3 Tips for a Better Candidate Experience

Bad candidate experiences can do a lot of damage to the image of the company. When candidates repeatedly have a negative experience, it can chase away good candidates, and more importantly, it can damage the employer brand. The candidate experience starts from the very first click. It starts at the company site or job board. Emails exchanged, interviews conducted, phone calls returned, are all steps in the candidate experience. When recruiters are thoughtful about each step that the candidate goes through, it creates a positive experience.

According to a MysteryApplicant.com infographic, only 5% of applicants rated their candidate experience as excellent, and the largest segment, 34%, rated their experience as poor. 

1) First Impressions are Everything

Consider where the company’s first interactions with the candidate can be. Ensure that the company’s site is easy on the eyes, user friendly, and includes a career page. It should be very simple for candidates to find what positions are open, what those positions entail, and who and how to contact if interested.

For job board candidates, getting the job description down is vital. You don’t have the flashy site to draw them in, or the graphics and blog to let them know about the company culture. You just have this job description, so make it count. Don’t include a bunch of $5 words and jargon that few will understand. Keep the description simple and direct. The job description doesn’t have to be five paragraphs long. An honest and engaging, short description will do just fine.

2) Don’t Waste Their Time

First and foremost, people appreciate rapid response times. If they call you, call them back within 24 hours, the same goes with email. Offering quick updates is not only considerate, it shows good communication and keeps them engaged. 58% of applicants claimed to have not received regular updates on their application as a reason for a poor experience. 

The lengthier and more involved your hiring process is, the longer your red carpet better be. When candidates choose to apply, they are spending time researching, preparing their resume, applying, interviewing and traveling. Be sure that your efforts match theirs. If you’re asking them to come in for the third interview, they should feel thanked and appreciated for taking the time.

A good rule of thumb is to treat a candidate like a customer. Just like customers will share a bad experience with others, so will candidates. Quality candidates who are in high demand, know they’re in high demand. They won’t stick around for bad candidate care or time wasting processes.

3) Lose the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” Attitude

Being more considerate in your everyday interactions is the number one way to improve the candidate experience. Timely communications should be personalized. Job candidates are likely not just applying to one position. Be sure that all responses include the company name as well as the candidate's name. 52% of candidates stated that they felt they were not treated as an individual throughout the hiring process. An automated response with little or no information is a waste of inbox space, and missed opportunity to connect with the candidate.

It is attention to detail that makes candidates feel welcome. Keep notes on their profile of things that they mention in your interactions. For instance, if they moved an interview because of a child’s baseball game, ask how the game went. It’s the little courtesies that make candidates realize that they’re in good hands.

There are whole websites and forums dedicated to chatting about bad hiring processes. In fact, 64% of candidates share their experience via social media. Once Pandora's box is open, it stays open. Being more considerate of each candidate’s experience is vital to the health of the organization. These candidates are volunteering their time and efforts by entering the application process, that time and effort should be appreciated. Showing candidates that they matter starts with treating them they way you would like to be treated, respecting their time, and facilitating thoughtful interactions from beginning to end.

Check out some other great posts here.

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