit” could be tomorrow’s super star (or could know him or her). Putting in the extra effort to follow up with every candidate in your pipeline can help ease disappointment at not getting the job and encourage a positive impression of your organization.

Creating a more positive candidate experience takes some time up front, but the results can make a major impact on your business. But before you can impress candidates with a great experience, you need the right candidates in your pipeline. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about how our talent solutions can help your business achieve its goals.

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