Tips for Getting the Candidate Experience Right, Right Now

Recruiting is a lot different today than at the beginning of the year. One of the major changes is the way in which candidates experience the hiring process. From Zoom interviews to virtual onboarding, there are a lot of adjustments to make for both companies and candidates alike.

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The hiring process may have changed in a number of different ways, but one aspect of it should never be altered. That is the candidate experience. It should always be a positive one for the applicant.

Change in the Landscape

Before the pandemic, job seekers had the upper hand because unemployment was so low. Now, however, the advantage has shifted more toward employers because so many people are now out of work. Employers may become more lax in their dealing with job candidates — and less concerned about making sure candidates are well looked after.

But this would be a mistake for several reasons. First, companies are still looking to fill about five million open positions, which is actually more than in 2014, when employers were really starting to have difficulty finding people. Second, companies that allow a poor candidate experience lose money because of it. Third, your brand will suffer – job candidates tend to talk about their negative experience with others in their profession. And fourth, job applicants are more likely to accept a job offer if they have had a positive experience. They’re also more likely to recommend your company to others.

How to Provide a Good Candidate Experience

  1. Communication

This is most important. You don’t want to leave candidates guessing about where they stand in the process and what the next steps are, or even how many other people are being interviewed. You should find out what questions they have as well.

You should also be honest with candidates. Some HR professionals advise discussing salary up front to be sure the company and the candidate are in the same salary range. You don’t want to go through the whole process, offer the candidate a job, and then find out that salary is a deal breaker. You also need to be honest about the position’s duties – the good and the bad aspects of the job.

Also, respond to all applications, whether you intend to follow up with someone or not. This is simply common courtesy, and it will make a good impression on applicants. Most companies don’t even bother to acknowledge the receipt of applications.

  1. Respect

You need to treat candidates with respect. That means preparing for the interview, knowing the candidate’s background and having questions already drawn up. Sometimes hiring managers show up unprepared, resulting in a haphazard interview.

  1. The hiring process

It should be designed to be user friendly. Too often, companies make candidates jump through a lot of hoops. Applications are long and complicated. The candidate has to interview with too many different people, and the process takes too long.

  1. Get Feedback

To improve the process, you also need to get feedback from the candidates. Find out what they thought of their interview. What kind of impression did they get of the company? Did they feel they received enough information as they went through the process? Did they think they were treated well? What did they like about the process, and what things would they change? What kind of improvements would they make?

Interviews are….a “tad” different now. And this does affect your candidates’ experience with the hiring process.

Helpmates can do all candidate pre-screening for you, from sourcing qualified candidates, to conducting preliminary interviews, to checking references and vetting, sending you (whether via video or in-person) only the top candidates for final interviews.

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

Staying Motivated During Your Job Search While in a – Hello! – Freaking Pandemic!

We don’t have to tell you that it’s rough out there: about 31.8 million plus folks are out of work nationwide (as of early July).  In fact, Los Angeles County itself had an unemployment rate of 19.4 percent in June.

So it’s understandable that, if you’ve been looking for work for two or three months, that your job search motivation might be, shall we say, “lagging” a bit.

Yes, it’s rough, but if there’s one thing to focus on, it’s this:

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You are a job seeker of one. There’s one of you; you need just one job. Don’t worry about ALL the other people applying to the jobs available. Instead, focus just on getting the job you need.

That said, even if you’ve been looking for work for weeks with no luck, even if you feel beaten down and just can’t bear to look at a job board ever again, let alone send in an application, you definitely can get your motivation back. Here’s how.

Set short-term goals

You’ve done tough things in your past. Perhaps you’ve:

  • Given birth/gone through labor
  • Run a marathon
  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Saved up money for a new laptop (rather than put it on a credit card)

What do those things have in common? They were relatively short-lived and you looked forward to a specific outcome when you finished them. You knew “the end” was coming.

Looking for work, on the other hand, has no set timeline. You don’t know when “the end” will come. You have a goal – get a new job – but it has no set endpoint that you can control.

So set short-term goals. Goals such as:

  • You will reach out to 15 people by Friday.
  • You will apply to 15 jobs by Friday. (This is a different goal than the one above because reaching out to people is different than applying for jobs. In addition, you will tweak your resume/cover letter to be specific to each position to which you’re applying.)
  • You will post at least one comment on the LinkedIn groups to which you belong by Friday.
  • And so on.

Give yourself rewards for meeting each goal.

And we do mean EACH goal! Looking for work is hard (as you well know). It’s definitely “not fun” (putting it lightly). You definitely should celebrate when you reach a goal. You truly deserve it!

Focus on processes, not results

Your goals shouldn’t be, “I’ll get a job by the end of September.” “I’ll get 2 interviews a week in August.” Why shouldn’t you make these types of goals? Because you have no control over whether the goal will “be met.” (For example, you have no control on whether a hiring manager will call you in for an interview.) Instead, focus on what you can control: the process. Send out X resumes a week. Reach out to X people per week. And so on. Work the process and the process will work for you.

Keep looking and you WILL land a job!

It’s amazing what consistently “working the process” does when it comes to just about anything (weight loss, exercise, learning a new skill, etc.). It’s the same with the job search, no matter what the “conditions” are surrounding your efforts, setting small, process-focused goals – and meeting them – will help you get your job-search mojo back and land you a job sooner than you may think.

Helpmates has several job opportunities available right now and many of them need people to start working immediately. Take a look at our current openings and follow the instructions for applying to the ones that interest you.

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