This article about candidate experience was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated to reflect new information about prioritizing the candidate experience as of September 2023.
Hiring top-tier talent is never easy, but creating a smooth and pleasant experience for candidates can go a long way in attracting the right candidates who fit your company's culture and values. In this article, we'll discuss a few different ways you can make the candidate experience one to remember and attract great talent.
1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Creating a positive candidate experience is essential for any organization looking to attract the best talent. However, without understanding what it's like to be in the candidate's shoes, it's impossible to create an excellent experience. That's why it's important to start by walking through the process as a candidate or bringing in focus groups to provide feedback based on their experience.Creating a better candidate experience starts with understanding their point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and walk through the process to identify areas for improvement. Learn more from @IQTalent’s blog:
Put yourself in their shoes and think about what it's like to search for jobs, fill out lengthy applications, and communicate with recruiters. By doing so, you'll not only gain valuable insight into what candidates are experiencing, but you'll also be able to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to ensure a positive candidate experience.
Did You Know? Nearly half of all job seekers have turned down job offers because of a negative experience.
2. Value Your Candidate's Experience
A positive candidate experience can improve a company's reputation and enhance its ability to attract top talent, while a negative experience can lead to potential employees sharing their negative experiences online and through word of mouth, which can quickly tarnish a company's image.
By investing in the candidate experience, companies can create a lasting and positive impression on candidates, regardless of the hiring outcome. Offering personalized follow-up messages and opportunities for feedback can help make candidates feel valued and respected, even if they are not selected for the position. Moreover, companies that prioritize the candidate experience are more likely to build a positive employer brand and establish a culture of inclusivity and fairness.
3. Be Transparent
When it comes to hiring, transparency is an essential aspect of the candidate experience. By being upfront about things like interview timelines, formats, and expectations for each stage of the process, you can build trust with potential employees and maintain open communication throughout.
Additionally, honesty is key when it comes to communicating about the role and the company culture. By giving candidates a clear picture of what they can expect from the position, you'll be able to attract the right kind of talent and ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience. So, if you're looking to improve your hiring practices and strengthen your company's reputation, make transparency a top priority.Transparency and open communication are essential ingredients in creating a positive #candidateexperience – it's not just about filling a role but creating a great impression on future employees. Find out more from @IQTalent:
4. Keep it Simple
It's important to keep in mind that first impressions matter and a complicated and drawn-out hiring process can leave a negative impression on the candidate and potentially even deter them from wanting to work with your company in the future. So, simplifying the process should be a top priority.
One effective way to simplify the process is to eliminate unnecessary steps. For example, consider shortening the application form and only asking for information that is essential to the job. This not only saves the candidate time and effort in completing the application but also makes it easier for the employer to review and process the application in a timely manner.
According to SHRM, the candidate drop-off rate for individuals who click 'Apply' but fail to complete the application stands at a staggering 92%.
Plus, streamlining the interview process can also help reduce friction and make it more convenient for the candidate. This could be achieved by scheduling all interviews on one day, using video conferencing to conduct initial interviews, or even conducting group interviews to reduce the total number of interviews required.
5. Communicate at Every Opportunity
To attract top talent, you must engage with them throughout the entire hiring process. This means you should communicate regularly and proactively without being intrusive.
One way to do this is by sending personalized follow-up emails to candidates after they submit their applications. Acknowledge receipt of their application, thank them for their interest, and provide an estimated timeline of when you plan to start conducting interviews or making hiring decisions. This simple step can go a long way in showing candidates that you value their time and effort.
Another important aspect of communication is providing ongoing updates on the hiring process. Candidates want to know where they stand and whether they are still being considered for the role. Consider sending regular updates on the status of the position, such as whether you have already started interviewing candidates, any feedback you have received, and when you expect to make a final decision.
6. Ask for Feedback
Seeking feedback on the hiring process is crucial, as it not only helps improve the way your organization hires talent but also shows candidates that their opinions are valued. When candidates feel heard and valued, it enhances their perception of the organization, which can lead to a more positive employer brand.
One way to gather feedback is through surveys. Ensure that surveys are anonymous so candidates feel more comfortable providing honest feedback. Survey questions should be clear and concise, providing the right balance between open-ended and close-ended responses. By gathering input from candidates who have gone through the hiring process, organizations can identify where the process can be improved and identify areas where it's working well.
7. Focus on What You Need to Improve
It's not enough to simply collect feedback and file it away. Instead, you must take a critical look at the areas where your hiring process could be improved. This involves identifying any pain points in your current process that might be detracting from the candidate experience, such as unclear communication, lack of transparency, or a convoluted application process.
Prioritizing areas for improvement is critical, especially when resources may be limited. First, start with the areas that will have the most significant impact on the candidate experience. For instance, poor communication at any stage of the hiring process can leave candidates feeling confused, undervalued, and disengaged. Streamlining the application process can save candidates time and hassle and increase the likelihood that they'll see the process through to the end.
Remember, candidates are not only evaluating the company and the position they're applying for but also the people they are interacting with and the overall recruiting experience. By following these tips, you can create a positive impression, even if a candidate is not selected for the role.
Don't settle for mediocre recruitment results or a “good enough” candidate experience. Contact IQTalent today to learn more about how we can help you attract, retain, and engage top talent.